Air Rifles

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:11 pm on 9th October 2017.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 10:11 pm, 9th October 2017

The short answer is yes. There has been a significant intervention in Scotland and it would be quite wrong for us not to consider the evidence. The scale and circumstances are obviously different, but it would be wrong for us to ignore it completely, as my predecessors have indicated.

In conclusion, if I have not already been clear already, let me be quite clear that the Government recognise that there are legitimate uses for air weapons such as shooting sports, which the hon. Lady also confirmed in her remarks, and that a balance needs to be struck between the freedom to pursue such interests and regulation or control. The existing controls on air weapons are helping to reduce their misuse and the occurrence of tragic accidents involving these weapons, but whenever accidents do occur—I have looked back on the roll call of tragic incidents, which often involve children—it is right to look again at the controls to see whether further changes are required or justified. As I said earlier, I intend to undertake a review of the regulation of air weapons in England and Wales to assess whether any further measures may be necessary to protect the public.

Let me close by again thanking the hon. Lady for securing this debate and for how she framed it. I hope that my remarks have satisfied her that the Government take this issue very seriously indeed.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.