UK firearm ban

You picked up on that but not on this?

To answer that actual question posted, rather than the various snide comments, here goes:

1995 Canadian Department of Justice review of firearms statistics and regulations - British section.

There is also this Home Office PDF from 2002 explaining in detail UK firearms regulations and the certification procedure. It contains a detailed definition of what is and what is not prohibited, which is (a) too long to reproduce here and (b) in a columnar PDF format, which means I can’t even select nice chunks for you. It is probably the most up-to-date reference I’ve seen, though.

UK resident gun owner here!

I have plenty of opinions involving the use of profanities on this, but I’m going to just state the facts. I’ll rant later. There are two types of licence for firearms: the Shotgun Certificate and the Firearms Certificate.

The shotgun certificate does exactly what it says: it allows you to have shotguns. There is no real limit to how many you can have, and you do not need to demonstrate a good reason to won one, as it is legally a right, but they tend to not mention that and to try and intimidate applicants. You just have to take “reasonable security precautions” (no-one knows what that means but most people have a steel gun cabinet), and a policeman comes along to interview you to make sure that you’re not a loony.

The firearms certificate covers all other firearms (including black powder weapons), and is backed up by the biggest pile of ill-thought-out legislation ever. It takes the police bloody ages to ever get anything done with these as it’s so unnecessarily difficult. In addition to the requirements for the grant of a shotgun certificate, you need to demonstrate a good reason, you have to apply for every single rifle individually, the ammunition is yet another matter, it’s an absolute never ending pain in the arse, and that’s exactly what it’s meant to be. And you can’t have any pistols at all except for black powder ones.

Only you can’t buy black powder, that requires an Explosives Licence (you can get away with pyrodex though). It’s all designed to make you give up. The grant of a firearms certificate does not entitle one to have a shotgun, which is also stupid.

I’m going to stop this now, only to return later to address the question of the Tyranny of the Majority, that has been touched upon earlier. Damn, the Masses can be annoying. But nowhere near as much as Tony and his Gang.

IIRC - general police walking the streets (bobbies on the beat) don’t carry guns, but do carry CS gas cannisters. For firearms incidents, the Armed Response Unit is called which for most forces consists of a couple of cars with a couple of firearms experts in. Don’t confuse these with SWAT teams, they don’t wear as much body armour and use MP5s. I’m sure London is different and would have a much bigger firearms section.

To put things in perspective, my local ARU hasn’t fired a shot since 1998.

Police firearms usage:

ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) policy on firearms deployment.

There was always the feeling that the largest source of illegal weapons was from legal owners.

There are plenty of cases where legal firearms dealers were sources for ammunition, and reactivated weapons for the criminals.

What I can say from personal experience is that the penalties imposed on known criminals for posessing firearms are now so severe that habitual villains deem the risk of having them as being too great.

I love it when folk talk about the tyranny of the majority when they mean democracy, it gets applied by the hunting, shooting brigade to the rest of UK society rather too frequently.
If you really want to live in an extremist nation where your opinion really does not count for anything at all then I’m sure you can find plenty of places to pack your bags and sod off to.After a few years of living under such regimes then maybe you might temper your arguments about opression when you return here.

If you go out and about the UK public and ask them if it is “a good thing” for more firearms to be made more easily available I would be surprised to come across a majority in favour of that.

I would be very interested to see any cite that states or proves that the majority of UK people think that having more guns around is a good thing.

Two words, Mangetout: Molon Labe


And that is relevant why, exactly?

Call me faint-hearted, but somehow the invocation of an ancient Greek battlecry on an anti-gun-control website fails to convince me.

I’ve been thinking about the Tyrrany of the Majority, and it’s struck me that this is another word for “democracy not going my way”. E.g. I’m not in favour of the death penalty, but I believe the majority of UK citizens are. If it was ever put to a referendum it would get back in. Tyrrany of the Majority, I tell you! However, when it comes to guns, that’s perfectly democratic. Bad luck old boy.

Casdave, nobody is saying that the majority in the UK thinks that having more guns around is a good thing. It simply isn’t true. However, it is definitely a bad thing that 800,000 firearms owners are treated as crime suspects as a matter of course because a couple of bastards went off the rails.
Now as for legal gun owners being a source for illegal firearms, well, you’re always going to have a few people who abuse their freedoms. But is that a good enough reason to take away this freedom from everyone? I certainly don’t think so, but it depends on how much importance relative you attach to individual liberty and overall perceived security.
If you wanted to rob a bank, you’d be unlikely to go to the trouble of stealing a double-barrelled shotgun, and you certainly wouldn’t bother to go through the legal process. No, you’d go and buy an AK-47 for £100 from Big Dave in Brixton. It’s cheaper too, and an unregistered gun can’t be traced to you. There are Home Office statistics that back this up. I’ll see if I can find a link to them.

Here are some figures for you…:

Gun deaths per 100,000 population (for the year indicated):
Homicide Suicide Unintentional

USA 4.08 (1999) 6.08 (1999) 0.42 (1999)

Canada 0.54 (1999) 2.65 (1997) 0.15 (1997)

Switzerland 0.50 (1999) 5.78 (1998) -

Scotland 0.12 (1999) 0.27 (1999) -

England/Wales 0.12 (1999/00) 0.22 (1999) 0.01 (1999)

Japan 0.04* (1998) 0.04 (1995) <0.01 (1997)

  • Homicide & attempted homicide by handgun

Data collected by Philip Alpers, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and HELP Network

So, to simplify, the U.S. has easy, legal access to guns, and lots of gun violence. The U.K. has strict, almost oppressive laws, and very little gun violence. The question is, which do you prefer?

I’ve tried that argument before, J. Alfred. Pro-gunners complain the figures are not comparable, because overall US crime is very high anyway. Also, Switzerland too (IIRC) has high gun ownership and low crime. The exceptions ‘proving’ the rule, IYKWIM.

I’m not a pro-gunner, I’m anti people trying to stop other people generally and myself in particular from participating in activities that don’t harm anyone else. My original gripe was with gun control. It has now grown quite a lot beyond that, but the first problem remains.

As for the statistics that you quote, I do indeed think that the US is a case apart, as it is for just about everything for that matter. Switzerland is also a weird one. Having lived there for a while I heard hardly anyone complaining about the incidence of violent petty crime that terrifies people (often a lot more than is reasonable) in the UK and France. I suspect that one of the reasons for this is that it’s a little El Dorado in the middle of Europe where few people are financially desperate enough to resort to petty crime. As for their attitude to guns, they just take them as a fact of life like they do electric kettles and cow dung. In fact in Zurich there was half a day’s public holiday for the annual Knabbenschiessen, which was a target rifle competition for kids.

The former.

And the vast majority in the UK prefer the latter. Everyone to their own and all that.

Coo. Can we go home now?

No, because the vast majority in the UK may be perfectly right to be worried about gun crime, but they are wrong to believe that restructing legal ownership of firearms has a significant effect on it. So while they may want more restrictions, they are mislead, as it is not actually a solution to the problem. The Home Office admits this (where the hell are those damned figures that I mentioned?) but no politician is ever going to back that. Essentially, it’s bad law, bad government, it does no one any good but it does piss off a fair number of people and deny them their harmless fun.
However, picking on unpopular minorities to ingratiate oneself to the majority is a practice that has shown itself to be effective many times. And El Caudillo Blair is particularly adept at using it if it will distract the public and his MPs from sticking their noses into more important things.

One of the problems is that Michael Ryan and Thomas Hamilton did not do this AFAIK. They use legally held firearms didn’t they?

Ireland also has pretty strict gun laws and a mainly unarmed police force. Yes there are plenty of guns held by criminals and paramilitaries but the general public does not have access to guns. IMO and the opinion of almost every one I know think this is a good thing.

I used guns on ranges and clay pigeon areas and it is indeed a very enjoyable pastime but not enough for to change my mind on gun control.

(I’m not going to let the hamsters get the better of me, so I’m reposting this).

hehe. Well know for their great ideas and modern thinking :smiley: .

Some of the strictest in Europe I believe.
Anything vaguely handgun shaped is prohibited. Centre fire semi-auto rifles are banned. Rifles over .27" in calibre are banned. Any sort of replica is out including the likes of AirSoft guns. You also need a separate certificate for every rifle and shotgun. You also need a certificate for air rifles. And you usually have need a good reason to have one.