The sad story of 13-year-old George Atkinson is one that seems to pop up again and again in the national headlines of the UK news with Red Key Locksmiths. The story first came up in July of 1999 and would resurface again 17 years later as debate rages over a controversial bill. In 1999 the then barely a teenager George Atkinson died when an air pellet gun accidentally went off and shot him in the head. This tragedy gripped the nation, but the story finds seemingly unexpected life again when Labour MP David Hanson publicly warned that the same type of accident can still take place. Air pellet guns are still seen as different from other firearms.
Hanson is proposing that the national laws need to be changed to encourage air guns to be seen in the same way as full firearms. He wants the law to require them to be placed in metal gun cabinets that are locked when not in use. This is the requirement for other firearms and he wants the law expanded, so the circumstances that led to George’s accidental death are less likely to occur again.
The general policy on firearms in the United Kingdom starts with the potential danger that comes from them, and because of that danger, the state accepts the need to protect the general public. Gun ownership is considered a privilege, not a right, in the UK and because of that, they have some of the toughest laws regulating and controlling firearms in the world. This would be another step to build on top of that policy and that legacy.
General licensing only can be granted through the police, and it is actually up to the citizens to prove that they deserve the right to own a firearm and that they would likely use it consistently. However, the loophole for air pellet guns comes with the fact that the low-powered air weapons are not included in that list. They are not licensed unless they are pointed out as being particularly dangerous for some reason.
There’s no denying that it is generally assumed that it is up to the firearms owners to take all the steps they can in order to securely store the guns so they’re not just out in the open and available for anybody to access. A fully metal and locked gun cabinet is a great way to make sure that they are put away, and then that cabinet (or go all out with a heavy gun safe) should be bolted to the floor so it can’t be lifted, stolen, or moved. That increases the overall security and shows a proper responsibility. This not only helps keeps guns out of the hands of children or individuals who should not have access to them within a residential dwelling, but it also makes it harder for thieves to make off with them.
The emphasis on safety is crucial to make everything work, and individuals absolutely need to make sure they are in compliance with the law. Don’t worry if there’s a situation where you can’t get into the safe or cabinet. Getting new keys, or getting the box or safe open isn’t an issue as you can call a professional locksmith and get the situation resolved. Always better to be safe than sorry.