London : gun crime - Labour dodge the issue

-- Politique --

Rapport de Celtic League
Porte-parole: Cathal Ó Luain

Publié le 22/05/08 6:18 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00

The Home Office has attempted to defend its decision to refuse a request for a 'joint summit' on firearms controls suggested by the Scottish Justice Minister.

The Celtic League General Secretary, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, had written to the Home Secretary expressing concern at the failure of the Westminster government to embrace the Scottish government initiative by holding a 'firearms summit'.

The growing propensity towards firearm crime in the United Kingdom was graphically illustrated by a gun battle between police and an armed man in London yesterday in which one man died. Unfortunately the desire of the SNP government to tackle the problem is not replicated by the Labour government at Westminster.

«Home Office London

28 April 2008

Dear Mr Tal-e-bot

Thank you letter of 15th March 2008 to the Home Secretary about a joint summit with the Scottish Government on firearms controls. I have been asked to reply.

Recent legislation we have introduced on firearms controls includes the Violent crime reduction Act 2006. The measures introduced in the Act to control the misuse of air weapons include raising from 17 to 18 the minimum age at which a young person may purchase or hire an air weapon, or possess an air weapon without adult supervision. It also makes it an offence to sell, hire or make a gift or an air weapon to a person under 18.

In addition, the Act requires anyone wishing to sell air weapons by way of trade or business in Great Britain to register with the polcie as a firearms dealer. It also requires that sales are on a face to face basis, so that all weapons are handed over in person to the purchaser. This is to ensure that supply is restricted so that only responsible users are allowed to buy air weapons. This will also effectively curb anonymous sales via the internet or mail order, and bear down on the present indiscriminate sale of air weapons at markets and car boot sales. The Act also makes it an offence for anyone, of whatever age, to fire an air weapon beyond the boundary of premises.

We continue to keep firearms controls under close scrutiny and are very mindful of problems which occur in particular areas of the country. We believe that the measures introduced in the Act should be given an opportunity to take effect before further changes to existing legislation are considered. Therefore, the Home Secretary did not believe it would be timely to hold a joint national firearms summit as suggested.

Yours sincerely

Shruti Pandya»

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J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League


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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)

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