HL Deb 17 November 1997 vol 583 c66WA
The Earl of Lytton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, further to the Answer given by Lord Williams of Mostyn on 30 October 1997 (WA 255) they will reconsider their reply in relation to variations to certificates and appeals under the Firearms Act 1968, sections 29(1) and (2) and clarify:

  1. (a) whether as a matter of policy they consider there to be a distinction to be made between "variation of a firearms certificate" as a generic term and the "variation of a condition" only, and if so why; or
  2. (b) whether the "variation of a condition" in a certificate varies the certificate as a whole, and if not, why not, and in either case
  3. (c) whether they distinguish between the general right of a firearms dealer to appeal against both conditions and certificates under Section 36(3) and the intention to give a right of appeal to holders of firearms certificates against the "certificate" under Section 29(2); and if so on what grounds.

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Further to my Answer on 30 October(WA 255), the Crown Court in the case of Reginald Buckland v Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire distinguished between "variation of a firearms certificate" and the "variation of a condition". It is for the court to interpret the law, rather than the Executive, and on this issue the court is clear. There would be little point in the Executive adopting a policy on this issue that was contrary to the law. The appellant in this case was the holder of a firearm certificate, not a registered firearms dealer, and the case has no bearing upon the existing rights of appeal for dealers.