Let’s look at one of the simplest, least powerful guns on the market, a Crickett Hunter. Manually cocked bolt action design dates back to 1820s, nearly two hundred years ago. Rimfire ammunition is uses postdates the action by only twenty years, and even the more modern .22 Long Rifle cartridge dates back to 1887. The telescopic sight on it is an equally old invention.
While it can be used for sport shooting, the main purpose of the Crickett is hunting small game. That, in itself, is a bad thing to many of the mostly left-wing prohibitionists, as it makes individuals less dependent on government handouts of foodstuffs.
The telescopic sight in particular scares them because, having unclean conscience, every prohibitionist considers himself worthy of assassination for cause. The suitability of the Crickett to the game not much bigger than a hare doesn’t matter to them, as such trivial technical considerations are beneath their dignity to consider. The same people who wish to ban “assault rifles” for supposedly being too inaccurate for hunting also wish to ban anything with optics for being too accurate for their peace of mind.
In the end, the training matter more than the weapon. With that in mind, German laws prohibit training kids, severely restrict training of minors up to the age of 25 and completely prohibit defensive training of adults. Playing Airsoft is considered war training.
Since even single-shot manually operated firearms that cannot be easily concealed are too scary for the prohibitionists, I don’t think much of a compromise is possible. They might claim not to be after such simple, low-powered arms but they don’t bother hiding their efforts to expand the definition of “prohibited persons” as much as possible, or their efforts to prohibit acquisition or defensive use of any weapon, however antiquated, in areas where they have control, like Washington DC. The perennial bills to prohibit private ownership of body armor serves the same nasty goal: a complete fire superiority of the elected and unelected bureaucrats over the rest of the population. And their angry reaction to such a non-military firearm as a single-shot smallbore pistol for hunting small game is a clear tip-off to the wise.