Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Monday, 24 January 2011

MP calls for ban on shotgun licences for under-14s

Children should not be allowed to hold shotgun licences until they are at least 14, Labour MP Thomas Docherty has said.

Introducing his Firearms (Amendment) Bill to the Commons on 25 January 2011, Mr Docherty noted that there is no age limit at present.

The Dunfermline and West Fife MP claimed that nearly 5,000 children in England Wales have been issued with shotgun licences, including 26 given to 10-year-olds, 72 to 11-year-olds, 134 to 12-year-olds and 231 to 13-year-olds.

He added: "I believe this bill will send a clear and straightforward message that our society is not comfortable with the principle of very young children handling lethal weapons."

Mr Docherty's bill gained an unopposed first reading but stands little chance of becoming law without government support.

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