Concise history of gun control in Britain

See the beginning of this post from gunbancon.com/lostarms.html:

Significant restrictions began in 1920 with the 1920 Firearms Act, which was introduced because the government feared a communist revolution along the lines of the Bolshevik Revolution that was occuring in Russia at the time, not to mention the Easter Rising of 1916. They also feared the fact that unions all over the country were calling for a general strike and becoming increasingly militant. Clearly, the 1920 Firearms Act had nothing to do with crime; in fact, it is yet another textbook example of why gun control is only ever about power and control. By allowing the government to get its foot in the door in an area it had no right to interfere with, the British people had dropped a serious clanger: the door was now wide open for progressively more severe assaults on the right to keep and bear arms, culminating in the 1997 Firearms Amendment Acts, which were very much the final nail in the coffin.

And boy did those draconian gun laws come, one after the other: 1937 (ban on short-barreled shotguns and fully automatic rifles), 1946 (the year the government adopted the position that self-defence would no longer be deemed an adequate reason for being granted a firearms certificate), 1953 (Prevention of Crime Act outlawed the carrying of an "offensive weapon" and put the burden of proof on anyone found with an "offensive weapon" such as a knife, to prove that he had a reasonable excuse), 1967 (the Criminal Justice Act's shotgun controls), 1982 (replica guns that could be converted to fire live ammunition), 1988 (ban on semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and pump-action rifles and even stricter shotgun controls), 1997 (ban on all handguns except for antique and muzzle-loading black powder guns, firearms of historic interest whose ammunition is no longer available and firearms of historic interest with current calibres). . . .

Useful article on the slippery slope.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi John,
I followed the link and I'm sad to say that he's right. The cuts are even deeper than he says, a government minister now has rights to ban anything they think is "Especially Dangerous" by executive order.

us peasants are still feeling the jackboot from the foot and mouth as another attempt to stamp out a comunity that is opposed to Blair.

Meanwhile the thugs and mutants are better armed than ever. There's no sign of home shop made guns or grandpa's war momento out there, just lots of AKs and Uzis.

Civilians have to go on a DNA database if arrested (if it was mistaken identity apparently it is almost impossible to get off).

Total criminalisation (jokingly forseen by Frank Zappa (Joes Garage albums 1979)) is truly in place. (I narrowly escaped arrest at a ferry port for having my penknife in the car).

All of my life, there has been a bogeyman used to scare us "children" and to justify restricting our liberties, we used to have the IRA and "loyalist" (Allegedly quite often govt sponsored) paramilitaries, the PLO, the libyans, the iranians, sadam, comunist russia and the nuclear threat... the list goes on. whenever one bogeyman went away, another appeared to keep us cowed and dependent on our valliant government and those brave faceless nameless unelected and un-answerable bureaucrats (bastocrats) who work tirelessly with only our best interests at heart. Like shite they do!

Just to give your U.S. readers a flavour of the corruption, it has emerged that Blair received £14m in "election loans" neither party treasurer nor party chairman were aware of this until a couple of weeks ago, repayment terms "very vague" lenders appear to be in line for titles, (& we don't know what other favours).

In Ireland, it appears that politicians expect to go to jail as part of their career. I don't think Ireland is any more corrupt, I think it just has a more transparent system.

3/26/2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest News, Blair to go b4 nxt election. Trouble is the replacement, brown, finance minister is even worse!!!

3/26/2006 6:08 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Keith:

I have mixed feelings about Blair. On the one side, he has been a great partner to the US in the war against terrorism. Recently he has also started to undo some of the bad policy moves that he did when he first became Prime Minister (e.g., competitive schools were first eliminated and now he just had to fight against his own party to get them back in). On guns, he has been very bad, though he did briefly try to resist the ban on fox hunting. On virtually every front, I think that Brown looks worse.

3/26/2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we used to have the IRA and "loyalist" (Allegedly quite often govt sponsored) paramilitaries..."

allegedly govt-sponsored?? check out gunbancon.com/ireland.html

all that came out of the closet ages ago.

3/27/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen that bit, thanks

3/28/2006 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following the link to the British Govt's involvement with paramilitaries raises a very interesting question.

Why were the files relating to the Procurator Fiscal's (Scottish state prosecution service)dealings with Thomas Hamilton (perpetrator of Dunblane mass shooting)placed under a 100 year closure order?

At first I thought it was to cover the arses and save the careers of those involved.

Without sounding too paranoid, could it be possible that a few unstable people (like Hamilton) were allowed to continue shooting, regardless of serious warning signs, in the hope that they would someday provide the pretext for tighter controls?

I know it sounds paranoid, but if the records hadn't come out, I would never have believed about US citizens who's medical records had a note to stop them receiving treatment for their syphilis infection (no surprise that they all happened to be African Americans).

That hundred year closure order certainly sounds suspicious.

3/28/2006 8:23 AM  

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