Government considers tightening crossbow laws

The government has launched a call for evidence to consider whether crossbow laws should be strengthened.

Currently, it is illegal for anyone under 18 purchase or possess a crossbow. Anyone who carries a crossbow in public without a reasonable excuse could face a four year prison sentence.

A call for evidence has been launched to ask whether these laws are enough. If the law were to be strengthened, measures could include a licensing scheme to protect public safety police checks for anyone looking to purchase a crossbow. This would mean that crossbows are policed under regulations similar to that of firearms.

Crossbow incidents are rare, with the statistics showing that there were fewer than 10 homicides by crossbow between 2011 and 2021.

The plans are part of government aims to reduce violence.

Safeguarding Minister, Laura Farris said: "Crossbows are used rarely in violent crime in this country but they can be highly dangerous.

"We’re doing all we can to ensure we have the appropriate measures in place against any risks these potentially dangerous weapons may pose.

"I encourage the public and those in the industry to come forward to share their views so we can have the most accurate picture and take any necessary action to keep our streets safe."

The announcement comes after former home secretary Priti Patel commissioned a review on controls following the incident at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day in 2021. A 19-year-old man was arrested on the grounds, allegedly carrying a crossbow. Jaswant Singh Chail was sentenced to nine years in prison with a further five years on extended licence.

The call for evidence will run for eight weeks.


Image by Umer Saud from Pixabay


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