Gun Laws in Great Britain


October 22, 2008, 02:22 PM
I heard that England had elected the conservative party into power. With this, is there any chance that guns will once again be legal to own there?

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Larry E
October 22, 2008, 03:09 PM
English conservatives more or less resemble American liberals from what I've been able to gather, so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any of their current gun laws to be made less restrictive. Just glad that my ancestors left that part of the world quite a while back. :D

October 22, 2008, 08:12 PM
I don' think they have had a national election recently, not due for another year or two. The party in power can call for an election basically whenever they want within a certain time limit.

As mentioned, the conservatives there would be considered centrist or leftist democrats here, no more respect for individual rights and responsibility than than a moderate to leftist dem.

October 22, 2008, 10:12 PM
Their whole political spectrum is shifted, with their far right being closely aligned with our moderate left. Pretty sad, when one considers that our moderate right these days is more liberal than the Democrats of 50 years ago.

By today's standards, many on this board don't even have a place on the charts............

GB: Extreme Left-Left-Centrist-Right-American Liberal-Extreme right-----------------------------------------------------THR
USA: -----------------------------Extreme Left---Left---Centrist---Right---Extreme right-------------------------------THR

Though, honestly, many of us here aren't so much past the extreme right as we are above it in the Libertarian zone ;)

No Fear
October 23, 2008, 03:17 AM
I've been meaning to start a thread on this ever since I saw the most informative post on this subject the other day:

October 23, 2008, 04:13 AM
There hasnt been any general election for a few years ...

That idiot Gordon Brown is still prime minister, a lefty if ever there was one. Not only a lefty, a Scottish lefty too, making laws over the English while the Scots sit in there own little parliament making there own laws we English cant do anything about.

According to polls Mr Brown isnt very popular at all at the moment, and the Conservatives may well win if there was to be an election now, though unfortunately it's about 18 months away.

The conservative Boris Johnson, a top bloke, was recently voted Mayor of London a city of about 8 million population, perhaps that's what you were thinking of?

October 23, 2008, 06:15 AM
Yea, there's no way Labour'll get another shot at running things for a while, but I seriously doubt that Cameron will do anything but tighten gun laws. Even BB guns are illegal there now...

English Bob
October 23, 2008, 06:21 AM
Mmmmm if my memory serves me well it was the bloody Conservatives who banned full-bore handguns in the first place.


October 23, 2008, 08:31 AM
No it was Labour mate. I thought it was the conservatives too, and had a conversation about it the other day, and was proved wrong.

The tories brought in the limiting of shotgun magzines etc, Labour did the pistol ban :/

English Bob
October 23, 2008, 08:55 AM
Ahhh yes you're right, the conservative government passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 banning self-loading rifles after Hungerford.

The 1997 one was the Labour loons.....seem to remember the conservatives, well Micheal Howard announcing that there would be an outright ban on them.

They are all cut from the same cloth....ban, ban, ban.

Tom Fury
October 23, 2008, 09:04 AM
In my village on market Saturday recently an 11 year old boy was arrested for buying a cap gun from a street vendor.

No ****.


Carl Levitian
October 23, 2008, 09:38 AM
When the heck are the people of the U.K. going to do something about taking back thier rights?

They need some massive demonstrations in the street outside Parliment, and maybe something a bit more.

October 23, 2008, 09:40 AM
i dont know what i was thinking of then. my mistake

what a shame, im debating going over there for a semester

October 23, 2008, 10:00 AM
V for Vendetta?

October 23, 2008, 10:15 AM
The big problem is around the world people have screwed up the liberal and conservative tags and added more to their meanings, that most the time the liberal politicians are labeled conservative and vice versa. Its turned them into pointless talking points.

As for gun laws, I am not sure we get the handgun ban lifted in Britain. Right now it is limited to pieces of historical importance, for instance I met a guy who was allowed to keep his M1911 in .455 Webley because its a rare piece but there are alsorts of limiting laws.

I would love to see a relaxation in the rifle laws a bit. Its pretty sad the limits thrown on. I guess the only good thing is suppressors are fairly common. Shotguns are limited to breech opening or self loading with a maximum of three shells. Yet we can't have self loading rifles.

My dad still has his firearms license and has two rifles bolt action rifles left, but it can be a pain in the rear with the paperwork.

And all this because they were afraid of a Communist revolution in the 1920s and 1930s so they started limiting firearms and things got really crazy after a few massacres. Most of the laws are there to protect rich important people from being at a disadvantage with the armed masses. While even though an armed masses really does anything, the red scare, gang violence and so on was successfully used like its been used throughout the past 40 years to slowly restrict access to firearms. It just takes about 80-100 years for the full process to go through.

October 23, 2008, 11:56 AM
Personally I dont have any great interest in rifles, mostly because I dont have anywhere to shoot them anyway, except maybe little .22.

Im going to get a FAC so I can have more than 3 shells in my shotguns though :(

October 24, 2008, 04:46 AM
theres some talk of .22 pistols being allowed again the Olympics might help with that.
but I live in a fairly large town and nearest range to be would be a 60 mile round trip not much encouragement. its an expensive minority pastime only going to get more minority.:fire:
self defence with weapons isn't even on the political agenda of any mainstream party.

but then we are a fairly small country theres no wilderness left and certainly no where you could go hunting without paying. so most of the population is urban and has nothing to do with firearms at all.

October 24, 2008, 10:58 AM
The last thing I read the british olympic team has to practice in France.

They want to ban axes and pokey garden tools as dangerous.

Bats, brooms and sticks of all kinds as dangerous as well.

They require actors to register their plastic and rubber swords and weapons and have the police inspect them to insure they are locked up at night.

They wanted to ban steak knives and anything both sharp and pointey as a deadly weapon.

They want to ban deactivated guns because they look like guns.

The want to ban airsoft because the nasty welt makes them cry loud, and paint ball is a sport for terrorists.

They want to ban toy guns of all kinds and ban rubber guns from movies and TV.

Yep, in England guns have went the way of the toothbrush and bath soap.

Just teasing on the last comment,,hehe.

October 24, 2008, 01:24 PM
If this thread doesn't make you want to VOTE and join the NRA nothing will!

October 24, 2008, 01:43 PM
the violent crime reduction bill has become the silliest law ever
want an airsoft gun don't belong to a club yours comes in luminous green don't paint cause that would be naughty
want a wall hanger replica same again
deact thats fine as black and scary cause its a firearm :evil:
co2 air pistol yeah you can have that in black :confused:
cheap samurai swords banned ninja swords pirate cutlasses knock yourself out:D.

oc taser baton kubaton cs spray your going to jail with the possibility of the same sentence as carrying a machine gun.

yob turns up at youth court carrying a blade under 3 inches security won't take it off him as his human rights would be breached:fire:

special forces soldier off to afghanistan no leatherman for you:what:

October 24, 2008, 01:47 PM
I am glad I consider my self a citizen and not a subject.

October 24, 2008, 02:13 PM
to be honest with out a large number of people regularly using firearms for hunting or whatever it was always going to go like this:(
it is relatively easy to get a fire arms certificate if you want one for a rifle even easier for a shotgun. but unless you have land to shoot on or live near a range why bother:mad:
What there isn't is any mass ownership of firearms. Unless you work in farming or live in the countryside your not going to know anyone who shoots.
if your not military or a farmer you hardly likely even to pick up a firearm.
IF you went on about RTKBA in the uk people would think you were mad

Byron Quick
October 24, 2008, 02:39 PM
And it's a shame. There are many things about the British I admire. There are many things I'd like to do in Britain and places I'd love to visit. I could spend weeks in museums.

Sadly, I'll never visit. I won't go to states here than won't trust me to carry a pistol.

But, the posters who stated 'why bother' for the difficulty of finding a place to shoot or hunt, I believe are overlooking an important facet of the situation. Numbers and self interest count in politics. If you own a firearm or firearms, you are more likely to have more interest in becoming involved in the political realities of trying to regain lost ground.

I'd urge you all to reconsider getting that rifle or shotgun that it will be difficult to use. And then, urge your friends and acquaintances of like mind to also jump through the hoops to acquire one of the allowed firearms. Grow your numbers. Get active. One thing that politicians of all stripes pay attention to is votes. If you can acquire the numbers to affect a politician's chances of being re-elected then that politician will begin to pay attention to you.

I wish you well.

October 24, 2008, 03:27 PM
Hi Byron Quick

You 'hit the nail on the head' as we say over here.

I understand where you are coming from but it’s a shame not to visit. The so called gun and knife crime that the media love to ‘blow out of proportion is exactly that: out of proportion. It’s mostly concentrated in a few cities and between certain groups of people and people of a particular age.

I’ve lived here for 50 years and never seen a gun or knife used to threaten anyone. I know it’s hard for you believe if you believe everything in our crappy media but I honestly don’t feel threatened and go about my business without fearing for my life. If you believe everything to read in some of the threads about the UK you probably think we all hide in our houses quivering with fear – this image is completely wrong.

Admittedly if you live in an area of high crime then you probably do live in fear but this is ‘few and far between’. One of the main differences between our countries of course is you have fantastic self-defence laws and ours are abysmal. Our Government will not let us carry anything for self-defence because it means it has to admit that its policies to protect us don’t work – this they won’t do. Remember: our cops don’t carry guns (except specialist teams) so what hope will we ever have unless they start to?

If you can forget about the politicians and the antis the UK is a fantastic place to visit if you are interested in History. We look after our historical monuments and buildings and take our history seriously – even the bad bits!
The comments about us being subjects rather than citizens are meaningless. I’m not a Royalist at all but the good thing about the Royal Family is that they hunt and shoot and serve in the armed forces. They have minimal influence on the idiot Politicians – except, that hopefully, as long as they use Shotguns and Rifles – so can we.
I’m lucky as I do live near a couple of ranges – one of which is in my city (Bristol) so it isn’t exactly true that urban people don’t shoot. In fact my club has just had to introduce a waiting list to join which is the first time it has had to do so in many years. Shooting may be on the increase.

I just had to renew my Firearms Certificate this Wednesday funnily enough. The Firearms Enquiry Officer who attended my home was very professional and not at all officious. In fact he asked me what guns I hope to purchase in the near future. I said a .303, 7.62/308 and another .22. No problem he said and will adjust my FAC accordingly.

Anyway … like I said I do urge you to visit. In fact why not come to Bristol? Arguably the birth place of America according to a lot of American guide books. This is because over 500 years ago John Cabot set sail from Bristol for Asia and ended up off the coast of Newfoundland discovering North America before Christopher Columbus as most people believe – or so they say.
The Mathew has been rebuilt (I sailed a short distance on her) here’s a link just in case you are interested – here (

October 24, 2008, 04:24 PM
I never post here, but I can't stay quiet about this.

The 1920 act which was the starting point for firearms restrictions in the UK was based off of a secret political "Blackwell Committee". Here is some background from this committee that I found at

The most notable thing that I found is that while the guise of the act was to protect the public, the real intentions was to protect the ruling power!

Please remember this when you vote! Remember what the USA was founded on! It was founded on the common man, and the government was his or her servant, not the other way around.

I believe that a politicians views on firearms shows you his fundamental views on you. That is to say, does he or she trust you?

The Chief of the Imperial General Staff went on to state that he could not guarantee sufficient men would be available beyond March 1920 and went on to state " adequate police force does not apparently exist." Sir Eric Geddes, Minister of Transport expressed the fear that:
"It is not inconceivable that a dramatic and successful coup d'etat in some large centre of population might win the support of the unthinking mass of labour..."
The Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the attempted Bolshevik revolution in Winnipeg, Canada weighed heavily on the minds of the cabinet. Those fears were focused by the formation of the "Third International" with the aim of exporting insurrection. The Blackwell Committee had identified two main sources of post-war danger to the empire. The:
"savage or semi-civilised tribesmen in outlying parts of the British Empire"
"the anarchist or 'intellectual' malcontent of the great cities whose weapon os the bomb and the automatic pistol. There is some force in the view that the latter will in future prove the more dangerous of the two."
Whilst the pre-war anarchists had not been regarded as a real threat to the government, it is clear that the cabinet thought that Communism may have wider support among the lower classes, the unthinking mass of labour. The cabinet was told:
"A bill is needed to license persons to bear arms. This has been useful in Ireland because the Authorities knew whom was possessed of arms."
The 1920 act was the result. Whilst the Home Secretary Edward Short reassured the House the Bill was necessary to to safeguard the public from crime, the cabinet discussed strafing the working class from the air. Twenty years earlier the government had put its faith and its trust in the decency and patriotism of the working class, exemplified by the founding of the Society of Working Men's Rifle Clubs. In the paranoia of the times, the government felt it could no longer trust the working class and sought to deny the working man access to firearms. At the same time it sought to ensure that:
"weapons ought to be available for distribution to friends of the Government."

Those quotes are unbelievable! At the same time, I see some huge parallels with the USA today. Firearms registration? Threats of terrorism?

October 24, 2008, 04:27 PM
Heay BTin - yep you are 'spot on!' with your post!

October 24, 2008, 04:31 PM
Check this out.

Byron Quick
October 25, 2008, 03:49 AM

I do not carry because I am in fear. It's an insurance policy same as on my automobile-I don't carry insurance because I believe I will have an accident.

I carry arms because I am a free man even moreso than because doing so is insurance. I will not allow a government to stop me from doing so.

Same as going into a high crime area. If I can avoid it, I do so to avoid the possibility of confrontations. Where I live is not a utopia by any means. There's just less infringement here than darn near anywhere I aware of. The UK as well as several states in the US have crossed the line for me. You won't find me there or in Maryland, New York City, Illinois, California, etc.

Glenn Kelley
October 25, 2008, 11:08 PM
Your thinking of Canada.The conservatives retained power but still don't have a majority so there won't be any changes to the gun laws.


October 26, 2008, 12:08 AM
to be honest with out a large number of people regularly using firearms for hunting or whatever it was always going to go like this
That's the thing about banning guns, it takes away opposition to the gun bans. This is why it's so important to vote pro-gun.

October 26, 2008, 04:35 PM
the semi auto ban came in because a disturbed nutter went on a killing spree.
he should never have had access to any weapons if the law as it stood had been followed no mass use of rifles easy to put ban through

pistols same thing nutter should have had his guns removed a long time before lack of balls by a senior LEO result dead children handgun ban

October 26, 2008, 06:09 PM
Your "ever-so-slightly-left-of-centre-with-a-teeny-little-social-conscience" Democratic Party isn't nearly left-wing enough for us.

October 26, 2008, 07:32 PM
Conservatives were the ones who pushed gun bans in both the UK and Australia.

October 26, 2008, 08:12 PM
Reading this makes me wonder how much of a hypocrite I am about guns. When I was a boy - I am 60 now - every fishing tackle shop sold shotguns, licences were not introduced until 1967. Would I want them to be so freely available now? I don't think so.

Perhaps because I have never been into handguns, the laws we have do not feel very oppressive. When I lived in southern England, and now in Scotland, I have never had any issues with the police over my licence. The firearms officer who turns up every five years is always a middle-aged white man like me, we have a cuppa and a chat about this and that, why should I worry?

Some of the more recent hoops to jump through are a nuisance. Up until quite recently guns by mail order were not an issue, now they can only be suppled to a dealer. So I'm just getting a moderated Mossie from a supplier in the south of England, but they have to send it to a dealer and I have to collect it. That's a 50 mile round trip I'd rather not do, but it's not that much of a hardship. Also the magazine will be crimped to only accept two shells, but again that doesn't bother me too much, and if it did I could get an FAC for an unrestricted one.

Maybe I've just been beaten down by the system!

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