Letter: Muskets and self-defence pose no threat

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Marr's excellent comment ('There is a way to stop the urban gunfire', 16 March) makes the usual omission by those discussing firearms. There is a growing group of firearm-users who harbour no lethal intention towards either pheasants or policemen, but who find their activities hampered or obstructed by laws that take no account of their needs.

I am talking about battle re-enactment societies. These are well-regulated and insured groups of basically law-abiding people, yet they are often treated as if their members are planning to hold up sub-post offices armed with matchlock muskets, or disrupt flights at Heathrow with demi-culverin. Any legislation on firearms ownership and use must be formulated with this group in mind; anyone involved in planning such legislation will find a good deal of informed goodwill on our side.

Yours sincerely,

SARAH THURSFIELD

Oswestry, Shropshire

18 March

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