HC Deb 23 June 1910 vol 18 cc474-5
Captain CRAIG

asked the Chief Secretary whether he can state the number of firing outrages reported to the police since the Government removed the Peace Preservation Act from the Statute Book, and the number of such outrages for the corresponding number of years prior to that date; can he say if there is now no restriction even for children acquiring firearms of all descriptions in Ireland; whether licences are taken out, and if the police have any means of ascertaining the number of firearms imported into Ireland since the dropping of the Peace Preservation Act; whether it is intended to introduce legislation in view of the number of outrages that have recently taken place in which firearms were used; and whether he can state the difference in the regulations in respect of the possession of such arms in England and Ireland respectively?


The number of outrages in which firearms were used in each year since 31st December, 1906, the date on which the Peace Preservation Act expired, was as follows:—117 in 1907, 207 in 1908, 127 in 1909, and 69 in the first five months of 1910. The number of such outrages in 1906 was 60. The figures for 1904 and 1905 have not been tabulated, and could not be furnished without a careful examination of the records, which would take some little time. There are now no restrictions on the acquisition of firearms in Ireland except those imposed by the Gun Licence Act. The police have no means of ascertaining the number of firearms imported into Ireland. The only difference between England and Ireland in this matter is that the Pistols Act of 1903 does not extend to the latter. As regards the question of legislation, I have nothing at present to add to my reply to a question asked by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh on the 16th instant.