05/10/2006

Consultation on age of supervised firearms use

A 12-week consultation on the supervised use of licensed firearms by young people in Northern Ireland commenced today.

Security Minister Paul Goggins said: “This consultation paper sets out options for the way forward in response to a recommendation by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that there should be a single regime for young people’s throughout the United Kingdom.

“The wide-ranging consultation will determine at what age young people in Northern Ireland may use shotguns and air rifles under adult supervision. The present age is 16.”

As one option the paper suggests a reduction in the Northern Ireland minimum age limit to 12, however other options include that supervised shooting remains with an age limit of 16 as at present, and; the age for supervised shooting aligns with GB where there is no minimum age limit.

The Minister said: “Government would like to hear from those with an interest in this issue and are seeking views and comments on all aspects of the proposals.”

The consultation will run until 29 December 2006.

(EF/SP)

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