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Theresa May tells Commons that now is not the time to review Britain's gun laws

Highlights, not verbatim.

Screen shot 2010-06-03 at 12.16.35In an emergency statement to the House, and in her first statement to the Commons in her new role, Theresa May MP reflected on the "senseless" murder of twelve people in Cumbria yesterday by Derrick Bird. She paid tribute to the emergency services. The Home Secretary announced that one hundred detectives had been assigned to the investigation of the tragedy. Mrs May confirmed that Mr Bird's two firearms were properly licensed. She will go to Cumbria tomorrow with the Prime Minister. More funds will be made available to the police, local government and local charities if necessary. Calls for a debate on Britain's gun laws are not just "understandable" but "right and proper" but, Mrs May continued, there should be no rush to judgment until full facts are established.

Most MPs did not press the Home Secretary to make instant judgments but John Pugh, the Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, did say that it was beyond his comprehension that a taxi driver could legally own such firepower as Mr Bird possessed. Labour's Kate Hoey said that Britain had among the most stringent gun laws in the world and urged caution in reviewing them. Mrs May said there would be no knee-jerk reaction but she hoped that the Commons would have an opportunity to debate related issues before the summer recess.

John Stanley MP urged that questions were asked about the rapid reaction times of armed police. Ben Wallace raised the issue of sharing 'protective services' between the Lancashire and Cumbrian constabularies.

Tim Montgomerie

Related link: After Cumbria, calls for tougher firearms laws are understandable. They're also wrong.


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