Royal Mail proposes postal gun ban

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29 August 2012
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The Royal Mail are proposing to ban the posting of firearms, guns and component parts, in a move that could damage businesses and inconvenience collectors across the country. ...

The Royal Mail are proposing to ban the posting of firearms, guns and component parts, in a move that could damage businesses and inconvenience collectors across the country.

Royal Mail says it is consulting on changes to its terms and conditions that will ensure that they are consistent with relevant firearms legislation. Royal Mail is proposing that all firearms, including guns for sporting use, as well as their component parts, are prohibited under its terms and conditions.

The plans were outlined in a consultation document last month. If the proposals are passed, collectors and traders will no longer be able to use Royal Mail services to send firearms or related parts, including those that are not regulated by current firearms legislation.

Under the proposals, Parcelforce Worldwide, which is part of the Royal Mail Group, and other carriers would continue to carry firearms and component parts but only between Registered Firearms Dealers.

The consultation document states that Royal Mail is concerned as it is unable to guarantee the safe custody of firearms during carriage within the meaning of section 14 (1) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988. It says that in order to provide safe custody it would be required to set up a dedicated handling system and conveyance pipeline.

However, the legislation does not refer to a guarantee, it refers to ‘reasonable precautions’ for the safe custody of firearms and ammunition.

The BASC is fighting the proposals which were outlined in a consultation document launched last month.

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The BASC has spoken out to condemn the proposals. Christopher Graffius, director of communications, said: “These proposals are quite ridiculous. Guns have been efficiently and effectively carried in the post for years. We are unaware of any occasions when this has led to crimes being committed and we find it extraordinary that a law abiding section of society should be discriminated against by a public service in this way.”

Following a meeting with Royal Mail to discuss the plans, Matthew Perring, BASC’s firearms and explosives officer, said: “We hope Royal Mail now has a better understanding of firearms legislation and an understanding of shooting sports. They learned something from the meeting and were grateful for the information. Royal Mail has stated that it expects the impact of these proposals on customers to be minimal. I told the meeting there are more than one million people who shoot in the UK and that these proposals, if they go ahead, will have a significant impact on them.

"I explained that many people who shoot live in the countryside and rely on the post instead of travelling long distances to take guns for repair or to buy accessories. They were also told that there would be a knock-on effect on people’s businesses and livelihoods.”

Keep an eye on our news pages for developments as they happen.