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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Airgun proposals divide opinion
Proposals aimed at restricting the sale of airguns have divided opinion in Scotland.

The Home Office wants to bring in a registration scheme for dealers, who would have to prove that they were fit to sell such weapons.

The proposals have been welcomed by police and government ministers.

But opposition politicians said they did not go far enough, while one retailer said there was no reason for further regulation.

Cathy Jamieson, Scottish justice minister

"I want to pay tribute to Andrew Morton's family for their committed campaigning on this issue. They have spoken powerfully and government has listened. Nothing will make up for the death of their child, but from their personal tragedy has grown an unstoppable national momentum for new restrictions on airguns and, today, formal proposals to change the law."

Deputy Chief Constable David Mellor

"This will be a major contribution to reducing the dangers associated with the misuse of air weapons. The justice minister and her team are to be congratulated on securing these changes to UK legislation."

Hazel Blears, Home Office minister

"The scheme would help ensure that our laws on air weapons remain among the toughest in the world."

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP deputy leader

"It is not enough to simply restrict the sale of airguns - we also need to impose strict conditions on who can acquire airguns and where they can be used."

Mick North, anti-gun campaigner

"There are so many airguns available out there at the moment it is a huge problem to deal with effectively. Having a licensing system for dealers is at least a start, a step in the right direction."

Martin Morris, Glasgow retailer

"There's no reason or evidence to show why they should be regulated. People keep on harping back to the Andrew Morton tragedy, which is now a case which has seemed to have been hijacked by the SNP so they can have a go at Labour."

Simon Clarke, British Association for Shooting and Conservation

"Airgun crime in Scotland has been dropping annually for the last decade, so this looks like a knee-jerk reaction. It is difficult to see how, apart from reducing numbers of airguns slightly, this is going to reduce crime."

Margaret Mitchell, Tory justice spokeswoman

"It is for the first minister to explain whether these measures meet up to the tough rhetoric of just a few months ago."


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