§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement regarding his definition and understanding of the use of the expression class of firearm in relation to the civilian use of firearms on ranges either constructed, maintained or approved by his Department;
(2) on what dates and for what calibre of firearms his Department granted or amended range safety certificates 499W for ranges at (a) Dunmore shooting centre, Abingdon, (b) Berkshire Downs Firearms and Ballistics Company and (c) Wiltshire shooting centre, Devizes, Wiltshire.
§ Mr. Freeman
The expression "class of firearm" accepted by my Department is as set out in the current Firearms Act and in the Firearms (Amendment) Bill. Range safety certificates have been issued as follows:
- a. To Dunmore shooting centre, Abingdon on 18 August 1986 for 0.455in centre fire weapons;
- b. To Berkshire Downs Firearms and Ballistics Company (now known as the Lambourn Valley gun club) on 11 May 1987 for centre fire pistol and rim fire rifle 0.455in calibre weapons;
- c. To Wiltshire shooting centre, Devizes, initially on 19 September 1983 for 0.455in pistol on the 25m range and 0.455in rifle and pistol on the 100m range. This was amended on 8 April 1985 to increase the calibre for both ranges to 0.8in; on 10 September 1985 to permit single shot firing of 0.5in maching gun into a special bullet catcher from a fixed breach block on the 100m range; on 22 May 1986 to include handheld and tripod mounted automatic weapons on the 100m range; on 6 February 1987 to allow firing of 0–5in Browning machine gun in the automatic mode on the 100m range; and finally on 19 June 1987 to permit a 20m Hispano Suiza cannon to be fired on the 100m range.
MOD range certificates and inspections cover only the safety of range structures and the adequacy of safety rules.