19/11/2010 12:50 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Give 10-Year-Olds Guns Says Police Chief

Give 10-year-old gun says police chief Adrian Whiting A senior police office has caused outrage by claiming kids as young as ten should be allowed to use guns.

Adrian Whiting, the Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police, has called for the age limits on firearm ownership to be lowered from 14 to 10.

Campaigners, meanwhile, have already demanded the limit be raised to 18.

The law currently allows children to have a licence to fire a shotgun at 10 as long as they are supervised by a licence-holding adult, but Mr Whiting has called upon MPs to lower the age at which they can apply for a firearms certificate for guns which shoot bullets - such as rifles - to match.

Addressing the Home Office Affairs Select Committee into June's Cumbria shootings, in which taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people and injured 11 others before shooting himself, Mr Whiting said:
'When the certificate is granted it does not give the young person the ability to purchase firearms or ammunition, nor does it give them an opportunity to shoot other than when they are supervised.'

The founder of Mothers Against Guns, Lucy Cope was astounded by Mr Whiting's comments, saying: 'I'm thoroughly disappointed with this senior police officer. I completely disagree with him. It is disgusting. I don't think a 10-year-old is responsible enough to have a firearm. Why do we want to teach them how to fire guns?'

What do you think?
Do you agree with Mr Whiting, or is Lucy Cope right that children should not be taught how to use guns?