BASC experts address Law Commission symposium

Firearms experts from BASC travelled to London to address the Law Commission symposium on the structure of firearms law.

The Law Commission  – the independent body which keeps the law of England and Wales under review – recently issued a consultation paper and is looking at questions such as the definition of lethality and antiques, what constitutes a component part of a firearm and the standard for deactivation. Before launching the consultation the Law Commission held discussions with, among others, BASC’s expert firearms team.

Bill Harriman, Mike Eveleigh and Matt Perring from BASC’s firearms team were invited to the symposium along with Peter Glenser, who is a BASC Council member and a barrister specialising in firearms law. Mr Harriman and Mr Glenser were speakers on a panel of experts.  Mr Harriman, BASC's director of firearms,  spoke about component parts and antiques and Mr Glenser addressed the symposium on the issue of codification.

Mr Harriman said the symposium marked "the first steps on a very long journey".

"When I spoke I said  that as the subjects were complicated we could not come to proper resolution after an hour’s discussion on each. I suggested that the demise of the Firearms Consultative Committee in 2004 had deprived successive governments with a standing pool of experts who could consider such matters in detail and make concrete recommendations that would make effective law.

"I think this was a valuable event. It is clear that BASC is viewed as a major player and is held in high regard. We are regarded as experts with considered  opinions.  Our willingness to engage constructively stands us in good stead."

Peter Glenser said: "The Law Commission symposium provided a valuable platform for a wide spectrum of interests to have their say on the future of firearms law. BASC will continue to work for its members to ensure a good outcome for both public safety and shooting."

Further information on the Law Commission’s work on firearms law as it proceeds will be published on the BASC website and in BASC’s Shooting and Conservation magazine.