• Offensive Weapons Bill

    09 July 2018

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about the Offensive Weapons Bill.
    I am determined to ensure more work is done to break the deadly cycle of violence that devastates the lives of individuals, families and communities. I know the Government shares my determination and is taking action to ensure the sale and possession of dangerous weapons is prevented.
    I welcome the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy to help tackle recent increases in serious violence. This Government action supports a multiple strand approach including robust law enforcement, early intervention and prevention.
    A key element of the Government’s strategy is the Offensive Weapons Bill. The Bill contains a package of measures to update and strengthen the law on the sale of corrosive substances, ban the delivery of knives and corrosives bought online to residential addresses and ban the possession of weapons including zombie knives, knuckle dusters and death stars both in public and private. The Bill will also make it harder for young people to buy knives and acid online.
    I note your concerns regarding the measure in the Bill to prohibit civilian possession of high energy rifles. I believe it is important to remember that these are incredibly powerful weapons which could cause unthinkable public harm if they were to get into the wrong hands. I understand that these guns are more powerful than standard British Army rifles, have a range of several miles and can, with certain ammunition, breach the body armour worm to protect soldiers in combat.
    I was particularly concerned to hear that these dangerous weapons have on occasion fallen into the wrong hands. A .50 calibre rifle was stolen from the home of a licensed holder of firearms last year and in another case, a licensed owner of weapons including a .50 calibre rifle was involved in the firearms and ammunition supply chain of an organised crime gang in the West Midlands.
    I firmly believe that the Government has a duty to safeguard the public and to take action in this area.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General