British Police to issue shotguns to 7-year olds?

March 26, 2011

Some things in life are pretty self-explanatory, obvious and without rebuke. Not allowing 7-year olds to roam the countryside firing shotguns at all and sundry is surely one of such things? Well apparently not. At least not according to the Gloucestershire police department, who, in 2008 issued a 7-year old with a shotgun license. According to the constabulary in documents obtained by the BBC, “the application for a licence was submitted and supported by the boy’s father, who is himself a firearm and shotgun certificate holder“.

The Gloucestershire police department has not been alone in its folly. During the last three years Britain’s finest have deemed it appropriate to issue shotgun certificates to 13 children under the age of 10. That’s 13 children walking around with the states permission to brandish firearms. Big, shotgun-sized firearms. Now the fox hunting brigade and their peers are sure to have some sort of rebuttal to this ineptitude; as if giving 7-year olds the right to fire guns is in keeping with the countryside way of life and a God given right to the Gloucestershire bourgeoisie. No. Children shouldn’t be allowed to canter around the countryside blowing pheasants off of barn roofs. Take the blame would like to highlight the ineptitude of the forces at power in brandishing such certificates and take the blame for it.

During the past three years 10 certificates have been issued to nine year olds and two forces, West Mercia and Cumbria, deemed it suitable to issue two 8-year olds with licenses (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12840557). A spokesman for West Mercia police went as far as to say that “thorough checks were made before any licence was granted“, unfortunately this thorough checking didn’t actually involve looking at the child or asking the child their age, either of which would have resulted in the number 8 being discovered. Perhaps the 8-year olds in West Mercia are more advanced than their army, plastic cap-gun toting peers in other counties.

The British Association for Shooting and Conversation has a spokesman. His name is Steve Bloomfield and he says that age is “irrelevant” when it comes to issuing shotguns licenses as the decision is made by very experienced police officers. In full.

…And the age is irrelevant. It’s the mental aptitude, and the stability of the family, and the stature of that young person that decides it – the age doesn’t decide it at all.”

Mental aptitude and stature? According to the dictionary, the definition of stature is the high level of respect gained by impressive development or achievement; “a man of great stature”. See how it doesn’t read a ‘child’ of great stature. Ineptitude is rife in the whole affair. That these people can deem such young children capable of the maturity to brandish such weapons is in-keeping with so much of the insanity currently on show, not just in the laws of these shores, but everywhere. So you can shoot pigeons with double-barrelled shotguns at seven but you can’t smoke, drink, vote, drive, leave home, marry, buy matches or watch ghostbusters without adult supervision. Lets just open the flood gates and put these mature young adults behind the wheel of a tractor whilst they tear up the countryside smoking cuban cigars.

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4 Responses to British Police to issue shotguns to 7-year olds?

  1. Lauren K on March 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Wow…utterly shocking…I was a fool to think that people in this world couldn’t get any more stupid!

  2. thechef on March 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    What is even more absurd is that people are defending these decisions, and they actually believe it. Children on bikes with guns. Its ludicrous to think children so young understand anything of the responsibility involved.

  3. Rob on March 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Also what’s ludicrous is that no one so far seems to have checked the facts.

    The police have issued a licence for the shotguns to be used only in a supervised environment. i.e. on a shooting range/clay pigeon shoot.

    Now I’m still not in favour of this either – I think 7 year olds have no business firing shotguns even at clay pigeons.

    But it’s a far cry from kids cycling round shooting at all and sundry. That’s simply not part of the licence. They also can’t buy guns or ammunition (obviously).

    RC

  4. thechef on March 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    A gun is a gun and a child is a child and never the two should meet. The end.

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