HC Deb 01 December 1955 vol 546 cc2493-4
23. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firearms he estimates are in private possession and unlicensed; and whether he has considered the possibility of legislation to tighten up the present control.

Major Lloyd-George

I can give no estimate of the number of firearms illegally held. As regards the second part of the Question, it is already an offence, punishable by severe penalties, to be in possession of a firearm except in accordance with a firearm certificate issued by the appropriate chief officer of police.

Mr. Shepherd

Is it not clear that there still exist in the hands of private individuals a considerable number of weapons from the last war? Would it not be a good idea to suggest, for a limited period, their return without penalty?

Major Lloyd-George

I think that my hon. Friend has in mind a kind of general amnesty. I am not expressing an opinion against that, but I do not think that for some things it should be done too frequently.