A recent online poll given by The Telegraph finds that a majority of the participants supported repealing the ban on handguns and re-opening shooting clubs. The poll was given last Friday to the newspaper’s online audience, posing the question of which new proposals readers would like to see introduced as a bill in the United Kingdom’s Parliament.

According to the poll, an overwhelming 84 percent of voters backed repealing the handgun ban. Other options like proposing a flat tax or term limits on Prime Ministers were also mentioned.

“After all, why should only criminals be ‘allowed’ to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenseless citizens and police officers?” commented online user “Colliemum,” who proposed the idea.

They are not alone in this sentiment, with over 11,000 polled readers agreeing that Britain’s long-standing handgun ban was an issue for contention. The British government passed the Firearms Act of 1997 in the wake of the Dunblane massacre, almost completely prohibiting handguns overnight. Over 162,000 handguns and 700 tons of ammunition were turned in following the ban. Only muzzleloaders and firearms of “historical or artistic value” were allowed to remain in private collections. Competitive and Olympic shooters were not exempt to this measure and often resorted to training in neighboring areas with less strict gun control. Gun laws in Scotland and Northern Ireland are more relaxed, with the latter being the only part of the UK where handguns are still permitted.

Britain’s staunch stand on gun control became a major focus of debate as a flurry of new gun control bills were introduced to the American legislature earlier this year. Proponents of gun control uphold the British model by citing the scarcity of firearms in the UK along with the seemingly low number of fatalities. Critics however, say that not only has the ban failed to provide a significant impact on gun crime, but rather stripped civilians of the ability to defend themselves.

Since 1997 several organizations, such as Arm Britain, have campaigned to repeal the law.

Image from Ken Lunde on the flickr Creative Commons

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13 thoughts on “UK Poll Finds Brits Want to Repeal Gun Ban

  1. Personally…I do not believe a repeal will happen. The UK has taken great pride in pointing a finger at all of the recent…and past..shooting incidents here in the USA and basically say “See I told you…blah blah….” I sympathize with the pro-gun Brits and wish them luck in their efforts but don’t bet your last Pound Sterling on it….

  2. If the Brits do not repeal the anti-gun laws, especially after seeing a young soldier butchered in the streets, they are monsters who will not admit to being wrong. Why does this sound so familiar?

    1. Well that’s really intelligent isn’t it. The Islamic thugs in the UK would certainly welcome handguns, so instead of killing one guy with a knife they can kill 20 or 30 before being gunned down. I’ll stick with ban thanks.

      1. And where would a radical muslim get a Firearms or Shotgun License from? Considering the checks that are performed. If a Nutter, a Radical muslim or anyone else intent on committing a crime wanted to get hold of an firearm they would license or not. So to be honest your answer is the un intelligent one as you clearly have no knowledge of the subject. Before you make some comment, yes I do know my dad was a Police and Home Office firearms advisor, Major MOD Defence Contractor on firearms issues as well as quite a few other members of my family were well conected. Myself I am a army veteran having served for over 16 years plus representing the UK as an international shot as well as being a multi discipline armed forces marksman within various services. Please go away go away an educate yourself as you are talking rubbish!

        Ps what do you think happened to the firearms taken on the compensation plan? crushed I hear you say…..only the dross was scrapped the rest was sold at a profit. The first thing Hitler did on coming to power was get rid of all privately owned firearms. That way only the government and the criminals have them just like today…..comforting thought isnt it?

  3. The poll in the D. Telegraph cannot be used to show that the British dislike their gun laws.
    It’s an online poll that asks if the reader wants a debate on this subject, there is no way the reader can indicate that he is happy with the gun laws and doesn’t want a debate.
    So all the poll proves is that (the last time I looked) 18,000 people want to change Britain’s gun laws, the views of the other 62.7 million Brits is still unknown.

  4. Just noticed a mistake in your article Scotland has the same gun laws as the rest of the UK with them expected to get even tighter when the scottish government passes airgun licencing…

  5. Repealing the gun laws back to where they were pre-Dunblane wouldn’t have helped the murdered soldier any. Gun owners have never been allowed to carry, open or concealed, handgun ownership was restricted to use at target shooting clubs and carriage directly to and from such venues. Guns have to be in locked safe at all other times, with no immediate access to ammo in the same safe

  6. I would not visit any nation that bans self protection, England included. I really wanted to visit Australia, but scratched them off the list after the confiscation of guns.

  7. Britain should be a model to watch and learn from. Already the police are carrying guns to protect themselves from the criminals that obtain guns illegally. The Brits are going to lose the battle, there are just too many weapons in the world to be illegally obtained and brought into their country.Even the UN treaty will not stop this. Legal citizens of Britain will never repeal gun control laws. People like Piers Morgan will see to that. Britain had horrid gun laws to begin with. No conceal carry, handguns were near impossible to obtain and had to be locked in a safe away from any ammo. I am under the impression that the two radicals that killed an unarmed soldier had a handgun and were taken down by armed police . What a country.

  8. Crazy people need to have a registry like sex offenders. Leave everybody alone unless they give a reason not to be trusted.

    Most people can be trusted more than the politicians on our liberal states over here.

  9. Hey Piers Morgan….read!! ” Legislators in the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate voted yesterday in favor of overriding Governor Pat Quinn’s “amendatory veto” of a bill allowing concealed carry in the Midwestern state. The move makes Illinois the last state to pass a law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons.”
    Piers, if you do not like the laws here in the U.S. go back to England. Odds are they too will have guns. And for good reason.

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