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Government to review airgun regulations after death of teenager Ben Wragge

Ben Wragge died aged 13 after he was accidentally shot in the neck with an airgun last May
Ben Wragge died aged 13 after he was accidentally shot in the neck with an airgun last May

The Government is to review the regulation of air weapons in response to a call from a coroner following the tragic death of 13-year-old Ben Wragge.

Nick Hurd, minister for policing and the fire service, said he will assess ‘whether the current controls continue to be appropriate and effective’.

It follows the death of Ben, who was accidentally shot in the neck with an airgun while at a friend’s house in Thurston last May.

After concluding that the Thurston Community College pupil’s death was a ‘very rare tragic accident’, Dr Peter Dean, Suffolk coroner, wrote to the Home Office calling for a review of legislation covering the use and manufacture of air weapons.

In an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, Mr Hurd said that as part of the review, he will look at the best way to ‘ensure these weapons are stored safely and securely’.

“I think that a review of air weapon regulation is important and timely,” he added. “We will do so against a backdrop of existing controls that are, by all international comparisons, very robust.”

He said he will meet Ben’s family later this year to listen to their views.

The debate was secured by Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, after an 18-month-old boy in her constituency was seriously injured by an air rifle last July.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, raised Ben’s case during the debate.

She said she was glad the Government has ‘understood the need and severity’ of the issue.


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