3,500 guns lost or taken in 5 years

More than 3,500 firearms have been lost or stolen over the last five years, the Home Office has revealed.

Records released under the Freedom of Information Act show around 2,400 weapons, mainly shotguns and rifles, were stolen from their registered owners.

Most of the 1,083 weapons lost were shotguns but also included more than a dozen revolvers and even a 12-bore cannon.

Four firearms deals reported losing weapons, while seven shotguns and one rifle were stolen from traders.

Gun owners must have a secure box bolted to a wall and undergo a police inspection to receive a licence.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The UK has some of the toughest firearms controls in the world and comparatively low levels of gun crime. Our laws and the mandatory minimum sentences for many firearms offences makes clear that our society will not tolerate this type of crime.

"Our firearms legislation protects public safety while ensuring controls are practical and proportionate."