Northern Ireland gun laws are to change to allow children as young as 12 years old to use firearms.
Justice Minister David Ford has decided that the age at which a young person may have supervised access to air guns or shotguns will drop by four years. At present, firearms certificates is issues to16 to 18-year-olds in specific cases for use on farms.
Mr Ford's decision follows public consultation and discussion with Chief Constable Matt Baggott. Two organisations for shooting have called for the age to be lowered to 10 years old. What?
Stewart Dickson, Alliance, a member of Stormont's justice committee, said he felt "nervous" about the move but would not be challenging the justice minister.
Mr Dickson said he would challenge anyone who sought to bring the age below 12 years. It is understood that, under the changes in the law, children as young as 12 would be able to use firearms provided they were supervised by an adult aged over 21 with at least three years' experience in firearms working in a controlled environment such as a gun club.
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