§ Mr. Ryan
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are his criteria for defining specially dangerous airguns in the proposed extension of the firearms certificate procedure;
(2) whether he will institute an inquiry to consider the extension of the firearms certificate procedure to all airguns;
(3) if he will publish the research which led to his conclusion that criminal offences, misdemeanours or accidents are caused in the main by powerful airguns, rather than by the misuse of normal airguns by irresponsible owners;
(4) from what date he intends to subject certain categories of specially powerful air-guns to the firearms certificate procedure.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to his Question on 5th May.
I intend to make subject to the firearms certificate procedure air weapons significantly more powerful than those commonly produced by British manufacturers for the home market. I am not at present able to say what precise levels of power output will be prescribed or when the proposed rules will come into force.290W
In proceedings in Standing Committee on the Criminal Justice Bill, reasons were given for the decision to apply fresh controls only to a limited class of air weapons. I consider that the probable benefits from control over all air weapons are outweighed by the extra burden that would be placed upon the police.—[Vol. 746, c. 129.]