New Clause 98 - Offence of pet theft

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:56 pm on 5th July 2021.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Labour, Bristol South 9:56 pm, 5th July 2021

I support all the comments that my right hon. Friend Nick Thomas-Symonds made, particularly those about the right to legitimate protest, but I draw the House’s attention particularly to my amendments about air weapon safety, which I did not have the opportunity to speak to on Report.

As the Minister understands, I have been pursuing the issue for a number of years, following the tragic damage done to my young constituent by an air weapon. It caused life-changing injuries, and I have worked with many other hon. Members whose constituents have died because of those weapons. I will pursue the issue of the prohibition of air weapons on private land for those under the age of 18.

I would particularly like the Government to consider publishing the evidence that they have collected with regard to the air weapons review, following my Adjournment debate a few years ago. We need to understand how the Government have used the evidence to come to their conclusions, particularly with regard to the law as it operates in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and to the licensing of these dangerous weapons.

I hope that I will be able to pursue the issue with the Government in the coming months and years. I think there are hundreds of families across the country who would support us in looking at it more seriously again.