We have some great news for UK airsoft this morning. Lord Shrewsbury of the GTA has voluntarily decided to withdraw his amendment in regards to the airsoft exception from the Policing and Crime Bill 2015/16. This is the best possible outcome for UK airsoft. Lord Shrewsbury tells us he better understands airsoft now that he is properly informed, and that he is extremely keen to work with us and move forwards as a part of a unified firearms community. Please get word out and apply the brakes on this campaign, there’s nothing we need to counteract right now, the airsoft exception is not being questioned, and we certainly don’t want at this stage to create fruitless hassle for our valuable new ally. So to clarify, tweets emails and letters to Lords and Lord Shrewsbury should stop now.
When asked to contribute to this campaign the response from the UK airsoft was phenomenal. You should feel proud of the good work you’ve put in. There was a tiny element that was abusive and even threatening towards Lord Shrewsbury and needless to say, this is totally unacceptable behaviour and counterproductive, we condemn this behaviour unreservedly. Those individuals have been reported to the Police and we hope that such individuals are subject to the full weight of the law. But on the whole we saw an overwhelming positive response. I even saw some Mums writing to representatives to say tell them that airsoft had been a huge force for good in their children’s lives. I’d also like to make you aware that the 3 UK airsoft associations have done a colossal amount (most of it behind the scenes) to get us this far, and will continue to work for you over the coming months, so please keep supporting them in turn. Another group which gave us huge support was real firearms shooters, and grass roots shooting organisations such as Firearms UK. There wasn’t anything at stake for real firearms people and yet they leapt to the defence of airsofters. Bear that in mind should you see the firearms community facing hardship in the future.
Things are not finished with the PCB by any means. We still have concerns that, even with the exception in place, if you unwittingly import a slightly hot fully auto AEG, or if your fully auto HPA or GBB replicas are tested at maxed out pressure and with heavy ammo you could face section 5 firearms charges (5 years mandatory sentence), which would be wildly disproportionate and unacceptable, even if it only ever happens to one of us.
So we ask everyone to keep up to date with this Bill for the next few months and keep discussing it.
If you are still receiving replies from MPs and Lords, please continue to post them on the ‘lobbying for UK airsoft’ group so we can ‘map the ground’. This group is very well informed and a useful asset in itself.
Be sure to Like UK Airsoft Players Union to keep up to date https://www.facebook.com/UKAPU/ but more importantly players should join UKAPU, so we can keep doing what we do http://www.ukapu.org.uk/join/
Airsoft Trade Body will have its website online soon so get involved if you run an airsoft business and want to safeguard it http://www.atb.org.uk/
Retailer membership of old stalwart UKARA is of course available from their website http://www.ukara.org.uk/index.php
Please like, comment and share*.
Matt Furey-King, Frank Bothamley & Tim Wyborn
On behalf of UKAPU, UKARA & ATB
* Note: Facebooks system changed this post to a ‘group share’ during the day and we are unable to reverse this. The link below will take you to a post you can share so please click and share it;
Sharable post: https://www.facebook.com/UKAPU/posts/1013237018789268