Gun owners could assist in fighting terror attacks

A police commissioner has sparked controversy after claiming that UK gun owners could help defend rural areas against terror attacks.

Commenting during a phone-in on BBC Radio Cornwall, Alison Hernandez, the Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner, suggested the possibility of if and how ordinary people with gun licences could assist in a terrorist crisis.

Hernandez has been criticised for entertaining the prospect of the public defending themselves with firearms, and for saying the force should consider ‘the implications of it’.

DCC Paul Netherton responded to the comments, saying: “During these [terrorist] incidents, highly trained police firearms officers and Special Forces will be deployed to protect our communities. We would only use the normal military in response to a national security threat level and they would be deployed to free up police resources from their security duties.

“Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms, not least because officers responding would not know who the offenders were, and quite obviously they would not have the time to ask. Our message to the public is a simple one: to run, to hide and to tell.”

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