HC Deb 20 June 1997 vol 296 cc315-6W
Sir Nicholas Lyell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances a United Kingdom competitor will be able to train and take part in an Olympic Games event held in the United Kingdom which involves the use of a .22 weapon. [4869]

Mr. Michael

If the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill is passed, then all small-calibre pistols will become prohibited. It would then no longer be possible to use these weapons for target shooting in Great Britain and training here will cease.

Three of the fifteen shooting events in the Olympic Games, if held in this country, would be affected by the prohibition. Competitors from any participating country could be allowed to take part in those three events by means of special authority being granted by the Secretary of State under the terms of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. Such authority would however be limited to the duration of the Games themselves. Unless the British competitors trained for these particular events outside Great Britain, they might be unable to qualify. The remaining twelve shooting events would be unaffected by the change and British competitors can continue to train for them in Great Britain.