Safe handling of air guns

Guidance on safe handling and storage of air guns and air rifles.


Air weapons: a brief guide to safety

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This leaflet is a guide to using and storing your air gun safely and responsibly.

It outlines the law on air weapons and explains what you can do to be a responsible user. Before you start using your air weapon, you should read this leaflet and familiarise yourself with its contents.

For the purposes of this leaflet, references to air weapons include air pistols, air guns and air rifles.

On 31 July 2023, a Statutory Instrument will clarify the ‘reasonable precautions’ air weapons owners must take to safely store air weapons away from children. Whenever under 18s are present, air weapons must be stored securely, out of sight, and separately from ammunition.

Published 16 February 2011
Last updated 20 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated the postal address for the British Shooting Sports Council.

  2. Updated the leaflet to inform holders of air weapons that the law on air weapons safety will change on 31 July 2023 when the Statutory Instrument will come into effect.

  3. Updated the information in the leaflet in line with a new Statutory Instrument.

  4. Updated to add accessible html version of the leaflet.

  5. Revised guidance published.

  6. First published.