LONDON — The Home Office said today it is banning high-powered, self-loading rifles such as the semi-automatic AK-47 used in the massacre of 16 people in the rural English town of Hungerford last month.
Home Secretary Douglas Hurd said he also intends to outlaw burst-fire weapons and smooth-bore, short-barreled shotguns under legislation to be introduced in Parliament in the fall.
Automatic rifles, such as machine guns, are already banned.
The government will offer a nationwide amnesty next year aimed at getting citizens to hand over thousands of illegally held weapons, Hurd said.
In Britain, 1.02 million of the country's 56 million population have gun licenses, but four-fifths of them are only licensed to own shotguns.
Licenses for rifles and pistols are usually issued only to members of sporting gun clubs.