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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR FIREARM USERS
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MINISTER OUTLINES HANDGUNS BAN. (IRELAND)
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D. today outlined his proposals
to ban licensed handguns. The issue was raised some weeks back by Waterford Fine Gael Deputy, John Deasy who highlighted the
huge increase in handguns legally held in Ireland over the past number of years. He pointed to the inconsistency in the numbers
of handguns across various Garda divisions throughout the country.
The Minister said the handgun ban would be included in legislation currently being prepared which
will be published shortly.
Minister Ahern said: "Since being appointed, I have made clear my growing concern at the number
and type of handguns being licensed.
"From the early 1970s, in the light of the Troubles, until 2004, all handguns were banned in this
jurisdiction. But following a series of judicial decisions that is no longer the case and about 1800 handguns have been licensed.
There was no public policy decision to bring about this situation.
"I am mindful of comments made by Mr. Justice Charleton in his judgement in a recent firearms case
that a reasonable person is entitled to feel alarmed at the proliferation of handguns. My concern is that unless strong and
decisive action is taken the number of handguns could grow exponentially and our firearms regime would equate to that of countries
such as the United States. Today we have 1800 legal handguns – in three years time that number could exceed 4,000 and
"This is completely unacceptable. While I know the vast majority of licensed gun owners behave
responsibly, my paramount concern must be the protection of the public, particularly against the background of the level of
gun crime which is taking place."
Some time ago the Minister directed his Department and An Garda Síochána to carry out an urgent
and intensive review of the firearms law. Proposals arising from that review will be reflected in a Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous)
Provisions Bill which is being prepared as a matter of urgency and which the Minister will bring forward shortly.
His proposals for radical reform in this area include - no new licences will be issued for handguns.
- existing licenses will not be renewed unless applications fully meet the requirements of a radically
tightened licensing procedure where the safety of the community will be paramount
- the Minister will keep under annual review, in consultation with the Garda Commissioner, the
outcome of the licensing procedure and, if the outcome of that procedure leaves a situation which still poses an unacceptable
risk to the community, will use new powers, which the Bill will contain, to ban outright any type of firearm.
The Bill will provide for the revocation of any handgun licenses which may be issued between now
and the enactment of the legislation and it is intended that anyone applying for a handgun license in that period will be
informed of that fact.
The Minister is prepared to make very limited exceptions in relation to Olympic sports only.
The Minister considers that his proposals will not cause inconvenience to the vast majority of
gun owners, who have had no interest in acquiring hand guns.
The Minister said "While I regret the need for these proposals, the reality is that if we were
subject to a Dunblane type incident or stolen legal handguns were used to kill innocent civilians the present situation, which
has not arisen as the result of any policy decision, would be impossible to justify."
LONDON - England - Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today announced a new law to ban dangerous handguns
and machine guns in the UK.
The gun ban today will come into effect
at midday and the Labour government believes this drastic measure should curb the pandemic use of firearms on Britain's streets.
will be illegal to murder, shoot or maim anyone under the new rules.
There will also be a two-tiered system for ensuring
the law is upheld by introducing deterrents to youths who are intent on committing murder sprees.
If you are caught
with class A firearms like the AK-47, Uzi 9mm , RPG or M16 you will be awarded an ABC (Acceptable Behaviour Contract).
second time caught you will get an ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order) and the third time you will be awarded an hours worth
of community service of your choice.
Class B weaponry like handguns and grenades will only get an ABC and a written
warning through the post.
For firearms offences like actual
murder or severe wounding, the punishment will be an ASBO, ABC and community service all on the same day, as well as a re-education
trip paid by the taxpayer to Alton Towers or Chessington World of Adventures for the day.
The Home Secretary is toying
with the idea of giving each gun criminal an 8GB i-pod and then asking them to hand over their heavy machine guns. This ploy
may not work however, because many youths with guns can get anything they want anyway.
The number of guns that are
circulating on Britain's streets is so large that the police are scared to go onto the streets.
Police work is mainly
conducted by CCTV and desk work back at the police station.
The typical British 'Bobby' does not carry firearms, and
if there is a shooting incident they are required to flee the crime scene and head back to the police station to fill in approximately
The form filling can take up to 4 hours to complete. An Armed Response Unit can then be authorised to visit
the gun crime scene after the threat level is assessed.
There are measures being put in place to cut police response
times by three and a half hours. However, this may cause problems in Met ranks because it would involve actual confrontation
In the police's defence, last year out of 34,578 shootings of which 24,600 were fatalities, 6 people
were arrested and given warnings for their dangerous behaviour.
The new law banning guns on Britain's streets is sure
to make citizens' lives safer and is testament to the wonderful work done by the Labour Government.
People in UK
want more armed police
Sep 11, 2007 7:12 AM
More than two
thirds of people polled in a survey published want tougher measures to combat violent crime, including more armed police on
Seventy-two percent of people questioned in a YouGov poll said
they want more armed police patrols while 88% said they want an increase in the five-year minimum sentence for possessing
an illegal firearm.
The nationwide survey of 2,100 people was carried out for
think-tank Policy Exchange.
It also found that 12% of adults know how to acquire
an illegal firearm and that 12% of respondents said they know someone who has, or has had, an illegal firearm.
Nearly half of those adults questioned, 45%, said they feel their area is less safe than it was five years ago
because of gun and knife crime, while 29% , said they, or their family, feel personally threatened.
In its report, "Gun and Knife Crime in Great Britain," the think-tank said gun culture now affects all sections
of society, in all parts of the country.
Gavin Lockhart, research director
of Policy Exchange, said: "It is clear that it is no longer just hardened criminals who have access to guns or deprived inner
city communities which are affected by them.
"Britain's gun culture has become
so endemic it affects huge swathes of the population, with millions of people saying they know how to get hold of illegal
firearms and millions more feeling personally threatened by them."
the number of fatalities and injuries caused by gun-related incidents has increased from 864 incidents in 1998/9 to 3,821
London is the gun crime capital of the country, but a large minority
in all regions knows how to get a gun, the report said.
More than 80% of respondents
said they believed the government has not done enough to make Britain's streets safe, despite steps to curb crime, the report
"Historically, the overwhelming majority of Britain's police is not armed,
a stance supported by the government," Lockhart said.
"However, fear of gun crime has risen so much that 72% want an increase in armed police patrols."
Police to review gun controls
Friday August 24, 2007 6:03 PM
A review of how police work to keep deadly guns off the streets has been announced.
Chief Constable Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said officers
will look at ways to improve gun control.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith called for the review at a meeting with senior officers after the death of
11-year-old Rhys Jones in Liverpool.
Police officers will be speaking to members of communities blighted by gun crime as part of the review.
Mr Jones said Acpo staff will work "tirelessly" to complete the review within a deadline of one month.
He said: "In this endeavour chief officers across the country will be speaking to affected communities who suffer from this
"The police need their help because they are part of the solution. We also look to our partners to aid
and assist us to make the most of this opportunity."
He added: "All too often young lives are blighted and their potential unrealised through the presence
of gangs and guns.
"Worse, too many young lives are brutally cut short. The tragic death of Rhys Jones must not become another
Mr Jones said the vast majority of young people are law-abiding and most people live in safe and secure
He added: "But a minority of our children do not live in safety and security, which is their right. We
must, all of us, now grip this problem and change things for the better."
The middle classes are tooling up
A widow who lives alone in a Wiltshire
farmhouse has taken to sleeping with a Smith & Wesson Saturday Night Special under her pillow. It belonged to her husband
and is more than capable of stopping an intruder, of which she has had three in the last two years.
When she goes shopping in Swindon,
she slips a can of Mace into her handbag in case of assault. "Bought it at the ironmongers in Bergerac," she says. "Much more
effective than an Asbo."
A senior civil servant, now retired
and living in a remote house near Losthwithiel in Cornwall, believes in the efficacy of a small-calibre .22 pistol. It was
easy to buy without a licence or proof of identity in rural France, where they are used to kill vermin. The .22 is also an
assassin's weapon - once the round has entered the cranium, it will ricochet about as it looks for an exit, devastating
brain tissue in its wake.
police stations close, self-protection is the only answer, writes john gibb
Many country people consider
a sawn-off 12-bore to be the most effective and easily available short-range weapon. A farmer at the Suffolk Show told me
that, for added impact, he pierces the crimped end of the cartridge and pours in warm wax which sets and creates a mass of
Owning a weapon is becoming a
habit for rural homeowners who feel unprotected now that so many police stations have closed.
I have never seen a police car
in my village and violent crime in the county, of course, is up. Baseball bats, swords, machetes, Mace and firearms are kept
beneath the bed or close to hand by many people.
In spite of Tony Blair's legislation
against handguns, lethal weapons are easy to acquire in the countryside. They aren't perceived as a problem because they are
kept secretly for
rather than to show off to rival drug-dealers. Often they are acquired during military service and handed down through the
family. But increasingly they are brought back from Europe by car.
HM Revenue and Customs figures
confirm this, showing an increase in weaponry seized at ports. For instance, 842 stun guns were intercepted by searches in
2005, an eight-fold increase year on year.
Most weapons seized are from
respectable people worried about their security. Mace, pepper spray and metal-spring batons, illegal here, are easily and
lawfully acquired in Europe, while high-calibre pistols can be bought in the Czech Republic.
Scotland Yard recently investigated
a French company selling arms through the internet and found that the majority of British customers considered themselves
to be law-abiding people, often young couples
worried about personal safety. Police
searches of their homes revealed a wide selection of weaponry.
precision hunting crossbow has the power to skewer a hoodie at 50 metres
Could we be seeing the first signs of a militant middle class which has had enough and is beginning
to arm itself? Perhaps.
For those who cling to the notion
that an Englishman's home is his castle, a new weapon will soon be available to help deter intruders. Designed by BowTech
in Oregon, USA, the Stryker (left) will be on sale in Europe by mid-January.
It is a precision hunting crossbow
complete with a multiple reticule, red dot 1x30 scope nightsight, 175lb draw weight, binary cam technology and the power to
skewer a hoodie at 50 metres. It fires bodkin-tipped 425 grain bolts at 405ft per second and will cost a little under £1,000.
Strangely enough, it's legal
and fits neatly beneath the bed.
Ad campaign to target gun crime in the UK
Police in London have unveiled
a new campaign to cut gun crime among the city's black communities.
Posters and press advertisements for Operation Trident
encourage people to phone in anonymously with information on gun
The family of one murder victim
have also taken part in a radio
Officers hope the campaign will help maintain a downward trend in
and murders investigated by Operation Trident.
At the official launch of the campaign at Scotland Yard on Tuesday,
Cressida Dick said over the past two years Operation
Trident had achieved a 23% reduction in shooting murders within
Lee Jasper, Trident Independent Advisory Group
So far this year 10 people had been shot dead, compared with 16 in
2002 and 13 in 2003.
Commander Dick said some of the success was due to good intelligence and investigative work.
she gave a large amount of the credit to the increased clear up
rate to greater co-operation from members of the public.
"We strive to increase the community's confidence in Trident.
Trident would be nothing without the support and involvement
community," she said.
The chair of Operation Trident's Independent Advisory Group Lee
Jasper told BBC News Online that increased willingness
to speak out has been used as the basis of the new campaign.
"The ads are suggesting to communities that a simple phone call can really make a difference and save somebody's life.
So it plays upon that theme.
"Talking to the brothers, sisters, mothers and girlfriends of the
men of violence has
generally been our target audience," Mr Jasper
Alongside posters and press adverts, the campaign also includes
flyers to be handed out at nightclubs and the
launch of a new
Operation Trident website.
As well as the backing of celebrities the campaign has been
supported by the family of Pauline Peart, a banker
from Essex shot
to death in 1999, whose family appear in a radio advert.
Earlier this month Pauline Peart's killers
were sentenced to life in
Operation Trident figures show, in spite of high profile cases like
death of Pauline Peart and the shooting of an 18-month old baby
in Hackney last week, gun crime within London's black
Critics say in view of the statistics Trident's continued
concentration on gun crime in the black community is
But the continuing concentration on the black community was defended by Detective Chief superintendent John
Coles, Trident's operational head.
Mr Coles is also responsible for Operation Trafalgar which focuses
on gun crime in other communities.
said the figures spoke for themselves.
"For every 80 Trident shootings there are only 30 Trafalgar
is in all other communities in London," he said.
Lee Jasper also gave his backing to Trident's continuing focus on
He said though the popular media image of violent "Jamaican Yardies"
was largely fictional there was a continuing
issue of gun violence
among black youths .
"This is a problem that has "made in Britain" stamped through it,"