Air rifle shooting is a hugely popular sport and there are around 4 million air rifles in the UK alone. Here are a few facts and figures from the British Association of Shooting and Conservation.
The law makes no distinction between air rifles and more powerful guns for which a license is needed; they are all classed as firearms. Users of air rifles that are more powerful than 12 ft lb must hold a firearm certificate.
Using an air rifle on private land or water without permission is armed trespass and carries severe penalties, whether the gun is loaded or not, or whether or not you are carrying pellets.
It is an offence to fire an air rifle pellet beyond the land on which you have permission to shoot—unless the occupier of the neighbouring land has also given you permission.
Live quarry shooters must remember that the species they can shoot are limited by the law and the effective power of the air rifle being used. Shooters must ensure their air rifle is powerful enough to achieve a clean kill and must not attempt shots at over 30 metres. For more information on shooting live quarry see the BASC website www.basc.org.uk.