Government failure to tackle broken gun licensing system
by Gun Control Network on 12-06-2023
Three important reports in the last six months have recommended radical reform to the broken gun licensing system in the UK. The Government has failed to respond to any of them.
The Scottish Affairs Committee reported in December 2022 following shootings by a licensed gun owner in Skye and Lochalsh the previous August.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct reported in February 2023 following the multiple shootings in Keyham, Plymouth in August 2021.
The coroner conducting the Keyham Inquest issued a Prevention of Future Deaths Report in March 2023 urging action. He required the government to respond within 56 days, yet it has now been 97 days and there is still no response.
The recommendations outlined in all three reports have several elements in common:
- All recommend that the Sec 1 licensing system should apply to all dangerous guns including shotguns, which are currently subject to much looser control.
- All recommend that the licensing process should involve those closest to the applicant and that an independent person should be involved in decisions about refusals and revocations.
- All recommend that the licence fee should cover the full cost of operating a rigorous licensing system.
Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network, says:
“We recognise that these reforms will be challenged by gun owners, who are very likely to vote Conservative; however, these people have been subsidised for decades by the taxpayer and we hope that the Government will remember that 99% of the population do not own a gun. The politicians may decide to kick this whole issue into the long grass by establishing another unnecessary ‘consultation’ in order to delay and water down any reforms being considered. They have got to be strong enough and stand up to the shooters and make real changes quickly to avoid more horrific shootings.”
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