Stanley's Law for tighter air rifle laws gets political backing

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A Yorkshire mum's campaign for tighter air rifle laws has moved a step forward after receiving backing from a number of MPs.

Jennifer Dees, from Hull, launched Stanley's Law to educate and change the licensing of air weapons following the tragic death of her son.

Six-year-old Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July last year.

Six-year-old Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July last year.

Six-year-old Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July last year.

Since his death, Miss Dees has been campaigning to make it an offence to use, possess or acquire an air weapon without a certificate in England.

An online petition has already been signed by more than 13,000 people meaning it will receive a response from the Government.

But in a major step forward this week, Stanley's Law has received backing from a number of MPs including Hull North MP Diana Johnson, Hull East MP Karl Turner and Delyn MP David Hanson.

Six-year-old Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July last year.

Six-year-old Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July last year.

Ms Johnson has now written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to request a meeting to see how they can make Stanley's Law happen.

Read more: Mother's heartbreaking tribute to 'beautiful and loving' son Stanley Metcalf, shot dead by great-grandfather
The Hull North MP said she will set out how a licence regime, like they have in Scotland, can help educate and train people about air rifles to ensure they are as safe as possible.

Miss Dees said: "We have really moved forward with Stanley's Law and to have backing from some of our MPs is brilliant news.

"I feel like the campaign is really gathering pace and that we are possibly going to get Stanley's Law in place sooner rather than later.

"My ultimate goal is to sit down with the Home Secretary and tell her all about our concerns and what needs to be done."

Scotland and Northern Ireland have licensing laws, but in England and Wales you do not need a licence to own most air guns.

The power limit is set at a muzzle energy of 12ft.lb for air rifles and 6ft.lb for air pistols.

Read more: Stanley's Law nears first hurdle as mother of six-year-old shot dead urges people to sign to save lives
Miss Dees wants this to change following the death of Stanley, who was shot by Grannon, using a .22-calibre gun.

The pensioner, who was jailed for three years, had the weapon modified to make it more powerful, but did not apply for a licence thinking he would not get one because he was partially disabled.

Miss Dees said: "Even if the air weapon my granddad had wasn't modified we were told by an expert that it would have still killed Stanley.

"People say air weapons are not dangerous, but I have the proof they are as Stanley is dead as a result of one.

Read more: Our son's life is worth more than 18 months' says heartbroken dad of Stanley Metcalf
"Nothing we can do will bring Stanley back but if our campaign and petition stops just one person getting hurt or fatally injured it will be worth it."

Since Stanley’s death, friends and family have been fundraising and hosting a variety of events to remember him.

A special peace garden has also opened at Stanley's school in Bransholme, Hull

Fundraising for the garden was made possible thanks to the kind generosity of friends and family and Hull charity the RICH Foundation, which helps to support bereaved children.

The school recently held a special workshop with Hull Beats Bus where the children got to write their own rap song in memory of Stanley.