So, the proposed removal of lead from game shooting cartridges within five years has got you in a panic. Not so fast! Take a deep breath and examine, with me, the options we have now and the possibilities for the future of our old guns.
When four star petrol was removed from sale in 2000, concessions in the legislation allowed for 0.5% of fuel sales to be leaded petrol, for ‘characteristic’ vehicles. The sale of this is restricted to members of the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs. It means that if you have a car that really cannot be converted to run on unleaded fuel, you can keep it on the road.
The rationale is that so few of these vehicles are being used that their accumulated effect on public health is so small as to be irrelevant. I think a similar concession should be made for users of pre-WWII British shotguns. Perhaps they could be limited to cartridges sold in 2½ (65mm) cases. A certificate of the veracity of the age of the gun being used could be produced and endorsed and sales limited to 1,000 shells per annum per person. That is a solution I will be promoting in the coming years. I’m not convinced I’ll be successful.
Remember, we have five years to carry on as usual before the proposal to stop shooting game with lead begins. If we are planning to join the phase out, what are our options today?
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