asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been called to a recent case in which a child was killed by a toy pistol which had been turned into a lethal weapon by removing the plug from the barrel; and if he proposes to take early action to stop the sale of these weapons?
No doubt my hon. Friend has in mind the recent incident in which a London schoolboy was fatally shot and in respect of which proceedings are now pending in the courts. The weapon used was not, however, a toy pistol as described in the question, but a single-barrelled 22 pistol of German make. Such a pistol is a firearm within the meaning of the Firearms Act, 1920, and I have no reason to suppose the existing law is not sufficient to control the sale of lethal firearms of this class.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been quite a number of accidents from these toy pistols lately, and that they have in those instances been turned into lethal weapons? Has the right hon. Gentleman power to prohibit the sale of these weapons immediately, pending some further legislation?
As I have said, this particular weapon comes within the existing Act, and I have no reason to suppose that the law is not strong enough to deal with that particular class of weapon. With regard to the other class, I have been considering legislatiion on the subject.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any proceedings have been started in reference to the sale of this particular weapon, which apparently came inside the Act?