HC Deb 03 April 1933 vol 276 cc1423-4

asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider taking any steps to induce owners of firearms to surrender them to the police authorities; and whether he is prepared to grant immunity from prosecution to those who hold no licence for possessing firearms as an incentive to the surrender of such weapons?


The enforcement of the Firearms Act, 1920, is a matter for the chief officers of police. As regards the first part of the question, I understand that in the Metropolitan Police district the Commissioner of Police has recently issued a notice to holders of firearms certificates suggesting that persons who did not require to retain their firearms should consider surrendering them, with any ammunition, to the police. As regards the second part of the question, I have no power to grant immunity from prosecution on the lines suggested. If, however, any persons are in possession of firearms without lawful authority, they will be well advised to approach the police in the matter without delay, and I have no doubt that chief officers of police will be ready to deal sympathetically with persons who, having omitted to observe the law in this regard, take an early opportunity of surrendering any firearms and ammunition in their possession.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider recommending those suggestions to the local authorities and the police authorities, as they will probably assist in the surrendering of the weapons?


I am sending a copy of this answer to the chief constables, in order to bring the matter to their attention.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking steps to obtain powers to grant the immunity, because there are many more revolvers in the hands of the public than the authorities believe?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider making a revision of the licences, with a view to cancellation in the case of people who are not justified in having firearms in their possession?