Firearm legislation and the Cullen inquiry

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7054.374 (Published 17 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:374
  1. A M Morris, Consultant plastic surgeon
  1. Dundee Royal Infirmary, Barrack Road, Dundee

    <it>Independent medical advisors and a help line would keep doctors out of</it> <it>the firing line</it>

    On 13 March 1996 Thomas Hamilton walked into the gymnasium at Dunblane Primary School and shot dead 16 children and their teacher. The Secretary of State for Scotland, on behalf of both houses of parliament, asked Lord Cullen to inquire into this tragic incident, and his report is expected at the end of September. It will include recommendations on the control of possession and use of firearms and ammunition, school security, and the vetting and supervision of adults working with children. The Secretary of State for Scotland has made it clear that parliamentary time has been set aside to implement any recommendations.

    Under current legislation, people wishing to obtain a certificate to acquire, renew, or alter a firearm or shotgun must fill in a questionnaire. This asks for personal details including a specific question about whether the applicant has ever had epilepsy or any form of mental disorder. All applications must be countersigned by someone who is resident in Britain, who has known the applicant personally for at least two years, …

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