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Ten Year Olds Given Shotgun Licences in Cornwall

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10:27am 10th May 2012
(Updated 10:27am 10th May 2012)

Pirate FM has learnt children as young as ten are being given gun licences in Cornwall.

In the last three years, 90 under-sixteens have been cleared to use them.

84 were for shotguns while another six were firearm certificates, or weapons with live bullets.

Lyn Costello from Mothers Against Murder and Aggression said it raises a lot of questions: "I worry that the children are so young. I'm not sure why a ten year old would need a shotgun. When we look at cases in America, you've got very young people taking guns into schools and killing with them. You have the same kind of cases here.

"I'd like to be reassured that they're actually checking-out the people that they're giving these licences for. Is their mental health checked? Are they checked that they are supervised using them? The public need reassurance".

But Michael Hart, who farms near St Austell insisted, "It's not guns that kill people. People kill people. It ought to lead to the opposite. If young people are given access to firearms and learn to use them properly and to use them as a tool and not as a weapon, that's the way forward.

"They have to be supervised and they are taught how to use those firearms responsibly to make sure injuries don't happen. In reality it leads to a more responsible attitude towards guns."

The minimum age to apply for a firearms licence is fourteen. Statistics seen by Pirate FM reveal that four children that age have been granted one in the last three years. Children are not allowed to own a shotgun until they are adults.

10:27am 10th May 2012

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