Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 18:20 UK

Call for tightening of airgun law

Air guns
Firearms legislation is reserved to Westminster

A summit meeting to discuss Scotland's gun laws has ended with calls for Westminster to take action to deal with the problem of air weapons in Scotland.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said he would be writing to the home secretary pressing for a tightening of the law.

Members of the the police, gun control lobby and sport-shooting groups attended the Edinburgh meeting.

Mr MacAskill described the current law as "inadequate".

Speaking after the summit, which he described as "constructive", Mr MacAskill said he would be seeking to put Scotland forward for pilot schemes with a view to getting tighter controls on air weapons across the whole of the UK.

He added: "What is quite clear is that the current legislation we have is inadequate and inappropriate for the 21st Century."

Mr MacAskill said he would be making representations to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in the wake of the summit, adding: "Action has to be taken".

"I'll be seeking to make it clear to Jacqui Smith that the view of Scotland is that the current legislation doesn't properly protect our communities," he said.

Mr MacAskill had written to Ms Smith in January inviting her to attend the summit.

What is quite clear is that the current legislation we have is inadequate and inappropriate for the 21st Century
Kenny MacAskill
Justice Secretary

But she declined to take part, saying that firearms legislation was reserved to Westminster.

Ms Smith said she did "not believe it would be timely to hold a joint national firearms summit" and dismissed calls for an immediate review of the 1968 Firearms Act.

The parents of toddler Andrew Morton, who was killed by an airgun pellet in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow three years ago, said they were disappointed that the summit did not achieve more.

Mark Bonini, 27, was jailed for the murder and Andrew's parents, Sharon McMillan and Andy Morton, have campaigned for a change in the law ever since.

Mrs McMillan said: "I thought the summit was positive but it did not go far enough.

"Andrew would have been six on Friday and his memory is always with us."

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