Claim for firearms handover is settled

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The Independent Online

A firearms enthusiast who was forced to hand over his guns after the Dunblane massacre has reached a compensation deal with the Government that could lead to a multi-million- pound payout.

A firearms enthusiast who was forced to hand over his guns after the Dunblane massacre has reached a compensation deal with the Government that could lead to a multi-million- pound payout.

The settlement follows a three-year legal battle in which a London solicitor, David Steed, claimed the interest on the delay in compensation for the surrender of his handguns. His victory in the House of Lords in May paved the way for thousands of other gun enthusiasts to be awarded interest and compensation, estimated to be more than £150m.

Yesterday's recognition by the Home Office of the law lords' decision marks a new stage in the resolution for all outstanding claims.

Payments are made under the firearms compensation scheme, set up in 1997 with the introduction of the Act banning large-calibre handguns. The legislation followed the Dunblane massacre in 1996, when Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and a teacher.

The Home Office has not yet settled many claims for customised guns, which have to be assessed for value. But a spokeswoman for the office said that the deal with Mr Steed "does not create a general entitlement to receive interest for late compensation".