HL Deb 20 May 1998 vol 589 cc172-3WA
Lord Burton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What attempt the Home Office Operational Police Policy Unit made to involve or consult (a) any Scottish firearms clubs or association and (b) the Deer Commission for Scotland, on their proposed changes to the Firearm Rules and Firearms Forms; and why, after confirming with Lord Burton's office on 5 May the name and address of a Scottish consultee, they had not communicated with him by 12 May; and [HL1887]

Why, further to the letter dated 5 May from the Scottish Office, Home Department, Police Division, to Mr. T. McCarthy, the Secretary to the Scottish Pistol Association, regarding consultation on matters affecting the administration of the Firearms Acts, he has neither been supplied with any documents nor been consulted by the Home Office Operational Police Policy Unit in London in connection with their review of the proposed changes to the firearms rules and forms. [HL1884]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The Home Office commenced consultation on the revision of the firearms forms on 5 December 1997. In accordance with established practice, the Home Office consulted bodies representing shooting sports in Great Britain as a whole. Consultation between branches and affiliates of those bodies in England, Wales and Scotland is principally a matter for the bodies themselves.

Consultation on the forms formally concluded on Thursday 5 May. The Scottish Home Department informed the Home Office on that day that the Scottish Pistol Association wished to be included in future consultation exercises. This has been noted for future reference, but until then we had not received any suggestion that any specific Scottish group wished to be consulted independently of the Great Britain organisations.

The Scottish Pistol Association wrote to the Home Office on Saturday 9 May to request a copy of the draft forms, and a copy was posted to them early on Monday 11 May.