Handgun Bill faces delay in Lords

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The Government's controversial Bill outlawing all handguns in the wake of the Dunblane massacre cleared the Commons last night - but now faces possible delay in the Lords.

The Firearms (Amendment) Bill extends to .22 pistols the ban on larger calibre handguns introduced by the previous Tory government. The Bill won its second reading exactly a week ago, and - with ministers keen to see the measure on the Statute Book as quickly as possible - it passed through all its remaining Commons stages this week.

It was given a third reading last night by 350 votes to 164, a majority of 186. The measure now goes to the Lords, where it is certain to run into opposition from the pro-shooting lobby.

It emerged yesterday that it may not pass into law until the autumn, risking angering Dunblane campaigners.