I AM writing in response to the recent letter from a member of the Cats Protection League regarding the licensing of air rifles.

I own a number of air rifles and also have pet cats.

While the shooting of cats is abhorrent (and illegal) to any sane minded individual, I feel that I must point out that registering air rifles will have zero effect on what is trying to be achieved here. The only people who would register their rifles are the law abiding members of society, who are not the ones shooting at anything that moves.

Do they (the CPL), really believe that those individuals (there are other names that spring to mind but you won’t be able to print them), who take pot shots at cats will decide to register? Get real – that is never going to happen! All this will result in, is more bureaucracy for the (already over worked) Police to maintain this proposed database, while the lowlifes will continue as they do now.

There are already sufficient laws in place as regards the purchase, storage, power and use of air rifles (where you can use them, age limitations around ownership etc), with severe consequences for mis-use.

However well-intentioned the Cats Protection League is in raising this petition, rather than tarnishing all airgun owners with the same brush, forcing them into unnecessary and unwarranted additional legislation (and no doubt cost), they would be better off directing their efforts in ensuring the full weight of the existing law is applied in cases where a prosecution takes place.

Make no mistake, there is no excuse for shooting a cat, but this petition is not the way to solve the issue.

Instead make full use of existing legislation and push the courts to administer the maximum possible sentences (not just a slap on the wrist and a pathetic fine that probably won’t get paid anyway) and that almost certainly will have an effect.

Andy Clayton