IAN Oliver, the Chief Constable
of Grampian, who, as head of the Central
Scotland force, knew Thomas
Hamilton, has called for the creation of a full-time,
independent firearms advisory body.
one of 100 submissions which have been accepted by Lord
Cullen and were made public yesterday, Dr
Oliver said his work with the firearms
consultative committee had convinced him of the need for such
Oliver said its role should be an overview of the
working of all firearms' legislation
and give advice to parliament, the police, Customs, the shooting
trade and the shooting community.
the chief constables' association believed that the body should
be pro-active, in the hope that problems could be quickly identified
present the only recourse is to the criminal or civil courts, and I
believe that to be wrong." Dr
Oliver told Lord Cullen he found
himself in the "unenviable position" of not only being a member
of the firearms consultative committee, and
chairman of the association's committee responsible for firearms
matters, but a former chief constable of Central
Scotland who had known Hamilton.
Oliver said that there could be no doubt that current
firearms acts were so complex that the law
was neither clear nor easily found. He said the draft act
and appeals document had been compiled in response to a need for change
to the "ill-conceived and hastily produced" 1988 act.
opportunity then to review completely our whole approach to
firearms control was lost ..."
Oliver said the tightening of controls on pump-action
shotguns had been nothing short of a disaster. "No-one
knew who possessed those weapons in the first place, and most have simply
the police service was given neither the time nor the money to cope
with the administrative burden the 1988 act placed upon it. Worse
still, even where the need for change had been identified, the legislative
machinery had been slow to react.
submissions, the Scottish Target Shooting Federation attacked the tabloid
press for its portrayal of Hamilton as a monster.
The federation said Hamilton - a member of
Stirling Rifle and Pistol Club - had been described as a mentally unstable
man who had become deranged, seemingly holding grudges against society
and particular parts of the community.
Dunblane tragedy involved the use of firearms,
but its not difficult to envisage a deranged man causing similar havoc
by other means." [Ed. ~ But why
did misled, or deranged, "Brothers" cover up
for Thomas Hamilton over many years?
And why did Lord Cullen not ask Dr
Ian Oliver if he was a Freemason?]
federation said that it was "to be wondered" whether
Hamilton's grudge against society
had not been because he had been "ostracised, shunned
and vilified by various parts of the community".
federation agreed this was not an excuse or justification
for Hamilton's actions.