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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 13:41 GMT
Double backing for ban on airguns
Andrew Morton
Andrew Morton was fatally wounded by an airgun pellet
The family of a toddler killed by an airgun pellet and the Fire Brigades Union have backed a campaign to ban the weapons in Scotland.

The mother of two-year-old Andrew Morton, who was shot in Glasgow, has presented a 11,000 name petition in support of Tommy Sheridan's bill.

It proposes to ban airguns except for specific and licensed use.

Mr Sheridan welcomed the support of the family and the FBU, whose members have been targets for airgun misuse.

A period of public consultation on the Solidarity MSP's members bill ends on 22 March.

Andrew Morton died after he was shot in Easterhouse in March 2005.

'More deaths'

His mother, Sharon McMillan, 36, pleaded for a change in the law at a press conference at Mr Sheridan's office in Glasgow.

She said: "We want to get these weapons banned.

"If we don't there's going to be more deaths, more firefighters getting injured and more pets getting killed."

Speaking publicly for the first time, the toddler's sister Cheryl, 19, said not enough had been done since the tragedy to put the weapons out of circulation.

"It's a promise we made to Andrew that we wouldn't give up until we get these guns banned," she said.

The family of toddler Andrew Morton know more than anyone the tragic consequences of misuse of these deadly weapons
Tommy Sheridan MSP

Andrew's father Andy Morton, 32, said they were hoping to present the petition to the Scottish Parliament on the anniversary of the toddler's death next month.

FBU Scotland Chairman Roddy Robertson said a firefighter was hit twice in Easterhouse with airgun pellets on the same day that Andrew Morton was hit.

He said: "This would be a worthwhile bill if it goes forward.

"It would not only protect society, but also protect our members."

Legislation was introduced in November 2006 which effectively outlawed the sale of airguns at car boot sales, corner shops and outlets not regulated by police.

It also bans internet and mail order sales of airguns by prohibiting any sales not carried out on a face-to-face basis and lifting the age limit for owning airguns from 17 to 18.

Mr Sheridan said the legislation did not go far enough.

"The family of toddler Andrew Morton know more than anyone the tragic consequences of misuse of these deadly weapons," he said.

"Their courage and resolve to support the campaign is admired and welcomed."

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