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
In 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 a body.
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.
He said the chief constables'
association believed that the body should be pro-active, in the hope
that problems could be quickly identified and resolved.
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.
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"
"The opportunity then
to review completely our whole approach to firearms
control was lost ..."
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 disappeared.
"Equally, 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.
In its 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
tragedy involved the use of firearms,
but its not difficult to envisage a deranged man causing similar havoc
by other means." [Ed. ~ But why mislead? It was
deranged, masonic "Brothers" of
Thomas Hamilton who covered up for him over
many years? Why did Lord Cullen not
Ian Oliver if he was a Freemason?]
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".
agreed this was not an excuse or justification for Hamilton's