9th June 2016 – A police force is said to have commissioned a video of a MARS action rifle and a lever release rifle being fired alongside a true semi-auto rifle – and is putting the frighteners on shooters wanting to buy these rifles, a source has claimed.
Update: Because some hard-of-thinking folk are posting this on certain shooting forums as if it was definitive proof of an upcoming ban, let’s be clear: It is no such thing. You can believe the anonymous source or you can disbelieve him, but this is not a formal proposal to/by Parliament or a proper document from a police force, which are the two main indicators of an actual ban coming up.
The source – who did not want to be named, and would not name the police force involved – alleged that his local firearms licensing manager (FLM) had asked him to make the video and that it will be passed to NABIS, the National Ballistics Intelligence Service
He said that the FLM wanted the video because NABIS, the police lobby group pushing for ever more restrictions on lawful shooting and firearms ownership, is about to start pushing for a ban on lever-release and MARS action rifles.
The source also claimed that the unnamed police force in question is issuing warnings to anyone applying for a variation for lever release or MARS rifles, telling them there may be ‘problems’ at a later date. The clear implication is that shooters should avoid buying these rifles because the police want to ban them and want to evade paying compensation for lawfully-owned property that is seized.
UK Shooting News is unable to verify the source’s allegations or find evidence to corroborate them, though it is certainly plausible that NABIS might be hungry for a new target. It is important to note that these claims are from a single unverified source, and should be treated as such.
Lever release rifles were an ingenious technical solution to the problem caused by the 1988 ban on self-loading rifles. The mechanism of the lever-release rifle means it unloads itself automatically but stops short of reloading – that is, chambering a new cartridge. In the popular Southern Gun Company design a lever by the operator’s thumb allows the bolt to be released, manually chambering a fresh round.
The MARS (Manually Activated Release System) action achieves much the same thing but is released by repeated trigger pressures. One press of the trigger fires a shot; the second releases the working parts ready for the next round.
UKSN understands the police hate these action types but cannot find an administrative route to implement a backdoor ban, or get the Home Office interested in banning them – for now.
Lead image: a Southern Gun Company 9mm lever-release, borrowed from the SGC website. UKSN’s author has shot one of these and considered selling off a kidney to buy it outright.