The UK government announced this morning that all forms of archery have been banned with immediate effect following the recent increase in bow crime in the Nottingham area.
The local police chief told the BBC that drive-by shootings, mainly committed by hooded youths on horseback, were up 500% since 2001.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told reporters that this unprecedented step had been taken to ensure public safety, especially for rich noblemen riding through Sherwood Forest who have long been targeted by gangs of so-called “Merry Men”.
She said that the government are particularly worried about these weapons being used by terrorist groups.
“These bows are often made of wood and are not detected by current airport security systems,” explained the Home Secretary.
Archers across the country are being asked to hand in their bows and arrows at their local police station during a two-week amnesty.
A police officer seizes offensive weapons
“It’s about time the government did something about this. We’ve been pushing for a crackdown since the thirteenth century,” said the Sheriff of Nottingham at a press conference earlier today.
Lynne Evans, Chairman of the GNAS – archery’s governing body in the UK – said she was “disappointed” with the decision.
The UK Olympic archery team were arrested in London where they were training this morning in preparation for the Beijing Olympics.
“We think it’s ridiculous,” said team captain Michael Paert from his cell in Belmarsh prison.
They were later released on police bail after having their bows rendered inoperable by firearms specialists.