Are handguns really banned in the UK


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jrckelley
May 18, 2010, 07:52 PM
Long time reader and thought it might be a good place to ask.

I was having a discussion with a guy from the UK and he was 100% that all handguns were banned except for police (or deac's).

I was sure I saw somewhere that the home office (basically a catch all govt agency) could still authorise hand guns and having seen how the upper class are treated in the UK i was sure there would be a bunch of Hob-nobbers (nobility ect) that use their conections to get hand guns. After a spirited discussion i thought i'd do some research.

I found you can get a section 5 certificate which alows the posession of handguns (and anything else you could imagine) although each certificate relates to a single weapon specified in the aplication. So it is posible to get handguns and I even found a reference to machineguns being held privatly in the UK (live ones).

So my question of anybody that knows is:
a)Is it wide spread and is it known how many people have managed to get handguns with a section 5 cert.
b)is there any guidline regarding approval/rejection.

The way i figure it, if you've got the conections you can get one (personal protection/collecting) but if your a regular Joe they will decline.

On a side note: I spent time with a family of "nobility" in the UK and there really are seperate rules for them. For that reason alone I could never live there (Guess you could go the Oliver Cromwell route)

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docpadds
May 19, 2010, 12:50 AM
It took two Chief Constables that played cricket with my dad to get my sign off for the various toys i used to have, but none were handguns or auto etc...

I do know 2 people who have legal handguns, and both have them for very specific reasons to do with their work, one works for the government as a contractor and the other is in private security. Their training more then qualified them as safe handlers of firearms, and their jobs make it almost a necessity to be prepared.

Some of my family have 22LR rifles (with silencers too), some hunting rifles, lots of shotguns, but each and every one has paperwork to go with them.

leadcounsel
May 19, 2010, 01:08 AM
I've been to the UK many times. I have many UK friends. Outside of law enforcement /military (and even those are tightly controlled) or trips abroad, nobody has seen or handled or fired a handgun in the UK. Very few people (again other than military/LEO) handle guns. Ownership of handguns is unheard of. I did shoot some shotguns with a friend at a club. It was unGodly expensive. The shells, the membership fee, and the clays were very pricey. A sport for the wealthy for certain.

While it wasn't your question, long gun and shotgun ownership is very difficult and expensive - typically prohibitively expensive to own/practice.

Of course, the country is awash in illegal/unlicensed guns for criminals... the laws don't solve that problem.

springwalk
May 19, 2010, 01:32 AM
I met a couple from Scotland on the Continental Divide Trail in Montana last summer while hiking the CDT and they were astounded I was carrying a revolver for protection while backpacking. I ask them "you dont have a gun with you?" We are in grizzly and cougar territory. They asked me how many guns I owned and I said only about 10. Only 10! they replied. They asked me why I had one little lone 2. They preceeded to inform me just like a group of Canadian female students did a few weeks later in Glacier Park that America needs to get with the times and let the police do their job of protecting. I guess our European and Canadian bretheran will never understand or experience freedom.:( Countries and nanny states of socialism really scare me. Canada, England, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey are just a few.:uhoh:

Prince Yamato
May 19, 2010, 01:49 AM
Handguns are banned except for long barrel revolvers and certain semi-auto .22s. Basically, you can own a buckmark rifle with the barrel cut down, stock cut off, and this weird little dingy hanging off the bottom like a counter-weight. So, you can get close to a handgun, you just can't get an actual handgun.

mljdeckard
May 19, 2010, 01:50 AM
The British Olympic pistol team has to train out of the country. How thorough is THAT?

Trebor
May 19, 2010, 02:45 AM
I believe that black powder non-cartridge handguns, including revolvers, are still legal, but that they must be stored at the gun club and require the normal (for the UK) licensing procedure.

rondog
May 19, 2010, 12:51 PM
God Bless America!!! I hope and pray we never end up like that. Lord knows there are many that pray we do.

ArmedBear
May 19, 2010, 01:05 PM
get with the times and let the police do their job of protecting

Whatever they think about this in the city, was it not obvious to them that, in the wilderness areas of Montana, there aren't any cops to do the protecting? And do they advocate wholesale slaughter of wild animals that could but may never pose any danger to anyone, just so people don't carry revolvers on the trail?

Calibre44
May 19, 2010, 01:37 PM
Simplistically speaking all handguns are banned except Long Barrelled Revolvers (LBR in .357 and .44 mag and .22) and muzzle-loading pistols.

Some professions allow the ownership of handguns for humane dispatch of animals.

Semi-auto centrefire guns are banned except .22 rimfire. You can still own traditional semi-autos like AK47, AR15 etc but they must have the semi auto-function disabled and reconfigured to a straight-pull arrangement whereby you have to manually pull back the bolt to eject and reload a shell from the mag.

Everything else is okay from .17 to .50 cal so long as you can show good reason and have secure storage (gunsafe). Typically good reason would be target shooting, hunting and pest control. There are no restrictions on mag size. All guns except air guns have to be held on a Firearms Licence (FAC), which are issued by the local Police Force.

You can own as many shotguns as you like including pump and semi but there is a mag restriction placed on these. Shotguns require a Shotgun Licence, which again, are issued by the local Police Force.

The main difference between a Shotgun Cert and a Firearms Cert is that you have to show the Police just cause for owning a firearm (ie hunting, target shooting etc) whereas the Police have to prove that you aren’t fit to own a shotgun - so as long as you have safe storage most people can own one. So once you have a shotgun certificate however, you can buy as many as you like in all gauges, configurations and actions.

Both certs have to be renewed after 5 years.

One irony is that centre-fire ammo has to be locked in ammo safe but shotgun cartridges don’t. The only stipulation is that shotgun ammo is kept out of reach of small children.

Trebor wrote:I believe that black powder non-cartridge handguns, including revolvers, are still legal, but that they must be stored at the gun club and require the normal (for the UK) licensing procedure

Not true – I won 3 BP Pistols and you can store them at your house so long as they are stored in a gun cabinet

Leadcounsel wrote: I did shoot some shotguns with a friend at a club. It was unGodly expensive. The shells, the membership fee, and the clays were very pricey. A sport for the wealthy for certain.

While it wasn't your question, long gun and shotgun ownership is very difficult and expensive - typically prohibitively expensive to own/practice.


Absolutely not true – shotguns are plentiful over here. You can easily pick up a reasonable second-hand one for £50 upwards. I own 3. My club's yearly membership costs £60 and you can shoot all you like. Ammo is cheap to expensive. I buy 25 121g cartridges for just £4 … even cheaper if bought in bulk.

BTR
May 19, 2010, 01:54 PM
I believe some relic handguns (for which ammo is not available in the UK) can be owned also.

ArmedBear
May 19, 2010, 01:57 PM
Curiosity: what's a 121g cartridge?

No doubt, Leadcounsel's experience had more to do with real estate prices in a particular locale, than anything having to do with the UK at large. If you go shoot at the Sun Valley Gun Club (at a ski and outdoor resort in the mountains of Idaho, near Ernest Hemingway's house and a vacation home community for the ultra-rich), you will pay $13.75 for a box of shells and $13.75 for a round of skeet. You can get there using your helicopter, should you wish to.:) Near my house, though, I'm going to go shoot a round of skeet for $5 with a box of ammo that cost me $5.50 (when I buy it by the case, anyway).

351 WINCHESTER
May 19, 2010, 02:15 PM
I thought they could own bp guns?

Calibre44
May 19, 2010, 03:51 PM
Armedbear wrote: Curiosity: what's a 121g cartridge?

Sorry … typo … meant 12 gauge

351 WINCHESTER wrote: I thought they could own bp guns?

We can … like I said I own 3: .36 Colt Navy, .44 Colt Army and .44 Colt Dragoon – all made by Uberti.

Calibre44
May 19, 2010, 04:03 PM
Jrckelley wrote: On a side note: I spent time with a family of "nobility" in the UK and there really are seperate rules for them. For that reason alone I could never live there (Guess you could go the Oliver Cromwell route)

I’m not sure what circles you move in but no one here is above the law. Do you have any examples of such ‘rules’?

Mljdeckard wrote: The British Olympic pistol team has to train out of the country. How thorough is THAT?

Yep that is true and just shows what a pathetic anti gun shower the Government was.. The good thing is that ‘Labour’ have just lost the election and the new Prime Minister, David Cameron, is actually a shooter and owns guns. He likes to hunt deer. There are a few rumours that we may be allowed to have .22 pistols back at some point – I live in hope!

Butter
May 19, 2010, 04:08 PM
Different countries adopt different rules, I guess. But from what Springwalk had stated that other nationals told him that "America needs to get with the times and let the police do their job of protecting" strikes me as odd. Even though I have heard this before. This is especially so noting that you give cops, at least here, guns so that they can catch the bad guys who have already committed crimes. And it doesn't seem to bother some of our cousins across the Pond or up North that the those on whom these crimes are committed might not like to be the receivers of such bad intentions without at least attempting to stop it. So I guess arm the cops after the fact and point them in the direction of the bad guy and disarm the population prior to it so that the people are left defenseless. This sounds reasonable only in a perverse world where self-defense is not even a consideration.

Onward Allusion
May 19, 2010, 04:09 PM
I wonder if the couple would have held firm to their beliefs if you turned out to be a bad guy set out to rob/rape/murder them?

springwalk (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=122883)
I met a couple from Scotland on the Continental Divide Trail in Montana last summer while hiking the CDT and they were astounded I was carrying a revolver for protection while backpacking. I ask them "you dont have a gun with you?" We are in grizzly and cougar territory. They asked me how many guns I owned and I said only about 10. Only 10! they replied. They asked me why I had one little lone 2. They preceeded to inform me just like a group of Canadian female students did a few weeks later in Glacier Park that America needs to get with the times and let the police do their job of protecting. I guess our European and Canadian bretheran will never understand or experience freedom.:( Countries and nanny states of socialism really scare me. Canada, England, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey are just a few.:uhoh:

BHP FAN
May 19, 2010, 04:17 PM
bears and cougers need to eat,too.

Onward Allusion
May 19, 2010, 04:19 PM
Every country has members of its society who are perceived as being above the law. Written rule, perhaps not - however a nod & a wink, yes. In our country, one of our most ardent and well known anti-gun politicians (Dianne Feinstein) has a conceal carry permit in a State with the harshest gun laws.


Calibre44 (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=47916)
I’m not sure what circles you move in but no one here is above the law. Do you have any examples of such ‘rules’?

mec
May 19, 2010, 04:25 PM
I wouldn' swear that it is still the case but up until last year, non cartridge black powder pistols and revolvers could be owned after much documentation. I had heard that the Home Office was thinking about going after those too but nothing further.

Cosmoline
May 19, 2010, 04:30 PM
I’m not sure what circles you move in but no one here is above the law. Do you have any examples of such ‘rules’?

The Royal Family, the array of nobility and of course the politicians all have access to extremely well armed personal security forces. Though in fairness Prince Philip has spoken out against the idiotic bans, and seems to be one of the very few Brits with any spine.

rdb
May 19, 2010, 07:03 PM
This is on another forum. I don't know if its true or not. Sounds pretty harsh.

A British subject views Gun Control

I received the following story from a friend who lives in New Zealand. It was addressed to every American as a warning about what may well happen here if we are not vigilant in protecting our rights. It needs to be pointed out that the title is more accurate than you would first imagine. In the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as Great Britain, the British people are considered to be "subjects" as derived from the ancient form of a sovereign monarchy that ruled a population of serfs. In a monarchy the rights of subjects are bestowed or taken away at the whim of the ruling government.

In America, we are called citizens and our rights as citizens are guaranteed by our United States Constitution. In our Declaration of Independence it is stated:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Charlton Heston once observed when he was president of the NRA, "The Second Amendment is the most important amendment because it protects all of the others."

Now read the warning that I received.

You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door.

Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers.

At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.

With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun.

You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it.

In the darkness, you make out two shadows.

One holds something that looks like a crowbar.

When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire.

The blast knocks both thugs to the floor.

One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.

As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.

In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless.

Yours was never registered.

Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.

When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter. "What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask. "Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing.

"Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."

The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper.Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them.

Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.
But the next day's headline says it all:
"Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die."

The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.

The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects.

After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.
A few months later, you go to trial.

The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you.
Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.

The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.

On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second.
In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.

How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire?

It started with the Pistols Act of 1903.

This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns. Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns.

Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw.

When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)

Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns. The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few sidearms still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.

Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."

All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities.

Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply.

Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns?

The guns had been registered and licensed.

Kind of like cars. Sound familiar?

WAKE UP AMERICA ; THIS IS WHY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION.

rondog
May 19, 2010, 07:19 PM
Time for this one, once again.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/poster4.jpg

Ironman
May 19, 2010, 07:34 PM
Im gonna vomit

KodiakBeer
May 19, 2010, 07:53 PM
Strict? This guy got five years just for finding a shotgun and turning it in to the police!

http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/news/Ex-soldier-faces-jail-handing-gun/article-1509082-detail/article.html

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: "I didn't think for one moment I would be arrested.

"I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets."

The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.

In his statement, he said: "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

"I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.

"At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall."

Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.

Ohio Gun Guy
May 19, 2010, 07:59 PM
^ I read a similar new article about someone turning in a pistol.

This is why I for one will not register or ever turn in my guns..... and I mean it! :fire::cuss:

NukemJim
May 19, 2010, 10:51 PM
While what happened to Mr Martin is IMHO not reasonable the forensic report by British LEOs present a slightly different POV.

I was not there. I do not KNOW what happened. My understanding is that it A) you follow the laws of the country you live in.
B) there are usually a minimum of 3 sides to every story, Mr Martin's is only one.

NukemJim

Art Eatman
May 20, 2010, 12:01 AM
OP answered. Enough thread drift...

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