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UPDATE - HSE Consultation on Lead Ammunition Restriction: Implications and Responses

Updated: Apr 30

Lead Ammunition Restriction: HSE Opens Public Consultation

In a significant development for outdoor enthusiasts and shooting enthusiasts, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has initiated a public consultation in 2023 regarding revised restrictions on the use of lead ammunition in England, Wales, and Scotland. The proposed changes aim to address environmental and safety concerns associated with lead ammunition use.

Summary of Proposed Restrictions

The proposed restrictions are as follows:

  1. Lead Airgun Pellets: Fortunately, no restrictions are currently proposed for lead airgun pellets. This marks a positive shift in the direction of regulation, as the previous proposal for restrictions has been dropped.

  2. Lead Shot for Live Quarry and Target Shooting: The consultation suggests a potential ban within five years, contingent on the consultation outcome. This decision emphasizes the commitment to preserving the environment and minimizing health risks.

  3. Rifle Ammunition for Live Quarry Shooting: At present, no restrictions are proposed. However, this stance may be subject to change depending on the consultation's outcome. The concern here relates to potential secondary poisoning.

  4. Rifle Ammunition for Target Shooting: The use of lead ammunition for target shooting may continue on approved ranges, provided that appropriate mitigation measures for lead removal are in place. This proposal includes a two-year grace period to allow alternative ranges to adapt.

Socio-Economic Implications

These proposals are currently open for a 60-day public consultation, which will close on December 10, 2023. This consultation is critical as it seeks to strike a balance between environmental protection and the interests of shooting enthusiasts.

  • Airgun Industry Implications: It is expected that these proposed restrictions may encourage some shotgun and rifle owners to consider transitioning to air rifles as a viable alternative.

  • Firearms Certificate (FAC) Owners: FAC owners will still have the option to purchase high-power air rifles however the Social-Economical issues outlined in the next point may be cause for concern of these certificate holders.

  • Social and Economic Challenges: The current social and economic challenges faced by Registered Firearms Dealers (RFDs) are notable. Many RFDs are grappling with tough restrictions and market uncertainties, which may make moving to unlicensed Sub-16 Joule (England's Standard) power level air rifles a more appealing option than investing in FAC weapons. It is crucial to consider the decreasing value of FAC weapons as they cannot be easily removed from ownership, leading to poor resale value.

To participate in the consultation and voice your opinion, please use the online survey form provided by the HSE. Although the survey contains technical questions, you can submit your response via the general comments section at the end of the form. If your response exceeds the 2,500-character word limit, you have the option to upload your comments as a Word document.


For further information on the objectives of the study and the proposed outcomes, visit the HSE consultation page here.

These proposed restrictions aim to address environmental and safety concerns while taking into account the interests and challenges faced by shooting enthusiasts and industry stakeholders. Your input can make a difference in shaping these regulations for the future.


Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments below.


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חבר/ה לא ידוע/ה
15 באוק׳ 2023

I wish the guy begging for the free coffe and preporting to be the blog writer would tag on his name?

lead has been used with water from pre Roman times plumbers and sheet lead workers rarely get sick from years of exposure but it’s the usual confused mob who want everything banned that they can get their sites on.

you will probably find the people behind these proposals with very big financial interests in some other substitute metal or mineral.

just like the wind farm rubbish air source boilers etc electric cars all proper cobblers but carefully disguised in saving the planet for the rich to have all to themselves.

People are so easily taken for fools by this…

לייק

חבר/ה לא ידוע/ה
15 באוק׳ 2023

I agree with the lead water pipe comments,as in America they have started replacing all the lead water pipes to plastic but over here we'll leave them in place and worry about lead ammunition as that's a cost / problem for the user... until they have a budget inplace to replace all the lead... bit like the "you don't need to wear mask's there's no evidence they work" until they have enough stock then it's mandatory..

לייק

Everyone's worried about lead in the food chain but we still drink water running through decaying lead pipes.

לייק

חבר/ה לא ידוע/ה
14 באוק׳ 2023

To have a clean kill without suffering to your quarry at this time there is no alternative to lead. Others options have performance issues at sub 12 power levels for accuracy & distance. Having tried them I do not fully trust their capabilities for hunting live quarry.

לייק

Alloy will never be a viable alternative to lead for air gun use, there are far better alternatives but the cost of these are probably not viable either. Lead is the only way forward, the concerns over lead are a nonsens, we’ve all been drinking water pumped through lead pipes for decades but no health issues have been attributed to lead poisoning from drink water, secondary poisoning from lead pellets is just scare mongerin, show me the evidence of this? Let’s just invoke some common sense here…. But then if common sense was common everyone would have it.

לייק

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