Government dismisses MP calls for air rifle safety rethink after Hartcliffe shooting

A call has been made for Parliament to debate the future safety of air rifles following an incident in which a toddler was shot in the head in south Bristol.

During Business Questions in the House of Commons (20 April) Labour MP Karin Smyth asked Ministers for an opportunity to rethink current legislation by debating what measures the government can put in place to improve air rifle safety. She cited the possible introduction of compulsory trigger locks as one means of preventing further incidents.

“I recently met with the father of toddler Harry Studley, who Honourable members may recall reading about – he was the toddler shot in the head with an air rifle in south Bristol last July,” she said.

“Harry’s dad impressed me with his resilience in the face of adversity – he told me Harry is doing well – but also with his determination that as a nation we should learn from the incident.

“Can we have a debate about what measures the government can put in place to improve air rifle safety – for example the introduction of compulsory trigger locks on these lethal weapons?”

Responding for the government, David Lidington MP told Karin Smyth the current government has no plans to introduce further restrictions on “low-powered air weapons”, indicating this is because misuse only applies to a “small minority of people”.

Toddler Harry Studley was shot in the head with an air rifle in July 2016, with the incident and subsequent court cases receiving widespread news coverage.

 

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