Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Nearly 40% of Isle of Man weapon owners have criminal records

Weapons amnesty
Image caption More than 90 firearms were handed in during a month-long weapons amnesty in 2017

Nearly 40% of all registered gun and crossbow owners on the Isle of Man have a criminal record, figures have revealed.

A Freedom of Information request confirmed that 2,003 people held certificates for firearms and regulated weapons - equivalent to 2.3% of the population.

Data from police show that 789 of those (39%) have at least one conviction.

Isle of Man Constabulary said it would not disclose details of the offences.

The FoI request revealed that, at end of March 2019, there were 808 firearms certificates and 1,757 regulated weapons certificates recorded by police.

Image caption Source: Isle of Man Constabulary

Firearms certificates are required for all guns and pistols, powerful air rifles and self-loading and pump action shotguns.

Regulated weapon certificates are required for all other shotguns, regular air weapons and crossbows with a draw weight over 1.4kg.

A spokesman for Isle of Man police said the convictions of those involved were for a "variety of offences" but refused to give details.

He said criminal records remained confidential and releasing the nature of those offences could lead to the identification of individuals.

According to Home Office data from 2018, the island has double the percentage of registered firearm owners per head of population than England and Wales.

The spokesman said the force takes each application on its "own merit", and makes a "balanced assessment on whether the applicant should be granted a certificate".

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