The United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association (UKPSA) is pleased to share an important opportunity for the shooting community. The government has launched a public consultation on proposals to deregulate sound moderators from firearms licensing controls, a change that has been long advocated for by shooting associations, including the UKPSA.

Overview of the Consultation

This consultation, initiated by the Home Office, seeks to amend the definition of a firearm in section 57(1)(d) of the Firearms Act 1968 to exclude sound moderators from the list of items requiring a firearm certificate. The premise is that sound moderators, unlike firearms, do not present a significant danger and that their deregulation would streamline administrative processes without compromising public safety.

Importance of the Consultation

The current requirement for sound moderators to be licensed places an unnecessary administrative burden on shooters and the police. The proposed change would benefit the shooting community by:

  • Reducing red tape and simplifying access to sound moderators.
  • Allowing police licensing units to focus on more critical aspects of firearms control.
  • Supporting the practical needs of shooting sports and conservation efforts.

Consultation Questions and UKPSA Recommended Responses

The UKPSA urges its members to participate in the consultation, offering guidance on responding to the key questions:

  1. Extent of agreement on removing the certification requirement for sound moderators:
    • UKPSA recommended response: Strongly agree.
  2. Risk to public safety by deregulating sound moderators:
    • UKPSA recommended response: Strongly agree that there is no risk.
  3. Importance of health and safety benefits provided by sound moderators:
    • UKPSA recommended response: Strongly agree on their importance.
  4. Criteria for a Legislative Reform Order to deregulate sound moderators:
    • UKPSA recommended response: Strongly agree that the criteria have been met.

Final Comments on the Consultation

In addition to the above responses, the UKPSA suggests including a comment on the broader implications of firearms legislation reform:

  • UKPSA recommended additional comment: “We propose changing “Rifle & Muzzle Loading Pistol” to “Firearm” in regulations. This clarifies lending and use rules for all firearms, including S.1 shotguns and LBP/Rs. It simplifies compliance and enforcement.”

How to Participate

Participation in the consultation is crucial for voicing the practical shooting community’s perspectives. Responses can be submitted online here by 2 April 2024.

Conclusion

The UKPSA strongly supports the government’s proposal to deregulate sound moderators. This change, along with the suggested amendment to allow Section 1 firearms as club guns, would significantly benefit shooting sports in the UK. We encourage all members and stakeholders to participate in this consultation to ensure our collective voice is heard.

For further details on the consultation and guidance on submitting your response, please visit Home Office Consultation Page.

Media Officer

Aryan Alipour

Has the responsibility of generating and managing both internal and external facing media content alongside other external engagements.

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