§ MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the following remarks of Mr. Justice Denman, reported in the Times of 27th November, in passing sentence on a prisoner named Sharpe, who was indicted for sending a letter threatening to kill a young woman, and who,When arrested, was found to have a loaded revolver in his pocket." He "urged the necessity there was for putting a check on the facility with which revolvers could be obtained. He had many times pointed out to juries and Grand Juries that it would be a very good thing if some enactment to this effect could be passed, that no gunsmith should be allowed to sell a revolver to any person who could not produce his right then and there to carry one, and there should be a certain fee to the Exchequer due in such licence. It would be a wholesome thing if such an enactment could be passed, and he hoped shat these cases would have the effect of calling the attention of the Legislature and the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day to the subject, to see if the evil could not be turned into good;and whether he can hold out hopes of being able to take measures to prevent the indiscriminate and irresponsible use of the most dangerous firearms?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
I cannot say if it is generally known sufficiently that every person who carries a revolver at present is bound to pay the same Licence Duty as a person who carries a gun. Whether he 520 always does so I am not aware. There is the same obligation to take out a licence, and certainly anyone carrying a revolver without having taken out a licence ought to be prosecuted, but the general question of taking any further measures with respect to the sale of revolvers remains with the Home Office, which has the matter under consideration.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the expediency of increasing the amount of the Licence Duty?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I have considered the amount with my official advisers, but they do not see their way to recommending an increase. I will consider the matter further.