03/10/2012 12:11 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Children As Young As 11 Have Been Given Gun Licences

Children as young as 11 have been given gun licences Alamy Boy playing with toy shotgun

Children as young as 11 have been given gun licences, it has been revealed.

A disturbing total of 56 youngsters aged 17 and under in the West Midlands are allowed to legally fire a shotgun.

The figures came to light after an investigation by the Birmingham Mail newspaper.

It found that eight 13-year-olds, three 12-year-olds and an 11-year-old had been granted the licences – a move that has been condemned as unacceptable by a local MP.

Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Selly Oak, who sits on the Home Affairs Select Committee, told the paper:


It is bizarre that you cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol until you are 18 and cannot drive until you are 17, but you can pick up and shoot a shotgun at 11. In the eyes of the law they are not competent to drive, but they can fire a lethal weapon.


"My own personal view is that it's unacceptable for an 11 or 12-year-old to be granted a licence to fire a shotgun.

"I think the ages should be brought into line with the other activities like drinking, smoking and driving."

In total more than 8,000 people currently hold a shotgun licence in Birmingham and the West Midlands and another 2,000 hold firearm licences.

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