The Home Affairs Committee reports that well-designed legislation which regulates and restricts the legal supply of firearms can help to reduce gun crime. The committee recognises that thousands of people use firearms responsibly for recreation and in their work. It has no intention of restricting such activity. However, the committee today concludes that interpreting and applying the current 34 pieces of legislation governing the control of firearms places an qonerous burdenq on the police and on members of the public who wish to abide by the law, because it is qso complex and confusedq. In particular, the committee recommends introducing one licensing system to cover all firearms which require a licence and identifies age restrictions on firearms use as a particular area of uncertainty. Although the majority of firearms-related crimes are not committed with licensed firearms, the committee is also concerned about the use of legally-owned weapons in domestic shootings, including those related to domestic abuse. The Committee has several recommendations including: a review of the minimum age limits on the use of firearms and eligibility for firearms certificates; recommends tighter restrictions and clearer guidance to the police on the granting of firearms and shotgun licences to individuals who have engaged in criminal activity; considering requiring the police to consult the domestic partners of licence applicants in making the decision as to whether to grant a licence; suggests that the Government considers requiring advocates raising the fees charged to applicants so that it covers the costs of licensing, to ensure that police spending cuts do not jeopardise the rigour of the licensing process. Finally, the committee was concerned at evidence of the significant criminal threat posed by reactivated and converted firearms, in response to tighter regulations on genuine lethal weapons.It is not something I have wanted to get into. ... I am satisfied that the increase has as much to do with the criminal damage inflation of cost because the majority of air weapon offending is when the weapon is fired and criminal damage results.
|Author||:||Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Home Affairs Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2010-12-01|