Petition Calls For Tighter Gun Controls

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Petition calls for tighter gun controls
10th May 2018

By Karen Pickwick
Cats Protection has delivered a 100,000-signature petition to 10 Downing Street calling for a change in the law on air gun ownership in England and Wales.
 
The petition is part of a major campaign by the charity for legislation on air guns to be brought in line with stricter regulation that already exists in other parts of the UK. Along with more than 50,000 supporters, the charity has also written to the Home Office calling for air gun licensing as part of a government review.
 
Cats Protection’s chairman, Linda Upson, delivered the petition to Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday (Wednesday).
 
The charity’s head of advocacy & government relations, Jacqui Cuff, said current laws in England and Wales meant there were not sufficient safeguards to stop air guns falling into the wrong hands.
 
“We know that 90% of reported air gun attacks on cats happen in England and Wales, and it’s no coincidence that these are the parts of the country where licensing of air guns is not in place,” she said. “Laws on air guns in Scotland and Northern Ireland are much tighter, and we believe this should apply for the whole of the UK.  
 
“Cats who are shot with air guns can suffer horrific and often fatal injuries. We have heard stories of cats losing eyes, limbs and being left with life-changing injuries as a result of such attacks. Often owners are unaware of why their cat is injured until a veterinary x-ray shows air gun pellets embedded into their flesh.
 
“In the wrong hands, air guns are deadly weapons, and updating the laws relating to them is well overdue in England and Wales. Our petition of 100,000 people shows that a huge number of people agree that action must be taken urgently.” 
 
In 2017, 164 cats in the UK were reported in the press as being shot with an air gun.