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Firearms (Amendment) Act

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward legislation to exempt from the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 those Olympic participants in pistol shooting events to enable them to practise for the events in the UK; what recent representations he has received (a) supporting and (b) opposing amending the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 for this purpose; and if he will make a statement. (95123)

We have received representations from various shooting organisations in favour of allowing British target pistol shooters to practise in this country in the build-up to the London Olympics and a small amount of correspondence both for and against such a move. Our view is that pistol shooting events can take place at the Olympics without the need to change the legislation, using the Home Secretary's existing powers under section five of the Firearms Act 1968. These powers can also be used to allow a small number of potential medal winners to practise ahead of the Games and we have agreed in principle to explore how this might be achieved without endangering public safety. I have no current intention of amending the legislation.