asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the number of illegally held firearms in England and Wales; and if he will arrange an amnesty to permit their surrender on payment of cash value.
No reliable estimate is possible. My right hon. Friend does not think it would be justifiable to use public money to buy illegally held weapons. But chief officers of police generally refrain from prosecuting persons who voluntarily surrender illegally held weapons; and they have power to issue temporary permits which would permit the sale of the weapon in appropriate cases.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegally held firearms, by category, have come into the possession of the authorities in each of the last three available years.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent metal detection devices are employed at point of entry in England and Wales to prevent the illegal importation of firarms and ammunition.
Such devices are used at many sea and air ports, but it would not be in the public interest to give details.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations have been made by the West Yorkshire Police Authority regarding his advice on the use of firearms.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licensed guns there were in England and Wales as at 31st December 1974; and how many of these were bullet firing.
I regret that information is not available in the form requested. On 31st December 1974 there were in force in England and Wales 766,952 shotgun certificates and 185,865 firearm certificates. Both types of certificate may relate to more than one weapon.