Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Sunday, March 1, 1998 Published at 00:41 GMT



UK

'Good' response to gun deadline
image: [ It's thought about 10,000 guns have been handed in ]
It's thought about 10,000 guns have been handed in

The deadline for the Government's nationwide firearms surrender has passed with thousands of weapons being handed in and initial police reports suggesting a good response.

Gun owners across Britain had until midnight on Saturday to surrender their low calibre handguns in the final firearms clampdown following the Dunblane tragedy in Scotland.

The deadline is the end of a four week period in which owners have been told to hand in all guns of .22 calibre and below, or risk a 10-year jail sentence.


[ image: The new legislation followed the killings at Dunblane]
The new legislation followed the killings at Dunblane
The clampdown follows last year's yield of larger weapons in the wake of the shootings in Dunblane in 1996 in which 16 primary schoolchidren and their teacher were killed.

Around 10,000 small calibre weapons are expected to have been handed in during February. Official figures will be released later but police forces reported a generally good response.

Among the weapons surrendered to Lothian and Borders Police in Scotland were an Uzzi 9mm machine gun and a Liberator, a one-shot weapon which was given to French civilians during the war to help the resistance against the German forces.

The Home Office Minister Alun Michael said: "We have now held a successful firearms surrender ... which I believe has put a firm brake on the development of a dangerous gun culture in the UK.

"Today's deadline for surrender of small calibre pistols completes the government's drive to take all handguns out of general civilian circulation."

Mike Yardley of the Sportsman's Association - which was set up to represent shooters after Dunblane - said he expected few problems from gun owners in complying with the new laws.

"The shooting community is made up of law-abiding people. They will obey the law even if they disagree with it," he said.

But despite the new regulations, Mr Yardley said the laws would not help to prevent another tragedy occurring.

"Handguns have been banned - but in the wrong hands a shotgun is a more lethal and dangerous weapon than a .22 pistol.

"To deny Olympic and Commonwealth competitors and others access to .22 calibre handguns at gun clubs is a ludicrous over-reaction," he said.
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

Link to BBC Homepage

  Relevant Stories

28 Dec 97 | UK
Pistol shooters turn back the clock

04 Nov 97 | UK
Total handgun ban set to become law in Britain

 
  Internet Links

Dunblane Against Guns

British Association for shooting and conservation

Official Dunblane Inquiry

Home Office


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online





UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England