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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 March, 2005, 16:49 GMT
Total airgun ban 'not ruled out'
Andrew Morton
Andrew died after being rushed to hospital
Scotland's gun laws could be changed to bring in a total ban on air rifles and pistols after the death of a Glasgow toddler, the first minister has said.

Andrew Morton died after being shot on Wednesday night. A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Speaking to the Labour conference in Dundee, Jack McConnell said a total ban of airguns was a possibility.

He also expressed sympathy for the family of young Andrew.

"I can't imagine how the family are feeling. And I doubt anyone in this room can either," he told the conference.

It would be wrong to rule out a total ban
Jack McConnell
First Minister

He continued: "As first minister, I do know that in irresponsible hands, an airgun is a lethal weapon.

"It would be wrong for government to decide new laws within 24 hours of such a tragedy. But equally it would be wrong to rule out a total ban.

"New laws on airguns are already in place, but if more are needed, we must not hold back and the people of Scotland know that Labour will not hold back."

On Friday, Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson she would be taking up current firearm laws, which are reserved to Westminster, with the Home Office.

Prayers offered

The Westminster government has already raised the age for owning an air gun from 14 to 17, while creating a new offence against possessing an air weapon in public places and banning gas-cartridge airguns.

Meanwhile, prayers were being said for Andrew on Saturday evening at a mass in St Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, in Craigend, Glasgow.

Father Tom Magill, parish priest for Craigend and Garthamlock, said there was "shock and anger" in the community since his death.

The toddler will also be remembered at services on Sunday morning at the same church and at St Mungo's in Garthamlock.


SEE ALSO:
Arrest over toddler airgun death
05 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Minister reviews airgun measures
04 Mar 05 |  Scotland


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