Originally posted by Hugh Neal
On top of that, there is serious talk from the UK Government that they want to increase the licencing requirements for air guns to the same level as shot guns. This will make a majority of .177 and .22 air weapons illegal (anything with over 12lb/ft already requires a full Firearms certificate). Basicallly the only kind of gun permitted fairly readily in the UK is a single or double barrelled shotgun - and to get one of these you need to have "good reason" (farmer or clay pigeon shooter) and be subject to a couple of police home checks - at least that was how it was before the 1996 total handgun ban - TommyT can no doubt confirm any changes.
Oh - and another thing - the UK is due to host the 2012 Olympic games; none of the Modern Pentathalon events can be held here, as they require .22 pistol shooting; fullbore pistols of all types are completely illegal here, so I don't know how they are going to deal with events including shooting.
Hugh is correct. To get a shotgun licence in the UK, the police first have to carry out full criminal record checks and visit the person in his home. Anyone wishing to have a shotgun will need good reason. Regular licencing spot checks are also carried out after a licence has been issued to ensure compliance with legislation regarding storage and security at the premises.
As for the pentahlon events at the 2012 Olympics, Hugh raises an interesting question. I don't know what they have planned. I do know that British competitors for these events have had to train outside the UK, in Europe, prior to competition.