HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc102-3W
Joyce Quin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had in relation to air weapons including(a) minimum age for possession of such weapons and (b) a licensing system. [74099]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

In addition to meeting a delegation lead by the hon. Friend for Gateshead East and Washington West, I have met other MPs and the victim of a very serious assault with an air weapon and his parents. In order to obtain an overall assessment of the effectiveness of existing controls, I have also been in contact with organisations such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Gun Trade Association, the Forensic Science Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

We are determined to tackle the problem of air weapon misuse and are looking very carefully at all aspects of the problem with a view to determining whether or not any changes in the present age limits or the introduction of a suitable registration system might help to ensure that air weapons are used safely and responsibly at all times.