BREAKING: A common $2,000 airgun might suddenly be illegal in the UK!

Steyer LP50 5-shot airgun. Suddenly to become illegal in the UK? Source: Steyer Sport publicity

Legal arguments from the ATF about the definition of a pistol arm brace might seem sometimes to be rather pointless, but this news from England might just take the cake for wasting everybody’s time.

The British National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA) reports that, in late October 2016, North Yorkshire police seized 5 Steyr LP50 5-shot air pistols during a routine inspection of the importer, Steyr UK, believing the pistols to be prohibited weapons.

These pistols have been extremely common in the UK since the handgun ban in 1997 as a replacement for cartridge handguns for competition shooting, and neither the Home Office (who have the same role as the American ATF in interpreting firearms law) nor any other police forces have had the slightest worry about the pistols up to this point. The author is also unaware of any criminal incidents involving this type of airgun.

So, North Yorkshire police have suddenly, after two decades, seized 5 of the pistols from the importer, have unilaterally deemed them to be prohibited weapons, and are preventing further importation or sales until the issue is resolved by the Home Office or by the Courts.

As for the pistols in question, we are talking here about 5-shot match airguns with a muzzle energy of under 6 ft-lb, and that retail in the US for $1950

Clearly an air-powered threat to public safety. If you're North Yorkshire police. Source: official Steyr LP50 manual

Clearly an air-powered threat to public safety, if you’re North Yorkshire police.  Note the magazine on the left side. Source: official Steyr LP50 manual

Now, the famous British handgun ban is actually a “small firearm” ban. Aside from some minor exemptions for muzzle-loading handguns and some collection purposes that we won’t go into here, the wording of the ban from Section 5(1)(aba) Firearms Act 1997 is:

any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30 centimetres in length or is less than 60 centimetres overall, other than an air weapon, a muzzle-loading gun or a firearm designed as signalling apparatus.

Back in 1997, the then Home Office Minister (think: head of ATF, Homeland Security and Department of the Interior rolled into one) Alun Michael gave the opinion that “multi-shot air pistols” were specifically exempted, without distinguishing between a revolver and a semi-auto like the LP50.

However, and this is where the North Yorkshire police are trying to be tricksy, since the same date there has also been a general prohibition on all self-loading firearms, other than .22 rimfire. But nobody seems to have considered that it might apply to air pistols too! Section 5(1)(ab) of the Firearms Act bans:

any self-loading or pump-action rifled gun other than one which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges

Now, the LP50 is a type of air-powered harmonica pistol, borrowing from some 19th century percussion and pinfire designs that are basically linear “revolvers”. Ian of Forgotten Weapons has an interesting video on some pinfire harmonica pistols on his YouTube channel (link). In the LP50, the pellets are loaded into a straight magazine, which is pushed in from the left side against a spring. After firing each shot, the pistol re-cocks itself by air pressure and the magazine jumps left one position, to bring the next pellet in line. In the absence of an official video from Steyr, this amateur YouTube video shows the process clearly enough in the first 20 seconds or so.

Without going into the legalistic details of what “self-loading” is in British law, the question comes down to: is the LP50 a non-.22 rim-fire self-loader and illegal, despite nobody having noticed or cared for 20 years, or is it exempted as an air weapon as had been accepted almost universally up to this point?

A meeting of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), who are the umbrella organisation for shooting sports associations in the UK, was held on December 5th 2016 to address the issue, to shed some light on this question, with participants from various police forces, the Home Office, and various shooting organisations.  According to the NSRA’s report, the meeting was inconclusive, and will require further examination of the pistols by NABIS (National Ballistics Intelligence Service), to determine whether the pistols are “self-loading” or not under the fine detail of British law, and as to whether they can be easily adjusted to over the 6 ft-lb legal limit for an air pistol. It might even require a court case or a change in the law to resolve this. We will keep you up to date with further developments as they occur.

At a time when crime with real, illegal guns is a problem, and police firearms licensing departments are so understaffed that they are often unable to renew shooters’ licences in good time due to a lack of resources, it is disappointing that North Yorkshire police are spending valuable time on the scourge of two-grand glorified BB guns.

 



Mike B

Mike was lucky enough to go to a school with a 25 yard smallbore range, only 25 minutes from the centre of British shooting at Bisley, and had a firearms certificate before he had a driver’s license. Moving to a more gun-friendly country has allowed him to service his milsurp habit. He lives up in the mountains in Switzerland and vlogs at YouTube as Bloke on the Range. He can be reached at mike@tfb.tv.


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  • Risky

    Firearms, not politics, TFB… or airguns really for that matter. Plenty of stuff going on at Shot to cover, not exactly a slow industry news week.

    • Blake

      And they’re clearly not slacking off on SHOT coverage. Since… you know, it’s obviously not the people at SHOT that are posting this? If it’s interesting, why care if it’s posted? Don’t like having too much of a choice in what to read?

      • Risky

        If the blog’s mantra is ‘firearms, not politics’, I think the audience should point it out if they think they’re not holding up that end up. I take no joy into trying to call an article out; I’m not a troll and it’s a well written piece. But political commentary is a slippery slope which is why, I believe, they have their motto, and I appreciate their attempts at neutrality. There’s plenty of gun rights blogs out there for that, but only one technically minded TFB.

        • abecido

          Firearms are an inherently political subject. “Firearms, not politics” is fine as an aspiration, but as a commandment it’s infeasable.

          • Risky

            I agree with that. The only question we have to ask is does this article aspire to that? I think it does with the exception of the last paragraph chastising the police.

          • Keiichi

            Life is a succession of inherently political actions (paraphrasing Aristotle)… which is why I’ve always found the whole idea of “x, not politics” to be a bit ridiculous.

            Now, if it were: “x with reasonable political discourse, not irrational bickering or trolling” … that would work. Tough to fit on the logo, though…

        • Fabian

          Well, if you don’t do some politics soon this blog is going to be called the Virtual Firearm Blog.

    • iksnilol

      What’s wrong with airguns? They’re closely related to firearms and in many cases are great training tools.

      • kbee-atx

        ..and wow, there is some great airgun stuff being announced at the Shot Show this year, such as:
        -A suppressed version of the AirForce Texan, a .45 caliber PCP air rifle.
        -A regulated version of the Crosman Marauder (the Field and Target version, $619 MSRP)
        -New Airbolts that allow you to shoot what is similar to a crossbow bolt at GREATER than crossbow speeds out of many PCPs, even down to .25 and .357 calibers.

        -A $300 suppressed, *REGULATED*, bolt action repeater PCP that can supposedly do about 60 consistent shots in .22 on a single fill– with a removable air tank!
        – A crazy expensive new “premium” pellet design from Umarex that is basically a scaled down version of the Hexolit 12 gauge slugs– these are available for .177, .22 and .25 caliber. Too bad they will be $13-$16 for 25 pellets– basically firearm pellet prices. Still, looking at the publicised performance they may be useful for hunters.
        – ARX sabot bullets in .50 caliber– these allow versions of .357, .40, .45 (and .50) to be shot out of a .50cal air gun.
        ..many more things too, this really is the golden air of airguns!

        • iksnilol

          That feeling when you have to register with the police all airguns over .177 caliber in Norway.

          Also, that 300 dollar PCP, which one is that? I do want a PCP and the cheapest I’ve found (includes a pump) was like 450 dollars.

          • kbee-atx

            The new $300 PCP is the Umarex Guantlet.
            You can get a Crosman Maximus PCP for $180 now, and then get a G6 clone for $83 on Amazon. That gets you what you need for around $263.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, seen the Maximus. Doesn’t really scream quality to me. But I will admit, I do like that it is so lightweight and easy to fill up. If they made it a repeater I’d definitely shorten one and have it as a “survival” airgun.

            I was looking at the Hatsan AT sometihng. 10 shot repeater that’s pretty powerful and can shoot a good while on one fill.

            But thanks for the info. How durable are those clone pumps? I’ll admit, I am really interested (expected more money for a pump, money that I can use in getting a Lothar Walther barreled airgun instead of the regular version).

          • kbee-atx

            The Maximus is actually a really good value for the money. Basically the same thing as a Discovery, minus the wood, most parts are 100% interchangeable. Mine is a tack driver. 2000psi is a real selling point when you are pumping a gun– 3000-3500psi is not 😉
            The Hatsan AT44-10 is a really nice gun as well– I also looked at it.

            Regarding the clone pumps– I originally bought the Benji one, it broke within a week, returned it, got a G6 clone. So far G6 clone is working great– many of them are identical to the production G6s which have a good rep. AFAIK the best pump out there is the Hill pump, which is a >$200 pump.

  • Andrew Miller

    Arguing over airguns…
    That’s what happens when you let your right become a privilege.

    Whee.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      At this point nothing they do will surprise me and whatever happens next, they have coming to them.

    • Michel_T

      Tell you what, the next time the British find themselves in a mess… they better not turn this way for help.

      • Kafir1911

        And the Aussies, I would never have guessed that they were the same way. And how short their memory is too. In 1942 they were scared to death that the Nips were going to invade them. In a few more years they better be hoping the ChiComs don’t.

        • Jako

          The Aussies have Pine Gap, so they’ll be protected.

          • Evan

            And the US Navy

          • Jako

            Because of Pine Gap. Uncle Sam can’t afford to let anything happen to the facility. Especially in the current climate.

            It’s important enough that the Australian Government spent years denying it’s existence and purpose and only admitted when they couldn’t weasel out of it anymore.

          • Evan

            Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea what you’re talking about. But the Pacific and Indian Oceans are controlled by the US Navy. If the Chinese want to invade Australia, they have to get past our Navy, which they can’t, because the US Navy is by far and beyond the most powerful navy in history.

          • Jako

            I can’t link it, otherwise it’ll get caught up in TFB’s moderation queue (which hates links of any type), and will never see the light of day. But Pine Gap is a US run (CIA, NSA, and NRO) satellite station in the Northern Territory, controls and keeps in contact with US satellites as they pass over and spy on a third of the globe. It’s an integral part of the surveillance system and drone control. They can’t afford to lose it.

            It’s a little bit of a sore point, especially since we’ve known about it for years but they kept denying it.

            As for the navy, keep in mind China somewhat recently acquired low-background steel, which will make them a bit harder to detect in certain circumstances.

        • Billy Jack

          Your reference to the Japanese is considered a slur. Not sure how that’s allowed here.

          • L. Roger Rich

            Sadly most of the WW 2 vets who fought the Nips are mostly going including my dad. There was no love for the murdering Japs. Review History. PC going awry.

          • Billy Jack

            I know all about it, cannibalism included.

            But since there’s no cursing or politics here on tfb I’d prefer not to start reading what various people find acceptable by way of racial slurs.

          • L. Roger Rich

            Billy Jack is a half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret. Please don’t be a PC Cop. This is a gun group with pro gun people not snowflakes afraid of their shadows..

          • James O Donnell

            Wind your neck in, you whingeing politically-correct snowflake.

          • Billy Jack

            Vent your spleen little girl.

          • James O Donnell

            Wind your neck in, arsehole.

          • Billy Jack

            What’s that? Your arsehole is around your neck? That explains it.

          • James O Donnell

            Yawn. And yours is stretched out from too many visitors, to the point that you’re dribbling stupidity all over the internet.

          • Billy Jack

            Okay Milo. We get it. You like getting cornholed. What’s wrong? No “nips” to harass? Maybe go look for a synagogue or a mosque. Seventh Day Adventists? Big Smile Adolf.

          • James O Donnell

            Climb up your commodious arsehole. Everyone else has.

          • Billy Jack

            It’s the return of Cornhole Jimmy. Not having been fully satisfied at pretending to not be racist and an internet coward he returns to show his ass. Go get a membership at the Y or whatever you cornholing brown shirts do.

          • L. Roger Rich

            What the hell you talking about?

          • Kafir1911

            Nip as from Nippon?? Maybe snowflakes and cupcakes should not be here.

      • Billy Jack

        Who do you think pays for their nuclear weapons and their NATO protection? They have some of their own but their missiles are ours. We even have the codes for them. They have to get them from us to use them.

        • harrypagetflashman1

          the uk taxpayer, funnily enough…

    • Wow!

      Well the UK never had firearms as a right. Europe historically was split into a caste system and they never really got out of it. They tried to mimic America by forming the UN, doing the euro, and making humanitarian and globalist organizations, but they lack the core of what made America great, and that is patriotism and individual responsiblity and freedom, not collective forced peace between unrelated cultures.

      • Si

        England had something like the RKBA in the English Bill Of Rights of 1689 IIRC, maybe even the Magna Carta. Meaningless nowadays of course.

        • ostiariusalpha

          The English Bill of Rights was always more of a priority for the Whig Party: when they were in majority, it was strong; when they were in minority, it was weakened. It was an especially good time to be an Englishman that liked the idea of natural & inherent rights during the 1715-1750 “Whig Ascendancy,” when they were truly politically dominant; even to 1786, they held enough power to maintain the project of protecting the Rights as set forth in the 1689 Bill. The Tories were good, classical Royal authoritarians and never saw a right that wasn’t interesting enough to trample; they gave the right to keep and bear arms a good bruising with the passage of the Vagrancy Act of 1824, which punished homeless citizens with, amongst other things, confiscation of any arm in their possession. By 1868 though, the Whigs were getting lost on whether some rights were more important to protect than others, and this led those that saw things like the right to armed self-defense as a relic, to join the new, more “socially conscious” Liberal Party. This left the remnant of the Whig party to eventually throw their lot in with the successor to the Tories, the Conservative Party. Even despite the dissolution of the Whigs, it wasn’t till the 1903 Pistol Act that purchasing a handgun became no longer a common law right of every citizen. And like every slippery slope, that led to the 1920 Firearms Act, that made it the government’s business whether you should have any particular firearm at all.

          • gusto

            and the ironic thing in most of Europe

            ironic sad you might say

            is that firstly owning guns for self defense was never common even when it wasn’t illegal. most people lived in the countryside so rifles/shotguns around the farm weren’t uncommon, but handguns was more a upper class thing

            but then in the 1910s 1920 all over Europe left wing socialists and communists started getting traction and that could not be tolerated so the right conservatives and fiscal classical liberals started to argue for gun control and

            and today it is the left that now wants gun control and the right really doesn’t care anymore

        • Stijn Van Damn

          Having a bill of rights does not automatically mean there is a right to own firearms IN that bill of rights.

          • Tom Currie

            Even if there is a right to own firearms (or perhaps “to keep and bear arms”) does not mean that the government will honor that right or that the courts will either.

      • Well said. Lets not forget that our country, and the constitution that is it’s guiding document, emerged in opposition to that system and specifically that exact nation’s government.

        It still makes me sad to see this happen there. Many say we’re headed down the same path, but the nations enforcing laws like this don’t have the Second Amendment to overcome. That should hold ’em off for a couple more decades at least.

      • Evan

        In the late middle ages, all free men were required to own weapons. This was before hand held firearms were common, but same basic principle.

        • valorius

          English men were required to learn longbow skills for centuries, weren’t they?

          • Stijn Van Damn

            Sounds very unlikely to be a rule that applied to all men

          • valorius

            This law was passed in the year 1541 in England:

            CAP. IX. An Act for the Maintenance of Artillery, and debarring unlawful
            Games. “RECITAL of Stats. 3 H.8.c.3. & 6 H.8.c.2. Several new devised Games the “Cause of the Decay of Archery. – All
            Men under the Age of sixty Years “shall have Bows and Arrows for
            shooting. Men-Children between Seven “Years and Seventeen shall have a
            Bow and 2 Shafts. Men about Seventeen “Years of Age shall keep a Bow and
            4 Arrows – Penalty 6s.8d.”

            S1,2,3. “Shooting at Rovers. Shooting in Yew-bows. The Inhabitants of every Town “shall cut Butts and shoot at them.”

            S4. “Common Bows shall be made of “Elm, Ash, &c.”

            S5. Repealed 8 Eliz.c.10.s.6. “The prices of the several “Sorts of Bows.”

            S6. Repealed 8 El.c.10.s.6. “Sale of Seasonable Timber “by one Fletcher to another.”

            S7. “Bowyers and Fletchers, &c. not free “of London, shall upon Commandment dwell elsewhere.”

            S8. “Aliens shall “not convey Bows or Arrows beyond the Sea.”

            S9. “Aliens shall not use “shooting in Long-bows; Penalty forfeiture of Bows.”

            S10.

        • ostiariusalpha

          In England and Switzerland, yes. Not so much in the rest of Europe. By the 12th century, if you were a commoner that was not in the paid service of a lord or knight, then possessing a weapon as a private individual was simply evidence that you were up to criminal mischief and possibly even rebellious. You could also join a mercenary company as a professional soldier, but that meant being tied to the group. You couldn’t just mosey on back to your home village with your spear or bow and not expect some trouble from the local authorities.

          • Evan

            I was specifically talking about England, as that was the country being discussed. I probably should’ve made that clear. Also, in early medieval “Viking age” Scandinavia, free men were required to own weapons.

      • John Daniels

        Owning tools for self defense is a right. Whether or not the government agrees is a separate issue, as is it’s inclusion in legal documents.

        • Wow!

          Definitely I agree. I’m just saying that the concept of it as a individual right as a counter against a government and not just part of a countries collective defense during times of war is somewhat of a novel concept that the founding fathers incorporated into the country’s law.

          On the other hand, the reality is that no one has any rights beyond that which they are able to secure on their own in reality. Any government can just violate the law, it takes the individual to have the courage to defend their rights to make it applicable.

    • John

      In Illinois any air gun that goes over 1200ft velocity is considered a firearm, and you need to have a FOID card to TOUCH it!!
      🙁

  • Blake

    Wow, this actually makes me feel somewhat glad to live in California. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this sensation before.

    • Disarmed in CA

      Well, it does have a dangerous looking gauge on it- what if? TURBO mode! It’s gotta be illegal. If not, we should call Kevin and Gavin and Jerry and make sure they write some stupid law about it

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Yeah, the old white guy in the windcheater looks like Osamas third cousin.

  • gunsandrockets

    Can I still legally bite my Poptart into a vaguely gun-shaped profile? Or do the index finger+thumb pistol-pantomime? Maybe not in the U.K.

    http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/shutterstock_113077762-620×413.jpg

    • Keiichi

      An elementary kid was suspended for doing that with a pop tart sometime last year…

      • BraveNewWhirled

        It was a couple years ago but we’re still joking about it. My how time flies.

      • Jeremy Nettles

        Pssst…I think he knows that. That’s why he said it. Same thing happened with the finger gun.

    • It’s not illegal, just offensive and could be interpreted as a threat of violence. Better be careful this doesn’t land you on the no-fly list.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Is the pressure gauge really positioned so have to point the muzzle at your face?

    • HenryV

      A lot of airgun designs have that configuration. Scary ain’t it?

      • m-dasher

        not really….as you only really look at it when you are filling the tank.

        usually an airtank will last an entire match……so no need to be continually checking it……muzzling yourself in the proess……

        once your match is over, you unscrew it and fill the tank…………if they had a gauge on the side, it would take up more room on the gun.

        • HenryV

          🙂

    • Edeco

      Use a safety mirror 😀

      • Jako

        Instructions unclear, airgun discharged shattering safety mirror, how does one pick the shards out without eyes?

  • USMC03Vet

    I hear bad boy yardies have no problems getting real shootas.

    • iksnilol

      Of course not. It’s firearms, not thermodynamic reactors powering flying submarines.

  • Tom

    Hmm this level of silliness is normally reserved for South Yorkshire Police I guess North Yorkshire Police want to catch up.

    • Michel_T

      You can buy silencers at the hardware shop… but they get all bent out of shape over a target air pistol. Go figure.

      • you have to have a license to get those. Plus they are quite limited in caliber selection. If they are quite so easy to get then criminals wouldn’t be importing them into the UK for the gangs to use.

  • diana pierce

    The People of England should rise before Parliament and unanimously demand the establishment of the exact same Constitution as America has it.. forevermore. So too should Australia as well as many other Nations.

    • Yuengling

      It’s like telling California to give up their run for gun control. You’d be more successful and happier by just moving out. That said we shouldn’t give up even on California.

    • AbsintheMakesMyHeartGrowFonder

      Nah, it’ll never happen…too many decades of obeying laws and rules for “The public good”. They’ve been told that their government knows what’s best for them for so long that they actually believe it.

      • AaIma Dauber

        You’re very wrong, maybe old timers believe that, the “god save the queen” morons, but they are few and far between nowadays. The Queen, this country, its laws, they all stink!

        • AbsintheMakesMyHeartGrowFonder

          If that’s the case…Why do the people of Great Britain still put up with inane laws and rules…of course, the same can be said of certain regions of the US.

        • harrypagetflashman1

          do one then chuck, nobody holding you here at gunpoint…

          • AaIma Dauber

            Just my opinion, same as the opinion that your dad should have worn a rubber 🙂

          • harrypagetflashman1

            like mine that when you was born they slung the baby out and kept the afterbirth…

          • harrypagetflashman1

            like mine that when you were born, they threw out the baby and kept the afterbirth…

          • harrypagetflashman1

            same as my opinion that when you were born they threw the baby away and raised the afterbirth 😉

          • harrypagetflashman1

            like my opinion, that when your inbred mom dropped you they slung the baby out and brought up the afterbirth…

    • AaIma Dauber

      100% with you there!

    • Cahal

      The U.K. does not have a written constituition. WE ARE NOT CITIZENS BUT RATHER SUBJECTS OF THE qUEEN.

      • diana pierce

        Ahhh ‘Subjects’.. ok … forevermore beholden to the queen. Servitude. the people are merely property? Having and exercising no rights from God…. at least without having them cleared and ok’d by the queen? how very tragic. how utterly obsequious !

        • Sigh

          The Queen doesn’t make the laws, the elected Members of Parliament make them. The Queen is a ceremonial head of state.

          • diana pierce

            Hey… I do appreciate this adjustment. The onus remains with the lawmakers indeed. career creeps too. Actually, I have no disregard for a benevolent monarchy. Typically, law makers are self serving , greedy slime-sters. Why else would they spend millions to get and keep a position that pays a mere pittance? Follow the money… righto !

          • Sigh

            I think It’s been that way since the English Civil War.

            I agree about typical politicians, though I don’t think individual politicians in the UK generally spend millions to get into positions, they scheme their way into positions in the system so they can get at money (the gravy train). They get paid a lot, + expenses etc, then vote themselves pay rises and more time off.

        • harrypagetflashman1

          im an english man, and i can still stand erect…

  • Riot

    Breaking news and the police being ****s – pick one.
    They’d rather do this crap than anything close to their actual job.

    • Mel_Anosis

      Like stop the robberies rampant in England.

      • Billy Jack

        Lawful bb gun owners versus drugged out machete wielding criminals? Some take the path of least resistance.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Riot and Mel meant the Bobbies should be busting real criminals, not air pistol imports.

          • Billy Jack

            And I understood that and mentioned that maybe the police choose the easier target. I wasn’t suggesting airgun owners fight robbery suspects.

          • ostiariusalpha

            I realized that after I posted, but it is funnier to imagine the flinty-eyed air pistolero popping a 800fps pellet up the nostril of a crazed machete miscreant.

          • Billy Jack

            They’re packing more heat than many English coppers too.
            The double entendre wasn’t apparent to me when I first wrote it.

          • Jako

            Learn Hapkido. Congratulations, you are now packing more heat than the bobbies.

          • Billy Jack

            Learn hopscotch. Congratulations you’re now packing more heat than the bobbies. 😉

            Actually TFB schooled us on the bobbies packing their BBC’s

          • Jako

            Hapkido is specific to you Billy.

            Master Han.

        • harrypagetflashman1

          if youre a drugged up machete wielder british old bill WILL get out the h&k mp5s, no worries on that score, all the traffic cars have got one in the boot…

          • Billy Jack

            Tell that to the beheaded marine.

          • harrypagetflashman1

            eh, and with all the shiny ex us forces kit that american old bill get, every poxy little town with its own swat team, how many mass shootings do you stop? *tumbleweed blows across desert*…oh and btw, FUSILIER lee rigby was a soldier, if youre gonna use a tragedy to back up a spurious argument in bad taste, at least have the decency to remember the victim correctly…

  • l2a3

    So much for rights when being a “SUBJECT” of the Crown.

  • Nick

    Charging that much for a pellet gun should be a crime in itself.

    • M-dasher

      this isnt a pellet gun you shoot in your backyard for fun……..this is a pellet gun you buy for high level competetion/ olympics….

      when i shot NCAA, our match rifles were $2K+

      they are built to the same ( or often higher) standards as any precision centerfire firearm

    • iksnilol

      It’s a precision firearm, built to high standards and capable of better precision than you (most likely) are.

      It’s expensive, no way around it.

      Would you say that it’s a crime that Cheytac charges 12 grand for their M200?

      • firearm?

        • Blake

          airarm…

        • iksnilol

          Well, it’s an arm you fire. Technically firearm.

      • Jeremy Nettles

        I take exception to the labeling of any airgun as a ‘firearm.’ Partly because there is no fire involved, and partly because, if we get lax with our terminology even in such an insignificant way, the anti’s will decide they’ve found one more class of projectile-launcher to regulate into oblivion. Let’s not give them ideas!

        • iksnilol

          Yes, I agree, I just mistyped and cannae be bothered to edit it.

          But you get my point. I’ts a precision device, just because it isn’t .50 BMG and costs 2 grand don’t mean it ain’t worth two grand.

          • Jeremy Nettles

            On that, we agree 100%. I think think Nick’s perspective probably comes from the ubiquity of dirt cheap airguns that are dirt cheap for a reason, and the misplaced assumption that they’re all pretty much the same. But it’s kind of like comparing a $400 beater found on craigslist to an Ariel Atom, and scoffing at the comparatively high price of the latter.

        • diana pierce

          A ‘firearm’ merely denotes the propulsion method … eg… gun powder. A sling shot also has a propulsion method… rubber band… and so too does it’s ‘missile’ …aka.. a rock. and the more ancient propulsion method for a simple rock projectile is …..ones arm. Its not a question of where does this stop… rather… where is it leading to? Whenever this question arises… always think; “PEOPLE CONTROL”…. in England it is ”sheeple control”. either way… any degree of technology…aka…. sophistication… puts the entirety of new discoveries in the fast lane for prohibitions/controls and so on. It aint gonna stop folks til one or the other gets the upper hand. Right now….as long as the Constitution stands… and we remain AWAKE… we’ll have the upper hand.

  • iksnilol

    To be a bit dense here, but how common are 2000 dollar guns in general?

    • Michel_T

      Actually, pretty common… At the Olympic and ISSF match
      – Just to be safe, we better ban the Olympic 😉

      • FarmerB

        There’s already a strong push to remove shooting from the olympics.

    • Kafir1911

      Not at all common in my neck of the woods. But I tend to think that a 2K firearm is a bit much.

    • Surprisingly – a lot of the earlier LP5’s were bought back in 1997 with the compensation from the hand-in of the real handguns. $2k, when it’s the only game in town for serious handgun competition and you’ve not got $700 of reloading kit and you’re not burning hundreds of $ of ammo at a go, $2k is actually quite reasonable.

  • Thinker-1

    But OMG!! It’s a GUN! There was a good reason we kicked their butts back across the pond twice. And it’s still valid.

    • harrypagetflashman1

      yeah, cause we were fighting napoleon and trying to hold on to india at the time, we saw that as more important, don’t get it twisted…

  • Kafir1911

    $2,000.00 common air gun. Two K may be common for some for an air gun but not me. Never saw one either. But the people of the UK are well and truly screwed UP.

    • Norm Glitz

      These are commonly used in 10 meter air pistol competition. If you shoot hat game, you’ll see many of them. The Single shot Steyrs are a t the top of the heap for the moment. Maybe a dozen other manufacturers make air pistols suitable for this competition. They go for $500 to $2500 with my Walther LP400 right in the middle.

  • Airgunner in Calif

    The bs in this article is another example of the all too familiar baby steps and trickery (outside the spirit of the law) used to whittle away freedoms. For the past five or so years I’ve said airguns will become restricted at some point soon. My guess is above XX ftlbs will be considered
    firearms, like the UK at 12ftlbs, and Canada at 500fps. It’s just a matter of time before some dik in the US uses a higher powered PCP to shoot and kill someone, and that will be it for these cool toys. So while I love high powered pcp as much as the next guy, these new guns will be used against us with a new law that basically kills most airguns for us. I also believe air gun suppressors will be banned in the process, which like the gun in this article are already technically illegal but not enforced. So I think the popular PCP guns, possibly most air guns, will be ruined step by step like AR’s in Calif are now.
    Btw, technically air guns are illegal to shoot in many places as is. I live in SoCal and cannot legally shoot them anywhere near me except a gun range, not even in my basement. So as mentioned, baby steps already in effect….
    I wonder if the NRA or anyone will fight air gun laws? I have my checkbook ready if they are…

    • mrparker1

      Check out NJ laws. They’re regulated as firearms and you need that unconstitutional Firearms Owners Card.
      They not only register firearms but owners too.

    • Cahal

      In N.Ireland the U.K. 12ftlb limit does not apply but all air rifles require a licence.Scotland has or is soon to introduce a licensing system for sub 12ftlb air rifles. Handguns are still legal in N.I. though club membership and a licence are required.
      In England and Wales each police force may interpret the laws differently. The 2 most common problems seem to be differing approaches to what is a suitable calibre for ‘intended use’ and suppressors, some forces almost rubber stamping the process and others maintaing a’ many hoops’ approach.

      • Jako

        Scotland did have a jackass who shot and killed a child with an air rife, which is what sent them down the licensing path.

    • Sean Heihn

      Have you seen those .357, .44 and .50 airguns, they have as much muzzle energy as a .45ACP, and they can be bought without a background check. No one needs that kind of power, criminals can walk into any sporting goods store and buy one. Think of the children, ban assault airguns.

  • air or bust

    by this logic, if the succeed in expanding this to include all self loading air guns, won’t airsoft guns soon join the banned list? the hobby is really popular in the UK, so I imagine that wouldn’t go over well.

    • This was my first thought as well.

    • Billy Jack

      “The threat of authentic looking weapons cannot be tolerated. Pretending to have a weapon is a dangerous activity”

    • Phil Ward

      You already have to have a reason to buy them, so membership and attendance of an air soft club/site. Not too far off a ban. We had “a lot” of crimes with chavs using cheap springer pistols to hold places up.
      Although I’ve never seen _stats_, just anecdotes…

  • will_ford

    In the state of Illinois, If you have a bb-pellet rifle or pistol that shoots over 660 fps it is supposed to be registered just like 22 rifle.

  • Benjamin Goldstein

    Hell, in Australia now, get too many speeding, parking tickets, drink driving tickets, No seat belt tickets and your banned from owning firearms .. Our politicians will do anything to just stop us from owning firearms..

    • Fabian

      What firearm can you own in Australia?

      • pretty much only shotguns and single shot rifles.

        • Fabian

          Thanks

        • ostiariusalpha

          And lever actions. Australia is the Cuba of leverguns.

          • FarmerB

            And pump action rifles, but not pump action shotguns.

          • Tierlieb

            Except that the lat time I was there, they were quite busy prohibiting lever action shotguns like the Adler 110.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Lever action shotties are still Category B items, so any Adler 110 with a 5-round magazine is “fine” so to speak. It’s just that crazy high capacity 7-round model that they banned. Of course, that’s just until they decide to change the law by fiat again. ¯_(ツ)_/ ¯

      • Benjamin Goldstein

        Well you can still own a bit, But its Justifying the ownership.. Some states, you need 40 acres of land to own a air rifle or be a member of a shooting club… For instance, Air pistols are highly regulated and have to be on a highly restrictive license.. Costs about $500 a year to own a air pistol… They are very strict on “Sniper ” cartridges like 338 Lapua, Cheytac, etc.. Theres magazine limits… They are talking about banning leaver action again due to high capacity and speed of firing.. Im hopefully finding a new country soon..

        • Fabian

          Thanks. What a mess.

    • iksnilol

      Drunk drivers need everything thrown against them. Scum of the earth.

      • Benjamin Goldstein

        Personally, Id like to see drink drivers cars taken from them and sold with the money put towards rehab for victims.. But that puts me in the non caring right wing loony class here now..

    • Gusto

      Speeding and drunk driving are crimes that put others at risk

      Those people should not have guns

  • lamarlamar

    The Britt’s seem to be constantly cutting their own throats!

    • Well yeah, they can’t very well shoot themselves in the foot now can they.

  • albaby2

    So if an airgun is a firearm then I guess a water gun would be too. Next time they are in trouble, we’ll send them firearms from Toys R Us

    • Francisco Machado

      Keep in mind that David killed Goliath using a slingshot – and a slingshot just could be redefined as a ballistic missile launcher. In fact, in New Jersey: “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any
      gravity knife, switchblade knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, billy,
      blackjack, metal knuckle, sandclub, slingshot, cestus or similar leather
      band studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood,
      ballistic knife, without any explainable lawful purpose, is guilty of a
      crime of the fourth degree.”
      Note that Slingshot is in the list and that, to carry one, you have to have an explainable lawful purpose. I don’t live in New Jersey any more and I consider myself fortunate to have avoided getting caught transporting my guns out of the state. And my slingshot. Political office is as attractive to persons with pathological controlling personalities as playgrounds are to pædophiles.

  • myfordtruck

    crying shame

  • Buck

    Some day the German u boats might against set off the coast Britian . And the nation might again worry about invasion. Last time they did not have enough guns. So the American hunters and sportsmen donated guns to them and sent thousands accross the Atlantic to arm the home guard. After the war the govoner ment gathered the up an destroyed them. The people of Britain can’t be trusted to own fire arms. It’s a shame but this is what happens in most places governments gear the common people. Buck ??⚔?? 100% disabled Vietnam veteran Christian Right wing republican lifetime member NRA and friend to Israel

    • BigR

      Buck, I wish I had said that!!!!!!

      • Buck

        ? history. And I was just repeating it. Thank you. Buck ??⚔?? 100% disabled Vietnam veteran Christian Right wing republican lifetime member NRA and friend to Israel

      • Buck

        And as we both know history repeates it’s self. Buck ??⚔?? 100% disabled Vietnam veteran Christian Right wing republican lifetime member NRA and friend to Israel

  • David J. Stuehr

    The Liberals have been telling us that the NRA is paranoid and delusional and irrational. Liberals have repeatedly said they want commonsense gun control. they never define “commonsense” but the British model that Hillary Clinton looked to as a model for the US shows that they really do want them all. Including these stupid overpriced pellet pistols.

  • Fabian

    Mike B chose the freedom of Switzerland. Half of Britannia is trying to move to Switzerland.

    • Ron Angel

      In Switzerland EVERY house which has had a serving soldier
      or ex soldier MUST have a gun their army guns are stored at home not base camps. By law ammunition is kept and handed out by the government in time of crisis but there is nothing to prevent people illegally going over the various borders to the rest of Europe and buying it on black market and keeping it hidden. Any country trying to invade them would have a big problem with all that mountainous territory and people’s local knowledge, and burglaries are very rare…. My family is from a polish background and over 30 years ago I was in a polish owned hotel in central London finding an electrical fault. I told the husband and wife caretakers that the fault had to be in the basement behind the wall between two rooms as there was power on one side but not the other. We had been talking politics earlier and were to say in agreement. They then showed me a large wardrobe or cupboard moved hidden leavers and the whole thing swung out. Behind
      it was a small room with an electrical panel on the rear wall. The room was
      full of clothing racks with coat hangers on them stringed across the coat hangers were machine gun ammunition belts with 7.62 mm NATO rounds of all types with a tracer every 5 rounds! I asked what that lot was for! They said “when the revolution comes we will be ready for them!” I asked where the guns were and was told all equipment was kept at different locations in case one was discovered and they did not know any body else involved except one or two people or where other locations were the group having learned from wwII about security and informers. I did not notice any revolution in the UK, YET… so this stuff must still be around. I think the British police will have a big shock if things ever turn nasty. From this sort of thing and criminal groups which I understand are stockpiling stuff from war zones in Europe. So a few air weapons are the least of their worries, and a joke apart from the poor sports men that are not able to follow their hobby, because of a few idiots in the government.

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    North Yorkshire have always been the poster children of British law enforcement.

  • Wolfsbane

    Seems a shame the Germans have been defanged. They say the third times a charm.

  • RICH

    Excuse me while I go and throw up my dinner….! DISGUSTING ! !

  • PavePusher

    The Brits should be considered a failed-state Fascism at this point.

    • Jako

      “It Can’t Happen Here.”

      • BigR

        @disqus_4eYDHbQJc7:disqus
        Never say “It Can’t Happen Here!!! We can’t trust the “liberal damnocraps” not even with our Constitution. They’re mouths are watering at the idea of taking our guns away, much less a BB gun.!!! They are total disgraces and lie right to our faces(i.e. hildabeast clinton). We have to be constantly on guard against those azzholes!!!!!!!

        • Jako

          Just google “It Can’t Happen Here” and “It Happened Here”.

          There was a reason what I wrote was in quotes.

  • Billy Jack

    Slippery slope becomes a never-ending fall off a cliff. You do know that Swiss army knives and even a fork in your pocket is illegal in England right? Take every Los Angeles and NYC law on “weapons” that are lawful in most of the rest of the country and what you see going on in this article is where they will wind up. Folks like Bloomberg even look to the UK and Australia for ideas on how to get it done.

    • harrypagetflashman1

      sorry, not true about the swiss army knives…dont get me wrong, im not a fan of the uk firearms laws (apart from Northern Ireland) but dont believe everything you hear or read…if youre a lawman, you would be able to get a shotgun license by clicking your fingers, and a firearms certificate wouldnt be too much more difficult for you.
      as a side issue, if you are in law enforcement, wouldnt you be pleased that there were less firearms in the public domain for potentially the wrong people to get hold of?

  • Art Nickel

    This is a true case of the stupidity that drives the anti-gun freaks around the world.

    • Billy Jack

      They aren’t stupid or freaks and they run that nation and entire states in the US. They’re dangerous people and they’re politically astute. Treating them as a joke or without the respect a formidable adversary is due is how we wind up where we are today.

  • valorius

    A common $2000 airgun?

    • Billy Jack

      Guess we’re just peasants.

      • valorius

        LOL, i guess so.

        • Billy Jack

          I’ll just be here eating my gruel while they ride their diamond studded golden chariots to the palace for the ball.

    • Edeco

      Eh, it’s sad but if one weren’t distributing one’s shooting sports budget into self-contained metallic cartridges, range time, optics good for over 100 yards, and different platforms like rifles, big handguns, little handguns, and shotguns…

    • Tierlieb

      Limit the amount and type of guns you can own and the few guns you are allowed will all be pretty expensive.

  • tsubaka

    somewhere in france:
    “laughs at what happens over The Channel”
    “turn back stare at brussels”
    “stop laughing”
    ………..f*ck!
    Atleast it’s still better for gun rights at this side of the Channel
    …Yet

  • L. Roger Rich

    I feel for UK. Most of its residence are brainwashed anti-gun however. Thank god Hillary LOST in USA

  • LarryR

    We ran into the same thing here in Kansas (without any siezures) when our local school system decided that the Daisy B-B Guns we had been using in the small gymnasium for training, practice and competitions for over 30 years, without incident, were no longer allowed because they were in violation of their weapons policy. After all local appeals failed, it literally took an act of congress (in the State) to fix the problem. We used language from Illinois (surprisingly) that classified air guns with a projectile not larger than .19 caliber or having a muzzle velocity greater than 750 feet per second as “non-weapons” in a bill that we passed last year. Problem solved. The UK needs to adopt the same approach.

  • Billy Jack

    You weren’t complaining in WW uno or deuce. How was that Lend Lease? Work out for you okay? Now that the first cold war is over you’re getting a little big for your britches? Let’s just tally your share of that NATO bill for ya…

    • Phil Ward

      Sorry, I appear to have accidentally offended. What I meant is, we’ve bought quite a weapon system off the US where the maintenance (and in some cases the keys) are still US owned. Which is a pretty sad state of affairs for a once great nation.
      I think we finally paid off lend lease in the last ten years or so?
      Do we actually pay our fair share of NATO, somehow I doubt it…

      • Billy Jack

        Thought you meant some US weapons systems were on the fritz. NATO is just an easy knife to turn on Europeans 😉

        • Phil Ward

          Nah, British MOD purhcasing was massively on the fritz!
          I wonder how long it’ll take this stupid case to get thrown out and the importer to get his gear back!

    • harrypagetflashman1

      yawn…no we didnt complain, nor did you that you ended up having to fight on someone elses continent and not your own…you know hitler wasnt planning on stopping at the uk don’t you? that would have been a barrel of laughs for uncle sam, nazis on the eastern seaboard, the ija on the west, with inexperienced troops…

  • E Wolfe

    What part of an air gun functions as a firearm? Fire, arm? An air gun is not a firearm, anymore than a crossbow is a firearm. This action on the part of the police is abject stupidity, arrogance and malicious abuse of police powers.

  • ozzallos .

    It’ll be deemed illegal. Because bureaucracy. It’s easier.

  • Vorant

    A spitball would hurt worse, geez

  • BigR

    I’m so glad we kicked the “british” azzholes out of the colonies! God bless our Forefathers!! The Brits would have lost two World Wars if we hadn’t gone over there and saved their azzes twice!!!! When the japs bombed Pearl Harbor, Churchill said he finally got a full nights sleep!

    • harrypagetflashman1

      another div that doesnt realise that hitler was coming to the states if the uk got invaded…if anyone saved anyones ass it was the russians, they lost TWENTY MILLION people fighting the germans, learn your history before you open your mouth and look an idiot…

  • BigR

    You have my sympathy!!! And, I mean that with all my heart!!!!

  • Sandy McNab

    The peasants should without questioning obey their masters. The masters knows what is good for their subjects.

  • misterrabbit

    Once saw a movie where only the Government owned guns……..think it was Schindlers List.

  • Not even a little!

  • Core

    Well that’s a horrible waste of resources.

  • harrypagetflashman1

    no, where did i say ONLY coppers can get guns, all i said was you’ll find it easier than your average citizen…plus if you read my post again i said im not a fan of uk gun laws…read what i said, not what you thought i said, or what you wanted me to say…

  • harrypagetflashman1

    saving our asses till the present day? youre tapped mate, what invasions of the uk has america stopped? the battle of britain was done, finished, kaput by the time pearl harbour happened…the first major reverse the nazis suffered was el alamein, again before us ground forces had joined in the war… it was a well known fact that the germans were going for the us after they had invaded the uk…as for the u boats going for shipping off the american coast, not nice, but nothing compared to the blitz…now who has ‘spotty historical knowledge’? have a nice day…

    • By October 1942, the United States had been at war with Germany for nearly a year, yet American ground forces still hung back from the field. And in North Africa, where British and commonwealth troops had been locked since March 1941 in a deadly tango with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps, the British Eighth Army had its back to the proverbial wall. Rommel and his Italian allies had their sights trained on Cairo—and beyond that the Suez Canal and vital British oil fields in the Middle East.

      As the Eighth Army, under Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery, dug in along the Alamein Line, a blasted stretch of desert just 60 miles west of Alexandria, Egypt, the United States was helping as it could. The Sherman tanks and self-propelled guns that U.S. Army chief of staff General George C. Marshall had promised to British prime minister Winston Churchill were finally arriving, giving Allied tankers something like parity against German panzers. Overhead, 100 American-made fighters and medium bombers had joined the assault on Axis troops, airfields, and communication lines.

      And in the desert five young Americans were putting their lives on the line as platoon leaders with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. In June 1941, frustrated by their government’s unwillingness to enter the fray, they had committed to the Allied cause all of America they could command: themselves. They had survived crossing the North Atlantic in a convoy, trained for nine months in England and been commissioned second lieutenants, and had traveled by merchant vessel and troopship to the theater of war. After nearly two more months of acclimatization and training, of flies in their tea and dust nearly everywhere, they at last found themselves poised for combat.

      • harrypagetflashman1

        brother i aint knocking you, them doughboys and gis are heroes to me, but all this ‘we saved your ass’ is ignorant bullshit, we saved EACH OTHERS ASS from a global threat…

  • Henry Servatt

    ” (I)t is disappointing that North Yorkshire police are spending valuable time on the scourge of two-grand glorified BB guns.” – – BIG 10-4 there, good buddy, and a WHALE of a lesson to us Yanks if we let our rights go under incrementally!!!