A Labour MP?s attempts to restrict access to shotguns for young people has failed to progress through Parliament.

Thomas Docherty had proposed the introduction of a minimum age of 14 years for holding a shotgun licence. But his Private Member?s Bill failed to be heard last week, following strong lobbying by the Countryside Alliance (CA).

The CA?s shooting campaigns manager, David Taylor, said: ?There was no basis for this bill ? Mr Docherty had no evidence that young people with shotgun certificates are a problem.

?He misunderstood the rules surrounding young people in the first place. He was quoted as saying that young people with certificates have ?unfettered access? to guns, when everyone knows that isn?t the case at all.?

Mr Docherty?s earlier attempts to justify his bill last week during an appearance with David Taylor on BBC Radio 4?s Today programme had ended in failure after presenter Evan Davis, in the words of one shooting commentator, gave Mr Docherty ?a thorough mincing from the outset?.

At one point, Davis accused Mr Docherty of ?meddling?. The presenter said: ?I am just wondering whether this betrays an approach to politics that is quite revealing ? there obviously isn?t a problem with licensed children shooting people with shotguns, and there?s no evidence there?s going to be a problem.?

The rest of this article appears in the 25th January issue of Shooting Times.

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