Offensive Weapons Bill

Further written evidence submitted by Mr M D Jenvey (OWB82(b))

I have already submitted written evidence [1] at OWB82 relating to the firearms related clauses, & a further submission (sent 03 Sep, as yet not listed).

This is to add a link / information relating to the National Crime Agency [2] :

Crimes involving firearms remain relatively rare in the UK. 

The majority of shooting incidents in the UK are committed by members of urban street gangs. These criminals are involved in many types of criminality including armed robberies, drug distribution, and kidnap and extortion. They use firearms for respect or retaliation, to expand their revenue collection base, or to emulate 'gangster' culture.

Furthermore, they state:

Most of the firearms used by UK based criminals are handguns, many of which are converted or reactivated. Original lethal purpose firearms are more prevalent. Shotguns and to a much lesser extent certain types of submachine gun are also used in criminality. Converted Baikal handguns are the most common converted firearms found in the UK.

For some strange reason, this seems to contradict the "expert" evidence verbally given to the Committee. Why would this emphasis change so drastically with no statistical evidence to support the need for a change in the legislation against legally held firearms?

As an indication of the handgun problem, 20 were discovered recently (09 Sep) at Dover. [3] On the basis the HMRC have previously quoted that for illegal goods (drugs, firearms, etc), only 10% are ever detected, it is very clear that more focus / financial input should be directed at such (known) risk areas, rather than penalise law-abiding citizens who adhere to all many constraints implicit in ownership of their firearms certificates. The prevalent offences relating to handguns clearly show the risk to members of the public; conversely, there is no evidence to show risk of criminality associated with .50 calibre / MARS rifles.

There are other recent media stories to show that handguns are what criminals / gangs want. [4]

To conclude, all the evidence (or rather, lack of evidence from the Home Office) points to a logical deduction – the firearms-related clauses in the Bill should be removed.

September 2018


[1] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmpublic/OffensiveWeapons/memo/OWB82.pdf

[2] http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/firearms

[3] https://www.kentonline.co.uk/dover/news/lorry-search-finds-haul-of-20-guns-189465/

[4] http://www.itv.com/news/2018-09-05/gun-supplier-who-bragged-about-crime-funded-lifestyle-jailed-for-26-years/

 

Prepared 10th September 2018