Air Rifles & Air Pistols

Many youngsters first learn to shoot using air pistols and air rifles and, unfortunately, incorrect or illegal use of these guns is what most people hear about them. Through the development of our indoor facility we are hoping to be able to offer an introduction to the sport in a safe & disciplined manner. We are happy to welcome anyone interested in airgun shooting and we take this discipline seriously.

Safe Storage of Airguns

Because of recent amendments to the law, designed particularly to prevent accidental discharge of this guns (often with disastrous consequences) it is now an offence to allow anyone under the age of 18 unauthorised access to any type of airgun.  This change in the law means anyone who owns an airgun must ensure it is secured when not in use.  The law requires owners to take steps to prevent someone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to an airgun. Reasonable measures can includeattaching it to a fixed object using a security cord, a chain or similar device, or locking it out of sight. Airguns should be stored within the occupied part of a building and never in a garage or shed where there is no regular presence to check that they remain secure.

Airguns should always be unloaded when stored and pellets should also be kept out of reach.  It is an offence for people under the age of 18 to buy airgun pellets but owners should also realise that simply keeping guns and pellets separate is not sufficient safe storage a person under the age of 18 could be in possession of pellets at the time they gain unauthorised access to an airgun. 

Airgun Power and the Law

Air rifles which have a power output of less than 12ft/lb are available without the need for a licence for people over the age of 18. For air pistols there is a lower power limit of 6ft/lb.  Airguns which have higher power outputs than these are classed as ‘Section 1’ firearms.  Owners of airguns should never try to improve the power output of an air weapon. The onus is on the gun owner to ensure that it does not exceed those power levels. If the gun does exceed those levels, even if the owner is completely unaware of the fact, then the owner is guilty of illegal possession of a firearm. If you have an airgun which you believe could be high powered then you should seek advice from a registered firearms dealer or airgun dealer who can have it checked for you.  

General Airgun Safety:

  • always point an airgun in a safe direction, preferably down at the ground, and never point it at another person
  • always treat an airgun as though it were loaded
  • never load an airgun until you are ready to fire it
  • never fire an airgun unless you are certain the shot will be safe.

This means that you should always check that no person or thing could be endangered by the shot.  You should ensure that there is a suitable backstop or a pellet catcher to catch pellets and thus prevent ricochets

  • never rely on a safety catch to make an airgun safe.  They are not 100% reliable.
  • never put a loaded airgun down. Always unload and decock or safely discharge it first.
  • never store a cocked or loaded airguns
  • airguns should be stored and secured out of sight and separately from pellets