Under the Freedom of Information Act, recent data has been released that revealed 7071 gun licenses were issued to under 18's between 2008 and 2010. These figures were collected by the BBC from 51 forces around the United Kingdom.
West Mercia and Cumbria police issued licenses for eight year olds, while Gloucestershire police approved a license for a seven-year old. Ten other permits were given to nine-year olds.
West Mercia Police said the eight-year-old boy possessed a license for clay pigeon shooting only and was under his father's supervision.
The Commons home affairs select committee appealed for firmer restrictions on gun licenses, demanding minimum age limits.
Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) recommend the introduction of an ‘absolute minimum age’ set at 10-years old for anyone using firearms and shotguns.
"Public protection is the first duty of any government and our firearms laws are among the toughest in the world", said a spokesman for the Home Office, which is going over the laws.
"A shotgun certificate is a piece of paper which allows people under the age of 18 to shoot under supervision, "said Christopher Graffius, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the United Kingdom's largest shooting organization.
"A shotgun certificate is a piece of paper which allows people under the age of 18 to shoot under supervision, " said Christopher Graffius, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the United Kingdom's largest shooting organization.
"They are not allowed to own a firearm and cannot even have access to a gun cabinet - a member of their family or the gun club would supply them at the appropriate time and then take back possession of the firearm afterwards, " a spokesman for the West Mercia Police said.
On average one child dies from gunshot wounds every 3 hours. It was reported in 2009 that the U. S. A. is most heavily armed nation in the world, with a total of up to 60 million Americans bearing 200 million firearms.
In the documentary, ‘Locked and Loaded: Kids and Guns in America, one family proudly proclaimed that his five-year old son was the youngest to ever shoot an M16.
The youngest person to obtain a gun license was only 10 months old. The 686 White Onyx Beretta gun was a present from the child’s grandfather.