The following was issued as a Press Release by GCN on 26 August 2008

The tragic shooting of the toddler Rashid Rullah highlights once again the terrible consequences of the ‘boys’ toys’ culture surrounding airgun ownership. This culture results in easy access, casual regard and non-accountability.

Because airguns are not treated as ‘real’ weapons they are not thought worthy of registration or regulation.  They are not taken seriously.

Yet they are responsible for around half of all firearms offences and over a quarter (1054 in 2006/7) of all serious firearms injuries. 

Children pick up air weapons that are left lying around and use them to kill, blind and injure other children, often siblings or friends.   The adults who own these guns are rarely held to account.  There is no law requiring them to store their weapons safely nor is there any record of ownership.  The terrible tragedies of Rashid, Mitchel, Alex, Danny S, Danny M, David, George, Kazim, Lorna, Matthew, Micah, Nicola, Somma and others are not merely ‘accidents’.  They are preventable and culpable incidents. 

Two years ago twelve-year-old Mitchel Picken was killed by another child while friends played around with a father’s air weapon.  Had this gun been properly secured Mitchel would be alive today.   His parents join the Gun Control Network in calling upon Government to bring in legislation to register airguns and their owners, and make them liable for the misuse of their weapons. 

Andrew Picken, Mitchel’s father,  says ‘The irresponsibility of an air gun owner has once again led to the shooting of a young child.  The Government cannot hide behind recent changes in legislation, which failed to take the airgun problem seriously enough and make owners responsible for storing their weapons safely.  Airguns and their owners could be registered, and they should be.’


> See Press Release from March 2005



Cats and Airguns


Liberal Gun Laws


Gun Crime Figures

January 2010

January 2009




Airgun Crime


Airgun Ownership and Children





Gun Lobby Abuse

Guns & Advertising


Kate Hoey on Gun Crime (May 07)

Ball-bearing & Non-Powder Guns (June 05)

Lethal Airguns (Mar 05)

Stolen Guns (Nov 04)

Gun Crime & Gun Comment (Nov 04)