Dunblane victim’s sister slams Morningside gun shop plans

The proposed site of the new gun shop on Comiston Road. Picture: Google Street View
The proposed site of the new gun shop on Comiston Road. Picture: Google Street View
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A woman whose sister was a victim of the Dunblane massacre has spoken out against plans to open a gun shop just yards away from an Edinburgh primary school.

Catherine Wilson, formerly of Dunblane, but who now lives in Edinburgh, has slammed the store’s opening, labelling it “disrespectful”.

The store, Edinburgh Rifles and Sporting Goods, is set to open on Comiston Road, just 400 feet away from South Morningside Primary School.

READ MORE: Mornginside gun shop ‘wildly inappropriate’ so close to primary school, says MSP

The firearms dealer, which has been operating online for the past 18 months, is to open up at the former Harmonious Healthy The Chinese Clinic, offering a full range of new and used firearms, ammunition, reloading components, optics and accessories.

In March 1996, gunman Thomas Hamilton claimed the lives of 16 children and their teacher when he opened fire at Dunblane Primary School.

Among the victims was Catherine Wilson’s sister Mhairi MacBeath, who was just five years of age.

UK gun laws were significantly tightened in the aftermath of the tragedy.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon understands deep disquiet over Morningside gun shop plans

Ms Wilson, who was a baby at the time of the shooting, told the BBC: “I don’t think we should have children walking up and down to school... seeing guns as part of every day life.

“To put a gun shop near a school in Scotland only 20 or so years after Dunblane happened, only 40 miles away from Dunblane, and not consider the ramifications of that, I think that’s disrespectful.”

Catherine added: “Dunblane should not just be viewed as a part of history, Dunblane was not a one-off day tragedy... It’s still affecting people.

“My prime issue with this gun shop is its location and the fact that there are children playing however many yards away.”

Edinburgh Rifles and Sporting Goods owner Ed Bewsher, 45, says he thinks shooting as a sport is being singled out unfairly.

The firearm dealership application for the gun shop on Comiston Road is still being considered by authorities.

Mr Bewsher is one of 365 registered arms dealers in Scotland.

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