19 MAY 1961, Page 15

FIREARMS Sut,—The sporting weapon used by Victor Terry for armed

robbery was freely available to him; other deadly weapons are now the subject of strict public control. How much of the culpability of this youth is shared by the State, now putting him to death? Firearms were the weapons about which the Homi- cide Act of 1957 was mostly concerned. But how can the Act be effective when the principal weapon of murder is still left, so far, outside the law's control? As long as the Government knowingly permits the means of murder to be placed in the hands of the Weak-minded, then it must be considered an acces- sory to the act of murder. There is consequently a moral obligation on the State to exercise its prerogative of mercy in the Terry case; and make a drastic revision of the present gun licensing laws toot evident in the present proposals going through Parliament on this subject).—Yours faithfully,