Labour vote with Tories against airgun action

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By Rona Mackay

Labour MPs have voted with the Tories to prevent transfer of control over the most dangerous air weapons to the Scottish Parliament.

An SNP amendment which would have enabled the Scottish Parliament to take action over the most dangerous air weapons and tackle problems which exist in relation to armed crime and the irresponsible misuse of firearms was defeated by 392 votes to 8.

Commenting, SNP Home Affairs spokesperson Pete Wishart MP said: “Labour have joined with the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in voting against a safer Scotland.

“Although the number of incidents is declining, Scotland still has a problem with dangerous weapons – particularly airguns.  The SNP’s amendment would have devolved control over these weapons to the Scottish Parliament so tailored solutions could be developed.  It is profoundly disappointing that Labour seems to have joined the Tory Lib Dem coalition to vote it down.

“Scottish Ministers have used their powers to tackle Scotland’s problem with knife crime – and it’s working with incidents down 30% in the past four years.  With the transfer of responsibility proposed in this amendment, we could have done the same with air guns.

“The measures contained in the Scotland Bill will require Scottish Ministers to ask the UK Parliament before acting.  This is a delay which could cost lives.

“Without the improvements that the SNP is proposing, the Scotland Bill will fall short and fail Scotland.”