§ Mr. Meadowcroft
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review police powers in relation to the control of firearms; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
I share the hon. Member's concern that firearms should be more properly controlled. The Firearms Act 1968 already lays down strict controls over the possession and use of firearms. Generally these work well and we are not persuaded that more stringent controls would have a significant effect on the level of armed crime. I shall, however, keep these issues under close review. Heavy penalties, up to life imprisonment in some instances, can already be imposed on those who use firearms for criminal purposes.