§ Lord Hill-Norton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will print in the Official Report or place in the Library of the House a copy of the text of a letter sent in about January 1984 by the former Home Secretary (Rt. Hon. Leon Brittan, QC) to the Parliamentary Advisor to the Police Federation on the subject of shotgun controls; and whether they will state what changes in circumstances have occurred since that letter was written which justify major changes in policy in respect of the security of shotguns.
The Earl of Caithness
A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library. Despite the voluntary code of practice on the safekeeping of firearms introduced by the British Shooting Sports Council in 1981 there is still a significant number of cases in which shotguns are stolen in the course of burglaries and thefts. We are considering whether the introduction of a statutory safekeeping requirement would help in preventing shotguns falling into the wrong hands. No decision has yet been reached.