Playing Politics with Public Safety

by Gun Control Network on 26-11-2018

The Government wanted a ban on .50 calibre rifles and wrote it into the Offensive Weapons Bill to be debated on Wednesday.

The police asked for such a ban because there is no good reason for a member of the public to have a weapon that can immobilise a truck a mile away.  These are the guns used by the IRA before the Good Friday Agreement.  The police cannot protect themselves from such weapons.

There is a clear majority for a ban in the House of Commons and yet Sajid Javid has now succumbed to pressure from right wing Conservative MPs from the European Research Group wanting to demonstrate that they have ‘muscle’ and can force a government U turn on the ban and on Brexit.

By removing the ban from the Offensive Weapons Bill to be debated on Wednesday, the Home Secretary is signalling that common sense and public safety count for nothing in the current political climate.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network says:

Cynical rightwingers and a spineless Home Secretary are putting the public at risk.  We live in dangerous times when Parliament is denied a vote on a matter of such obvious public interest. These military weapons may be legal in the US but they have no place in this country.  Who wants a rifle that can immobilise a truck a mile away?  Why would any normal person want such a weapon? The police want them banned because they are too powerful to be left in the hands of the public. Removal of the ban is a wilful rejection of common sense and public safety by a small group of extremist MPs interested only in playing politics.  We should be very afraid of these people.”