Should the use of air guns be licensed in the UK because 1000 cats are shot by them every year?

Air gun
Air gun
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’ve just written article about Kaleb Brooks, and 8-year-old a cat lover in the USA, who volunteers at his local rescue centre. His generous behaviour and respect for animals is at the opposite end of the spectrum to the mindless thugs who take enjoyment in shooting cats with airguns or crossbows in the UK. I am not suggesting that American kids are better than British kids. Of course I am not. I am simply throwing up two contrasting types of behavior.

A survey by the British Veterinary Association informs us that 40% of its members had reported treating cats with airgun or crossbow injuries. An air gun is a pellet gun or BB gun.

This year the RSPCA reports that there have already been 79 airgun attacks. In 2014 there were 932.

Martin Meighan in Lancashire says, “nobody can understand who would do this or why.” He’s referring to his cat who suffered a broken jaw and damage to his tongue having been shot by an idiot with an airgun.

Kitten shot with air gun has a lucky escape

The president, John Blackwell, of the British Veterinary Association says that anyone using an airgun must be aware of its potential for serious injury. He urges parents to educate their children about their use. Once again this is about education and, dare I say, poor parenting.

In the wrong hands, and believe me there are many ‘wrong hands’ in the UK, airguns can cause a lot of damage to a cat or dog (and a person, incidentally) but it is usually cats who are shot judging by the media reports. This is probably because cats are allowed to roam freely whereas dogs are usually on leashes so the owner is in attendance.

Airguns are classified as firearms but in the UK people don’t need licenses for them. There may be an argument that some sort of licensing system is set up for their use. However, I would be very surprised if that ever happened.

It is important that only people who are sensible with a modicum amount of education should be allowed to use airguns. Respect for animals must be inculcated into kids at an early age. If parents can’t do it them schools should.

It is my understanding that there have been almost no prosecutions for shooting a cat with an air gun. Why? This is not good enough. The police don’t take this crime seriously enough.

[Note: it is not clear how many of the 1000 shootings relate to air guns or crossbows but it appears there are many more air gun attacks and most often on cats.]

3 thoughts on “Should the use of air guns be licensed in the UK because 1000 cats are shot by them every year?”

  1. I’m assuming that an air gun is pretty much the same as what we call a BB gun here, where pellets are dispersed by a force of air.
    I hate those things. They have the potential to kill very small animals, like squirrels, and seriously injure larger animals like cats.
    I don’t think that there are any regulations here, either, that doesn’t prevent a 10 year old from using one.
    But, what kind of parent equips their children with weapons? That’s the real question.
    I never allowed even toy weapons with my kids. But, I lived in a time of peace and love (hippie).
    It’s a different world now.
    But, I still remember how to “BITCH-SLAP” idiot parents!

  2. I still for the life of me don’t understand how ‘air-rifles’ or any item replicating a similar ‘real weapon’ is acceptable nowadays in any society in any country. Why is it acceptable? And to licence it even crazier as they clearly cause real damage and distress.
    Something that is a legalised weapon, posing as a toy is still an item that will always be attractive to kids for many reasons.
    And all the poor defensless animals that have a ‘pop’ taken at them will continue to suffer until the authorities ban them completely.
    The statistics for injuries to Uk cats from these alone is dismal, how sad.

  3. I’m in ban guns groups, there is no reason for ordinary people, especially young ones to have possession of a gun!
    Animals and birds are injured or killed by idiots too many times, but also people and children have been shot ‘by mistake’
    Weapons are bad news and frightening!
    In our own little town a whole lot of them have been stolen from an empty house, our Police tell us:
    ‘Air rifles and ornamental knives stolen from a burglary which occured overnight between the 8th and 9th February. Some of the air rifles are gas powered , while others are standard air rifles. Also various ornamental knives and crossbows were taken during the burglary’
    What were all those weapons doing there? Who did they belong to? What are the thieves planning to do with them?
    They should never have been available in the first place to whoever left them there!


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