I'M sorry to say that Tony Kelly, in calling for a ban on airguns (HAS, Mar 18), has fallen into the trap of believing that if an item is banned in law then it ceases to exist, and that people who break the law will suddenly obey if just one more law is passed.

Since banning pistols, the proportion of pistols used to kill and injure people has doubled, yet it has always been against the law to kill or injure people.

Then there is the wish to punish everyone for the sins of the guilty - there are about four million airguns in the UK, yet Mr Kelly would have them all deprived of their sport due to the criminal and despicable acts of a few thugs.

I'm sure Mr Kelly is speaking from the heart and with honourable intent (and I share his disgust of the acts he mentioned), but banning/licensing has been proven not to work.

We need a complete review of the firearms' laws to make them workable, understandable and efficient, so that the police are not tied down with the bureaucracy involved in the current acts.

Mike Eveleigh, Senior Firearms Officer, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Rossett, Wrexham.

THANK you, Tony Kelly, for calling me a thug. In his letter calling for a ban on airguns (HAS, Mar 18) he said such weapons were no use to anyone but thugs.

I am 68 going on 69 years old, and enjoy trying to hit that little black dot in the centre of a paper target at 25 and 40 metres. I spent 22 years in the Army so I guess you could call me well trained and responsible.

Blame the idiots that do the terrible things Mr Kelly referred to, not the thousands of respectable airgun shooters.

Ken Simpson, Almeria, Spain.