[Sinn Fein]

6th February 2003

Imaginative measures needed to remove the gun and the knife from Irish life

Sinn Fein Councillor Dessie Ellis has called on the government to immediately re-asses their policies on anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and violence on the streets to curb the alarming frequency of people being injured by guns and knives in this country. He said these problems were inextricably linked and should be treated as part of one overall policy to make our streets safer and that radical and imaginative alternative policies were required as the current ones simply haven't worked.

Councillor Ellis said:

"Last nights shooting of three young people in my constituency, Finglas, is systematic of just how out of hand anti-social behaviour and street violence has become. Many peoples daily lives are now dominated by the spectre of violence in their communities.

"It is now easier than ever for petty criminals to get their hands on guns and knives. They are buying shotguns that have been stolen from licenced owners and they are buying deadly knives from high street camping stores. This has got to stop. I am calling for the government to make it compulsory for licenced firearm holders to store their weapons in purpose built strong boxes or safes and for a complete ban on the sale of knives in camping shops that have no real practical purpose. Who needs a seven inch knife with a jagged edge blade to go camping in Ireland?

"These measures require urgent political will and need to be considered by this government immediately."

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