HC Deb 23 January 1997 vol 288 cc736-7W
Mr. Ian Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the evidence that underlies the statement made at paragraph 24 of "The Government Response to The Public Inquiry into the Shootings at Dunblane Primary School" that, removal of key components is not a practicable proposition for all types of guns". [11614]

Miss Widdecombe

[holding answer 21 January 1997]: On the basis of advice from the Forensic Science Service, we accept that disabling handguns is possible but that in some cases it is not practical. Lord Cullen himself took this view—paragraph 9.106. Copies of two letters from the Forensic Science Service are in the Library. The Government have made their position clear during the passage of the Firearms (Amendment) Bill. We do not believe that disabling guns provides sufficient safeguards for the protection of the public and there would be no guarantee that a person minded to do so could not keep or obtain illicit spares at home.