§ 3.4 p.m.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(Lord Renton.)776
§ Lord Sandys
My Lords, I do not think I need take up more than a few moments of your Lordships' time at this stage of the Bill, which, as your Lordships know, has the support of the Government and was fully debated on Second Reading, when a number of noble Lords made helpful and informed contributions. I like to think that the assurances which my noble friends Lord Renton and Lord Elton were able to give during that debate answered all the points that were raised, and I am very pleased that it has not been necessary for any amendments to be tabled. Indeed, for the Bill to have reached this advanced stage in the same form as it began its passage in another place is no mean feat, and reflects the skill of the promoter, my honourable friend Mr. Eldon Griffiths, and my noble friend Lord Renton, the sponsor of the Bill in this House.
During the debate on Second Reading on 11th June, noble Lords expressed concern about the arrangements for bringing the Act into force, and I should like to repeat the undertaking which my noble friend Lord Elton gave then. We shall draw up the non-statutory guidelines comprising measures which can be taken to render an imitation firearm incapable of being readily converted. These will then be circulated within the trade for comment. Indeed, Home Office officials will shortly be meeting representatives of the Gun Trade Association to discuss various firearms matters, and this will provide an opportunity to have a provisional discussion about the guidelines. It is not possible to say how long this process will take, but the commencement order provision will be invoked as soon as the process is complete. I can assure the House that we shall press ahead as quickly as we can. It only remains for me to invite the House to agree to my noble friend's Motion that the Bill be read a third time.
§ Lord Renton
My Lords, I wish to apologise for my failure to reach the House yesterday in time to move the Third Reading of the Bill. I have only myself to blame. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Sandys for his kind words and I am sure that my honourable friend Mr. Eldon Griffiths also will be grateful. I have only to add my thanks to my noble friend Lord Elton and the Home Office for the help they have given over the promotion and conduct of the Bill.
§ On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed.