I think we should be going to town on this case. Otherwise the Tories will as like them we voted against the statutory instruments that made this a strict liability law.
Chris Huhne asked a question that was published in Hansard.
Furthermore, he wrote the following on his blog:
Figures recently released by the Home Office show a significant increase in the sentences handed-down by the courts for possession of a firearm since changes introduced by Labour in 2003 – changes which both the Tories and the Lib-Dems voted against. Since that law change the proportion of convicted offenders getting immediate custody for carrying a gun has risen from 24% to 63%.
Average sentence lengths for gun possession are much longer – up 73% from 27.3 months in 2003 to 47.3 months in 2005. The number of offenders getting sentences of 5 years or over in 2005 for firearms possession was four times what it was in 2003 and sixteen times what it was under the Tories. Under them, a mere 13% of convicted offenders for firearm possession went to prison, and then they got a light sentence. In June 1997 they voted against the Firearms Act which banned hand guns. And in May 2003, they voted against the whole of the Criminal Justice Bill which had the five year minimum custodial sentences for unauthorised possession of a firearm.
Those who use or carry guns should be under no illusion that they risk a long spell behind bars. I am pleased the Courts now treat the illegal possession of a firearm with the gravity it deserves.
I take it in his desire to prove `tougher than the Tories` he didn’t think what that first sentence of the paragraph in bold actually meant.