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12/12/01
RSPCA Airgun Bill receives second reading

Shocking stories of animals suffering at the hands of airgun hooligans were revealed last week as the RSPCA asks MPs to support a new bill to clamp down on the use of these weapons.

Kent MP Jonathan Shaw (Lab, Aylesford and Chatham) was launching a Private Member's Bill calling for the legal age at which youngsters can be allowed unsupervised use of low-powered airguns to be raised from 14 to 18. Jonathan Shaw was also working with the Society to establish a licensing system for such weapons.

The RSPCA has investigated 780 airgun attacks on animals across England and Wales between September 2000 and 2001, but fears this figure is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Society is also calling for the introduction of licensing so that all airgun owners have a certificate outlining their reasons for owning a gun and their competency in using the weapon.

Jonathan Shaw's Firearms (Amendment) Bill will received its Second Reading in the House of Commons on November 30th.