Given the topical nature of gun control in light of a couple of nutters going walkabout in the English countryside, I thought it was worth highlighting this just published Statutory Instrument, laid before Parliament last week and due to come into force on the 28th:
Acquisition and possession of firearms by minorsThe law is being changed so that the age a firearm certificate may be granted in their own name is being raised from 17 to 18. This also applies to the purchase of guns and ammunition specified on that certificate.
2.—(1) The Firearms Act 1968(b) is amended as follows.
(2) In section 11 (sports, athletics and other approved activities)—
(a) in subsection (1) at the end insert “; but where the person carrying the firearm or
ammunition is under the age of eighteen, this subsection applies only if the other person is of or over the age of eighteen”;
(b) in subsection (2) after “A person” insert “of or over the age of eighteen”;
(c) in subsection (5) at the end insert “; but where the person borrowing the shot gun is under the age of eighteen, this subsection applies only if the occupier is of or over the age of eighteen”.
(3) In section 22 (acquisition and possession of firearms by minors) for subsection (1)
“(1) It is an offence for a person under the age of eighteen to purchase or hire any firearm or ammunition.”.
(4) In section 24 (supplying firearms to minors), for subsection (1) substitute—
“(1) It is an offence to sell or let on hire any firearm or ammunition to a person under the age of eighteen.”.
Now I doubt anyone will worry too much about that change, but why now? The Explanatory Memorandum makes clear:
Legislative ContextAh EU Directives. Not even in gun control do we have complete jurisdiction.
4.1 The proposed Regulations transpose provisions in Council Directive 2008/51/EC which amend Directive 91/477 of 18 June 1991 on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons. Member States must have measures in force to comply with the 2008 Directive by 28 July 2010.