PCC says government is "reckless and irresponsible" after dropping plans to ban military grade weapons
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner says the
government is 'reckless and irresponsible' after it changed its
mind and refused to ban a military grade rifle from public
David Jamieson is extremely concerned that despite warnings from
senior counter-terror officers of the risks these weapons of
enormous power would pose if they got into the wrong hands, the
Government chose to ignore those concerns. In the West Midlands,
gun crime has risen by 50% since 2012.
The Offensive Weapons Bill, which is currently making its way
through Parliament, originally included a ban of .50 calibre
weapons, until the Home Secretary gave in to pressure from
The firearms have, in the past, been used by the IRA to murder
soldiers and police officers during the troubles.
The bullets fired from the guns are capable of being used to
pierce body armour and MoD operational requirements state the
weapons are effective out to 1.8km.
David Jamieson, who also chairs the National Counter Terrorism
Strategic Board, said: "This is a totally irresponsible decision
from the government. It is disappointing to see that the Home
Secretary has caved into pressure from Brexiteers flexing their
muscles, which means we will no longer see these lethal weapons
"There is no justifiable need for a member of the public to own
these guns. They can do serious damage to cars, let alone people,
and I can think of no reason why anyone should need to own them.
The fact these weapons were used by the IRA in the 1990s proves
they must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
"The Weapons Bills Committee were warned by senior counter
terrorism officers that there is no body or vehicle armour which
the police could use to defend themselves against the ammunition
fired from these guns. If one got into the wrong hands many lives
could be lost. The government have failed to take action against
the most dangerous of weapons that could be available to