Hurd warning over Bill to ban handguns

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The Independent Online
The former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd fuelled a rebellion yesterday by backwoods peers in the Lords over the Bill to ban most handguns with a warning to the Government to "pause and think" before rushing into legislation.

Mr Hurd, also a former Home Secretary, said quick action to curb gun ownership and ban knives may be a mistake born of emotion and could hurt "law-abiding minorities" while not guaranteeing public safety.

His remarks will strengthen the opposition led by a crossbench aristocrat, the Earl of Strafford, today against the Firearms Bill, which will ban all but .22 or smaller calibre handguns, due for its second reading in the Lords. The Dunblane Christmas record Knockin' on Heaven's Door, performed by 14 children from the Scottish town, was last night confirmed as Britain's top-selling single, just six days after going on public sale. Colin Brown

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