A difference of opinion
I write further to Mr Edwards’ letter in the May 2018 edition, titled Air rifle licensing dilemma. Perhaps Mr Edwards could point out when firearms licensing has been of benefit to the shooting community. Off of the top of my head, I can recall few, if any benefits.
The (comparatively) recent requirement for a doctor’s report in the licensing procedure has produced myriad complaints from medical professionals and individual shooters themselves. The additional resources required would surely be paid for by the applicants themselves, far in excess of the £100 per head per five-year term quoted by Mr Edwards.
I feel that Mr Edwards’ comments concerning any police response if someone carries a firearm in a public place are simply nebulous: “if you misuse an air rifle or pistol in any way... a number of red dots will more than likely be targeted on the chest area of the person with the gun”.
Should a person pose a threat/potential threat to the public, what else would you expect the officers do? How would a licence stop them?
Licensing is not a total panacea – Michael Ryan, Thomas Hamilton and Derrick Bird would surely be evidence enough. Under Mr Edwards’ definition, none of these people would be boneheads, rather they would be sensible citizens and trustworthy shooters. I fundamentally disagree.
Effective enforcement of the existing firearms legislation is surely the correct approach. I see in the news section that Colin Greenwood has died. I wonder what his views would have been?