UK firearm ban

My question got lost in a bunch of anti-gun control backpatting, so I’ll try again here. How does the ban on firearms in the UK work? Animal hunting is always a last-resort excuse for guns, so is it allowed or not? Is it simply a city ban?

Off the top of my head, it is dependent on the type of gun. Handguns have a total ban, whereas for rifles and shotguns you need a good reason for having one.

Yeah, you need a license for a shotgun. Mostly only farmers have them I think. Hand guns are completely banned to the public except at shooting clubs where there is strict control over them. Basically, to legally carry a handgun or keep one in your house you have to be 007.

The penalty for having an illegal handgun is something like 7 years in prison.

So even the regular police aren’t allowed to carry them? How much of an exaggeration is that?

From what I understand, police have access to guns, but generally don’t cary them on patrol. They don’t need to. (The beauty of a firearm ban!) Someone from the UK care to clarify further?

I live in the UK, but I’ve only got a sketchy idea of how the firearms laws work. A few points, from my limited understanding:

All handguns are banned (even for use in gun clubs). This was enforced after the Hungerford and Dunblane massacres.

Shotguns allowed with a licence and a locked cabinet to store the weapon. I believe there is a limit on the number the capacity of the gun.

Some police do carry guns on routine patrol, although it is very rare. You see quite a few of the motorcycle cops carrying a sidearm in London for example. Also, by way of another example, on my way home from work I drive past the American embassy, and there are currently always 2 cops on duty with mp5 sub-machine guns.

Here is a link for those not familiar with Dunblane / Hungerford:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/164402.stm

Followed the link to the UK version of the NRA. Pretty lame.

Stretches the American mind to picture over 160,000 lawful citizens voluntarily surrendering firearms, like sheep.

I’m trying to picture 160,000 sheep surrendering firearms…

Out driving yesterday I saw a man walking along a lane carrying two shotguns (in cases), this is a very unusual sight, even in a semi-rural area like mine where there is a lot of pheasant. Most people probably transport their weapons by car.

There are places where the police routinely carry guns (airports, for example).

The post Hungerford/Dunblane gun laws were introduced by panicking politicians who rushed mindlessly, like Gaderene swine, to “do something”. Their response, much favoured by the police, was to ban all hand guns (not sure about rifles). Unfortunately, this was despite strong evidence that the had the police done their job properly (checking out applicants for gun licences), the two killers should have been picked up and probably prevented from having guns. They also ignored the point that the vast majority deaths from firearms were already from illegally held firearms.

Now we have the situation where only abiding citizens were affected by the law. Guns are still held illegally (no surprise there) and the new law has had no effect on the numbers of illegally held guns.

The police, of course, love the new law. It diverted attention from their failure to properly enforce existing laws and makes their job easier - blanket bans are much simpler than actually having to think.

The UK gun law is a fine example of a bad law enacted simply to appease public opinion.

God forbid the majority should actually get what they want!

Should just point out that the police force in Northern Ireland all do carry guns - a handgun sidearm and sometimes a rather large rifle-like automatic weapon.
(No idea what type/ make it is, gun fans.)

I take your point but there is a difference between reacting in a blind panic to pressure applied by the media and actually investigating the cases to see if legislation is required then presenting the case to Parliament for debate. Public opinion isn’t always right, nor is the majority.

I hate little stabs like this in GQs that are just bait for a counter-argument, but it’s not the right forum.

Either take it to GD, or stop making those snide little comments, please.

When the majority seeks to deprive the fundamental rights of the minority, then, indeed, God forbid.

It’s called “Tyranny of the majority”, and it can be just as bad as tyranny of the one.

Ye…es, if you believe that owning a firearm is a fundamental right, which I don’t.

Help! The few thousand people in the UK who think unrestricted gun ownership is a right are being oppressed!

I would like to apologise to chriszarate; for posting in a non-GQ manner; please disregard my last two posts.