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Firearms: National Register

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 3 September 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the names and qualifications of the members of the working group which has been set up to establish the central database for the establishment of a central register of firearms holders required by Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997; when the working group was established; and what are the dates on which it has met. [HL3046]

I understand from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that a working group to consider the possibility of setting up a national firearms register was first established on 28 August 1996, and was attended by the following members:

Mr. M. CurtisPolice Information Technology Organisation (Local Police Systems Directorate)
Mr. J. PhillipsChief Constable, Kent County Constabulary
Mr. A. BurdenChief Constable, Gwent Constabulary
Mr. J. TwiggPolice National Computer Directorate
Mr. M. ReedPolice Information Technology Organisation (Local Police Systems Directorate)
It was agreed at the meeting of the ACPO Administration of Firearms and Explosives Licensing Sub-Committee held on 18 March 1998 that a revised working group should be set up to review the work which had been done by the earlier group and on an

ad hoc basis since. Their aim is to finalise a detailed user requirement for submission to the ACPO Police National Computer (PNC) Steering Committee and the Police Information Technology Organisation. The members of this group are:

Mr. D. WinserAssistant Chief Constable, Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Mr. I. McCollFirearms Licensing Officer
Mr. J. BrearFirearms Enquiries Officer
Sgt. C. LockeMetropolitan Police Firearms Enquiry Officer
Supt. I. BrownACPO PNC Steering Group
Ch. Insp. J. ThompsonPNC Directorate

This group is scheduled to meet in September when all the current information has been marshalled.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Williams of Mostyn on 22 July (

WA 118), whether it is a statutory requirement of Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 to establish a central register of firearm holders or whether the creation of such a register is dependent on the Association of Chief Police Officers' assessment of its operational priority. [HL3125]

The establishment of a central register of all persons who have applied for a firearm or shotgun certificate, or to whom a firearm or shotgun certificate has been granted, or whose certificate has been renewed, is a statutory requirement of Section 39(1) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997. Sub-section (2)(b) further requires the register to be kept by means of a computer which provides access on-line to all police forces. The legislation does not specify when the requirement must be met.