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Failure to set up gun register criticised

3 March 2006

A Labour MP has called for a debate in the Commons over why there is still no national firearms register almost 10 years after the Dunblane tragedy.

Keighley MP Ann Cryer said other measures had been introduced in the years since Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 schoolchildren and their teacher at the town's primary school on 13 March 1996. However, the debate was needed so that MPs could discover why there was no register.

Commons Leader Geoff Hoon insisted the government was fully committed to establishing such a database. Technical problems have prevented its successful creation so far.

Campaigners have accused senior police officers and Whitehall officials of betraying the victims through their failure to establish the register after ministers admitted last month that it had been delayed again.

Mr Hoon said he recognised how disappointing it was that the scheme was still not up and running, but added that the planned roll-out would start in England and Wales in June if the pilot project in May proved successful.