HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 cc295-6W
Mr. Hunter

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he is taking to control the increase in the use of guns; and if he will make a statement; [91561

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation in controlling the illegal use of firearms. [91560]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

We have announced our intention to introduce a minimum five-year sentence for those convicted, on indictment, of possessing or distributing prohibited weapons. We will also be proposing additional powers to deal with certain types of gunwhich are vulnerable to conversion to fire live ammunition.

We will also bring in legislation to prevent anyone from carrying a replica or an air weapon in a public place without a reasonable excuse. We intend to raise the age limit at which young people can acquire and use air weapons unsupervised from 14 to 17.

The Government is constantly assessing and reviewing the effectiveness of firearms legislation, and will continue to do so.

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