Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum submitted by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

  Following my appearance before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee session, "London 2012 Olympics: First Steps" on 25 October, I wish to clarify the position on firearms legislation and the Olympics.

  As you know, current firearms legislation banning the use of small firearms affects three of the Olympic shooting disciplines (25m pistol (30+30 shots) Women; 25m rapid fire pistol (60 shots) Men; and 50m pistol (60 shots) Men) and prohibits these disciplines from being practised in this country.

  However, as I explained during my evidence to the Committee, shooting competitions will be included in the 2012 Olympics. This is possible because when the Firearms (Amendment) Bill was under consideration, a commitment was made that favourable consideration would be given to allowing pistol shooting events to take place should any major multi-event Games be held in this country. The Home Secretary has powers to allow this to happen and has already indicated that these powers will be activated so that special arrangements can be put in place to allow pistol shooting events at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, as happened at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. These arrangements will include a warm-up event if it is deemed necessary.

  The use or transport of prohibited firearms either by residents of Great Britain or foreign nationals will remain prohibited outside the period covered by these special arrangements. At present, there are no plans to amend this to permit competitors to train using prohibited firearms in the period up to 2012.

  I hope that this clarifies the position.

11 November 2005

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