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The United Kingdom, gun control, and what it really means

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posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 02:30 AM
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After many years of debating gun control with Americans, and getting nowhere, I have decided to put together a thread explaining our [UK] gun laws and why they have worked for us.

Many people here from the US have this severe misunderstanding of British gun laws, they seem to think that we aren't allowed to own our own tools of death, and that we fear firearms and want nothing to do with them, and quite frankly, that is wrong.

I have military experience, I have fired a wide range of equipment from small arms, handguns and even the odd anti-tank weaponry, and you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also have experience on the darker side of these tools of death as many of you already know, I live in one of the very few areas in the UK to actually witness what can happen when things go wrong.

I am of course referring to the Cumbria shootings, when a man, who I called a friend, had a slight mental breakdown and took his legally owned firearms and went on a rampage killing 12 people (one who was also a friend) and injuring 11 others.

This wasn't just a dark day for our country, it was one of the worst case scenarios for probably the most beautiful place on Earth (Google the lake district, England), probably one where firearms are [legally] in abundance.

But anyway……

Actually using these weapons gives me a unique perspective not often experienced by most Brits, because, yes, our gun laws....but what do those laws actually prohibit? Let’s look at the history of UK gun control.

In 1689, there was a bill of rights, and part of that was the right to bear arms (sound familiar?), but we weren’t faced with native peoples trying to protect their land, or fierce creature trying to maul us, so it was a non-issue.

This right carried on until 1870 when a license was introduced for anyone wanting to carry a firearm outside, although you could still keep one in the closet for peace of mind.

In 1903, a law was passed prohibiting anyone who was drunk, or a wee bit clinically insane, from carrying a firearm with a barrel shorter than 9 inches (essentially the first handgun ban).

The whole system changed in 1920 when the firearms act was introduced, this gave the police powers to deny a firearm to anyone who was deemed unfit, and quite rightly so, the last thing they wanted was a bunch of loons, or people suffering PTSD from the war carrying these things about!

1937 saw another firearms act come in which prohibited fully automatic weapons.

In 1967, the criminal justice act saw the appearance of licenses for shotguns.

Shortly after in 1968, the firearms act was again amended which allowed the home office to set fees for shotgun licenses.

Now things get a bit whacky.

In 1987, in what is known as the Hungerford massacre, a guy called Michael Ryan killed 16 people, then himself, with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun.

The people were outraged, why did this guy have access to such barbaric weaponry??

This put pressure on the ruling government to reassess the law.

In 1988 that good old firearms act was again amended, this time it banned pump-action rifles, also anything that can fire explosive ammunition, sawn off shotguns and also pump-action and self-loading rifles. Registration was now also mandatory for shotguns, which now had to be kept in secure storage.

Moving on to 1996 and Dunblane, where Thomas Hamilton took his legally owned handguns and murdered 16 children, this led to…..

The next amendment of the firearms act in 1997 saw the banning of handguns over .22 calibre, although when Labour got in at the next election, they further amended this to include .22’s.

So what are we actually allowed?

Everybody has the right to a shotgun, the police have to prove you are unfit, whether criminally or mentally.

As for other firearms, it is up to the individual to prove reasonable grounds for owning a weapon which isn’t prohibited by law.

So, to summarise, we are actually allowed semi-autos (.22) in the UK, as long as we can prove we have a need for them, and are mentally fit to do so.

Handguns are out.

Shotguns are a right, are long as you aren’t an idiot.

These laws have kept the massacres to a minimum, but when they do happen, it’s usually done by people who legally own their weapons, not criminals……go figure.

Around 0.2% of crimes in the UK involve firearms, and whilst our laws may not work for the USA, it has certainly kept us safe, and we still have the right to bear arms…..

Food for thought.

edit on 5/7/15 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 02:49 AM
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originally posted by: woogleuk


I have military experience, I have fired a wide range of equipment from small arms, handguns and even the odd anti-tank weaponry, and you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also have experience on the darker side of these tools of death as many of you already knowg to maul us, so it was a non-issue.


The whole system changed in 1920 when the firearms act was introduced, this gave the police powers to deny a firearm to anyone who was deemed unfit, and quite rightly so, the last thing they wanted was a bunch of people suffering PTSD from the war carrying these things about!




Cheers for the post, but how can you send a man to war with a gun to kill people, then when he gets home punish him for what you have put him through?



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 02:49 AM
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Similar to ours in Australia.

You did not mention hunting rifles though.

Bolt action in larger calibers with a nice scope on top?

Thanks.

P



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 02:59 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

.22 high calibre is permitted with license, scopes are a non-issue



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:00 AM
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a reply to: Vector99

He/she is more likely to receive medical/psychiatric care than a prison sentence.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:01 AM
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a reply to: woogleuk

I was thinking more along the lines of .223, .243, .270, 30-08 etc.

Thanks.

P



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:06 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

I admit I Googled for the answers, but...

.223 Yes
.243 Yes
.270 Yes
.308 Yes

I've learned something myself today, cheers!

ETA: .50BMG seems the limit
edit on 5/7/15 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:08 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

Theres 3 main types of licenses for firearms

Shotgun - single/double or pump action which can hold 3 rounds maximum and you can have as many guns and as much ammo as you can safely store

Section 1 - This is rifles/high powered air rifles/semi auto .22/4 rounds or more shotguns/long barreled hand guns and even the exact type of ammo is specified on the certificate.

Section 5 - Pretty much everything else and you need permission from the home office to have one with the police / military having exemption but only while performing their duties so off duty no SA80 for you.

Some vets have pistols for putting down injured animals so when you see then putting a screen round a horse quite often a vet will be sending it to the dog food factory and in rural areas its more common for vets to also have a rifle to put down at greater range and when an animal escapes in town its why the firearms officers do the dirty work as most town vets don't have the need.

But anyway all you need to do is get the Home secretary roaringly drunk and get them to sign the relevant paperwork and whammo you can have a few A10 brrrtttters in your front garden for keeping the pesky foxes out of the garden



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:19 AM
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a reply to: woogleuk

I meant a person with ptsd can no longer carry a gun. That in itself I would think would cause more harm to the ptsd than good. I respect your gun laws, but I don't think you should be allowed to put a gun in someones hand, tell them go kill these people, then when they get home say you are f'ed in the head gimme your gun.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:21 AM
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a reply to: woogleuk

I didn't know you knew the Cumbria shooter - that was a dark day. I was in Manchester when it was live on the radio.

On-topic. I think we've got a good balance in the UK when it comes to firearms. The police aren't shooting us and neither are the criminals. Massacres are few and far between despite sharing many of the same cultural values as our American friends. Illegal firearms are out there and accessible, but the criminal classes keep it very quiet and don't have a habit of discharging weapons. When they do, it's typically 'in-house' and not often in front of the public. Obviously, this isn't always the case.

Armed response police are called out something like 10, 000 times per year (give or take 500) and the number of times a police firearm is discharged averages about four times a year since 2008.

I can't think how our society would be improved by greater access to firearms than we already have.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:25 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Knew him in the loosest sense, he always used to give me lifts (taxi) home with the shopping (or on a drunken weekend night), hang around for a natter and on a couple of occasions I fixed his computer for him.

Enough to call him a friend though, he was a really nice bloke, it's hard for a lot of people who knew him to understand or accept what he did.
edit on 5/7/15 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:36 AM
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Putin obviously knows something americans are unaware of because even he has advised Americans NOT to give up their guns. Now, why would He do that? Maybe because he know's how dirty the western gov's are?
Russia says Americans DON'T GIVE UP YOUR GUNS.
edit on 7/5/2015 by awareness10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 03:57 AM
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a reply to: awareness10

Nice article..

To the op: I am glad gun control works for you, I truly am. Also I learned a few things about UK gun control thank you.

But as long as the majority of Americans believe in the constitution we will continue to fight against it... Because we think the amendments are linked and to weaken or destroy one is to eventually destroy them all.

At least that is my opinion .



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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a reply to: irishhaf

Don't get me wrong, this isn't another pop at US gun control, it is to help you lot better understand our gun laws.

Far too many think it is so restrictive in the UK that even water pistols aren't allowed!

What works for us may not work for you, but we are happy with the way things are.....and we are still allowed firearms if we want them (and are suitable).

And don't forget, you kind of got your 2nd amendment from us, maybe in a hundred years you will catch up with the rest
(tongue is firmly in cheek)
edit on 5/7/15 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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a reply to: Vector99

You cannot be serious? I'm not being funny, but when they get sent off to 'kill these people', they aren't sent with their own gun. Nobody in the Armed Forces use their own weapons when in a combat zone or training so it isn't a case of saying gimme your gun.

Anyway, I appreciate that people with PTSD are having problems they can't control but allowing them to have firearms is not the way forward for them. Look at what happened to Chris Kyle.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:16 AM
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originally posted by: iskander683
a reply to: Vector99

but when they get sent off to 'kill these people', they aren't sent with their own gun.

Nor is their mental capacity to handle the situations they will face tested. That is my point.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:21 AM
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a reply to: woogleuk

I used to think like you, about gun control in the Queens controlled dominions, and then i realised how farked up it was that only those who are gov approved can control guns. More guns does not equal more violence. Actually less guns = more violence.

I no longer believe government has the best interest in humanity, they believe only in greed selfishness and farkism. If you cannot defend yourself you really think dirty cops can? Get Real... Take a history lesson or 12 and learn from it,
that is if you know how to read and intellectually understand what the fark is going on in the world as we speak. I mean come on, if Isis or IS came to your part of the world wouldn't YOU want a gun? I know i would #e...


edit on 7/5/2015 by awareness10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:32 AM
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originally posted by: awareness10
a reply to: woogleuk
if Isis or IS came to your part of the world wouldn't YOU want a gun? I know i would #e...


Believe me, if ISIS came here, we have more than enough guns to deal with it, they might take the south, but as soon as they hit up't north, those 72 virgins won't seem as worth it.


Aside from that, if someone opened fire on the street, they may cause a few casualties, but they would be swiftly taken down, Birdy only got as many as he did because he was driving, when he shot Darren in Whitehaven town centre a few folk started running at him, he got in the car and took off.

British mentality is another good reason we prefer not so many guns, it would be a bloody bloodbath on a Friday night outside the pub!
edit on 5/7/15 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:35 AM
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a reply to: awareness10

You hit a number of reasons why I think in Britain we should retain our right to own a gun and other arms etc.

After the Lee Rigby killing its been made patently obvious, through government policy that we have been forced to allow some brainwashed dangerous people into this country, who will kill us.

I also agree totally with your assessment of both our government and the police force that backs it up - neither are sincere protectors of the British Public.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 04:38 AM
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a reply to: woogleuk

how would you be able to enjoy having 70 odd virgins to yourself with a dead, wrecked body - some idiot man's pipe dream made dogma and believed by the gullible! What pleasant surprises and rewards await the dead women of that persuasion, anything apart from waiting tables?




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