All our objectives are predicated on the belief that the interests of public safety demand a reduction in the availability and attractiveness of guns of all kinds.

1

The tightening of gun licensing into a single, more rigorous, system that includes all firearms, shotguns and air guns. The onus should be on the applicant to demonstrate their suitability to own a gun and a specific need for doing so. Any opportunities for the spontaneous purchase of any gun, including air weapons, should be eliminated.

2

A licence for every gun, renewed annually (as opposed to the current five-year renewal) and requiring two referees for each application and its renewal.

3

An increase in the licence fee in order to cover the cost of policing a more rigorous system.

4

Lifting the secrecy about gun ownership, making it possible for certain professionals and members of the public to find out who has a licence and for what purpose.

5

A National Gun Hotline for those wishing to record their concerns about a gun owner. This should be a well-advertised free phone line for those concerned about their own or anotherís safety or the behaviour or well-being of a gun owner.

6

Refusal or revocation of a gun licence where there is evidence of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, misuse of a gun, when a relevant misdemeanour has been committed (e.g. shooting of wildlife, threatening behaviour or negligent storage of the weapon) or when an applicant has a significant criminal conviction.

7

Mandatory notification to GPs at the point when a patient becomes a legal gun owner.

8

Mandatory private and discrete notification to former and present partners of new and repeat applicants. Evidence from Canada and Australia shows that gun-related domestic violence has decreased as the legal frameworks on gun licensing and domestic violence have become harmonised.

We recognise the existence of a significant minority interest in shooting for sport, and our proposals are aimed at striking an appropriate balance between the sport-shooting interest and the overriding interest in public safety.

 

Posted: 1 October 2011