§ 25. Mr. HANNON
asked the Home Secretary whether, with regard to the representations that have been addressed to him for some months past in regard to the desirability of including toy pistols and revolvers (which are being imported into this country in large quantities from Belgium and Germany) under the Firearms Act, which representations have been forwarded by responsible persons such as proof masters in this country who have brought forward in support of their request evidence that these pistols are manufactured in such a way that they can be easily converted into lethal weapons, and that their increasing importation into England has caused grave concern to the proof masters in the countries where they are manufactured; whether the authorities at Scotland Yard have been consulted as to the danger of allowing these so-called toy pistols to be imported and sold indiscriminately; and whether he will take immediate steps to bring these articles under the provisions of the Firearms Act?
The authorities of the Birmingham Proof House have urged that these devices, which as usually sold are not capable of discharging missiles, are within the Firearms Act. The question whether they are within the Act is one for the Courts. The police have instructions to prosecute for any noncompliance with the Act in the only circumstances in which the Act would appear to apply, namely, if these devices are sold or possessed after such alteration as to make them lethal weapons capable, of discharging missiles. I could not propose legislation to bring within the Act these devices when not so capable.
§ Mr. HANNON:
Will the right hon. Gentleman make some inquiries as to the extent to which these weapons are being introduced; and will he allow me to submit to him samples of these weapons?