Clause 30 - Manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms

Part of Violent Crime Reduction Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:45 pm, 25th October 2005

I welcome the broad support for the proposals shown by the hon. Member for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson). I do not think that we have ever said that any single measure will do away with violent crime at a stroke. We are trying to introduce a range of measures, which we genuinely feel will reduce it. He is right to say that in addition to dealing with realistic imitations we also need to do a huge amount of education work in our communities. We have a Connected fund that has issued lots of small grants to groups such as Mothers Against Guns all over the   country. We have had a guns amnesty, when 40,000 guns were handed in. There is a huge amount of work to be done, but if we can cap the supply of realistic imitations in this country, that will be another helpful measure.

I can confirm that deactivated weapons will not be subject to the ban on manufacture, import and sale. We are aware of the collectors' issues and the legitimate uses—the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green raised the issue of military vehicles and using them for display purposes. We want to direct our activity to the harm that is called by the imitations that are circulating far too widely in our communities, but we do not want to hit legitimate and responsible people.

Amendment agreed to.