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Murder And Manslaughter (Firearms)

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 10 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons have been the victims of murder and manslaughter in cases where a firearm was used which was not known to have been legally held in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available;(2) how many persons have been the victims of manslaughter or murder by persons legally holding firearms, in each of the last 10 years for which records are available; how many of these murders were committed by persons related to the victim; and if he will provide a breakdown of the type of firearms used in each year;(3) how many persons have been the victims of manslaughter or murder by legally held firearms stolen from their owners in each of the last 10 years for which figures were available; in how many of these cases such deaths occurred when other crimes were being attempted or carried out; and what information he has as to the type of weapons used in each year.

Information on offences of homicide by shooting and on the type of firearm involved is published annually in tables 4.3 and 3.6 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" copies of which are in the Library; the latest issue (Cm. 233) gives figures for 1976–86. The available information on the relationship between victim and suspect for all homicides by shooting and on homicides by shooting in furtherance of theft or gain is given in the tables. Information on whether the firearms involved were legally held, illegally held or stolen is not available centrally; corresponding information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Table 1
Offences currently1recorded as homicide where the victim was related to the principal suspect by type of firearm
Number of offences
YearTotalType of firearm
Long-barrelled shotgunSawn-off shotgunPistolRifleOther
198212912
19832214251
1984191919
19852910225
1986231553
1 As at 1 June 1987.
Table 2
Offences currently1recorded as homicide where the victim was related to the principal suspect by type of firearm
Number of offences
YearTotalType of firearm
Long-barrelled shotgunSawn-off shotgunPistolRifleOther
19823111
19833111
19846321
19856123
1986211
1 As at 1 June 1987.