Air Rifles

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 9th October 2017.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Labour, Bristol South 10:00 pm, 9th October 2017

I am grateful for that intervention, and I certainly want to learn from other hon. Members’ experience and work in this area. I assured the Studley family in my constituency that, on issues such as this, hon. Members will work together cross party to achieve the best legislation.

In his speech last year, my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn informed the House that 17 children had died as a result of air weapons in the last 27 years. Sadly, it appears that that number has risen again, and I repeat that we need to do something about that. I ask the Minister to reconsider the response given last year to my right hon. Friend; it is simply not good enough to review the text of a leaflet.

In this House, on 20 April, the then Leader of the House of Commons, Mr Lidington, told me the Government have

“no plans to ban or licence”—[Official Report, 20 April 2017; Vol. 624, c. 801.]

air weapons, on the basis that misuse applies only to a small minority of people. Many of the people we represent would argue that many of the laws that currently protect them from all sorts of heinous acts are in place to protect them from a small minority, and even if only a small minority is affected, the consequences of their actions are grave and merit our attention, regardless of the numbers.

Many hon. Members share an interest in animal welfare, and I would add that, since successfully securing this debate, I have been contacted by Cats Protection, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and others.