How Gun Control Made England The ‘Most Violent Country In Europe’

By AWR Hawkins

How Gun Control Made England The 'Most Violent Country In Europe'
How Gun Control Made England The ‘Most Violent Country In Europe'
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)-  Gun control in Britain passed in stages, beginning just after World War I and continuing in a reactionary fashion with increasing strictness through the 1990s.

When the final stage arrived in 1997, and virtually all handguns were banned via the Firearms Act, the promise was a reduction in crime and greater safety for the British people. But the result was the emergence of Britain as the “most violent country in Europe.”

Britain began placing restrictions on gun ownership after World War I with the Firearms Act of 1920. The passage of this act was emotionally driven, based in part on the public's war-weariness and in part on the fear that an increased number of guns –guns from the battle field-– would increase crime.

The Firearms Act of 1920 did not ban guns. Rather, it required that citizens who wanted a gun had to first obtain a certificate from the government. We see this same stage taking place in various places in the United States now, where a person who wants a firearm has to get a Fire Owner Identification Card (Illinois) or has to be vetted by police (Massachusetts) or both.

Thirteen years after the passage of the Firearms Act, British Parliament passed the Firearms and Imitation Firearms Bill, making the possession of a replica gun or a real one equally punishable unless the owner of either could show the lawful purpose for which he had it. (Sounds like California?) This was followed by the Firearms Act of 1937, which author Frank Miniter says “extended restrictions to shotguns and granted chief constables the power to add conditions to individual private firearm certificates.”

In the U.S., police departments in Massachusetts play the role Britain's chief constables played and have final say on who can or can't own a firearm. On July 25, Breitbart News reported that that Massachusetts police were pressing for “sole discretion” on who could own a long gun; they already had such discretion over who could own a handgun. On August 1 2014, they received the power they sought.

Britain continued to issue firearm certificates as World War II set in. But by the time the war was over, the gun control mindset had permeated society to a point where self-defense was no longer a valid reason to secure a certificate for gun ownership.

Guns were simply for sport or for hunting.

In 1987, Michael Ryan shot and killed sixteen people in Hungerford, including his mother. He wounded fourteen others, then killed himself. According to the Library of Congress, Ryan used “lawfully owned” rifles to carry out the attack. Nevertheless, his attack prompted the passage of more laws in the form of the Firearms Act of 1988. This act “banned the possession of high-powered self loading rifles” and “burst-firing weapons,” and imposed “stricter standards for ownership” to secure a government certificate to own a shotgun.

In 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and shot and killed “sixteen small children…and their teacher in the gym before killing himself.” He brought two rifles and four handguns to carry out the attack. All six guns were legally owned: Hamilton had fully complied with gun control statutes.

The Firearm Act of 1997 was passed while emotions ran high. Gun control proponents push for an all-out ban on private gun ownership, in the much the same way that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reacted to the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary by trying to ban approximately 150 different guns.

Yet the Firearm Act did not ban all guns, “but served to essentially prohibit the ownership of handguns in Britain” and to make the acquisition of certificate to possess a long gun an onerous and time-consuming one.

Much the same as the onerous and time-consuming process now burdening law-abiding DC residents seeking a gun in the home for self-defense.

And what has been the outcome of passing more laws in Britain to remedy the fact that other laws were ignored or broken? It has not been good.

In 2009, twelve years after the Firearms Act of 1997 was passed, Daily Mail Online reported that Britain was “the most violent country in Europe.” They also reported that Britain's home figures showed “the UK [had] a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and South Africa.”

About:
AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for RedCounty.com, for Townhall.com and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at www.facebook.com/awr.hawkins.

  • 18 thoughts on “How Gun Control Made England The ‘Most Violent Country In Europe’

    1. @Maggie – Good thing the ‘Colonies’ won the Revolution or the whole world would be living under onerous British rule!

    2. This is the biggest lie I have eve f read. I am from Uk. And there is no gun violence except about every 10 years. The most gun violence is committed in the. United stTes. There us a shooting every day and people are immune. Whoever wrote this article must be a member of NRA. In the uk there may be a lot of vandalism but gun violence and murders by guns is unheard of this article should be banned from the internet as it is untrue.

      1. “Gun Violence” is a propaganda metric. It does not matter what instrument is used, what matters is the result.

        To show the illogic of the term “gun violence”, consider “hospital deaths”. No one wants someone to die in a hospital. Yet all we have to do to stop all hospital deaths is simply to ban hospitals. Then there will be no hospital deaths! Of course, the overall death rate will rise. Banning guns in England and Wales has not reduced the crime or homicide rate. It was not really meant to accomplish that, those were just the excuses given.

        The relatively high homicide rate in the U.S. is from demographics, not guns:

        http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/european-murder-rates-compared-to.html

      2. Your knife wielding hooligans are rampant in the U.K.,I left in 1995and went back in 2013and trust me I couldn’t wait to come back to the U.S.,I stayed for 2mths.But just give it time and the government will be made up mostly of camel jockeys,oh how many must be wishing that there was another Churchill or Enoch Powell somewhere,I still love my heritage and feel sorry for what I see in the news.

    3. From the Southern United States, I’ll tell you right now that you will never be able to stop someone from committing a crime. However, you can give the victims a fighting chance.

      If half of the victims in England knew how to properly utilize a firearm, I assure you that after a couple news articles about muggers or killers getting their brains blow out, criminals might actually starting thinking twice about committing their crimes.

      I’ve got a small arsenal of various weapons and with them I sleep rather soundly knowing that when I need them I’ll have them. ON that note, My niece has been taught the proper use and safety of weapon and I assure you that if someone bigger and stronger than her ever showed up and tried to harm her, that person would not live very long. She’s one hell of a shot.

    4. So, Mikey –
      1) How could england establish the use of handguns for self defense when they were basically outlawed about the time flintlocks went out of style?
      2) And that means… what? BS anyone?
      3) So? About that time they also came out with diet Coke, too… that’s irrelevant, too. And it will be again when Sharia law comes into effect there. Good luck with that government problem ya got there.

      So, when you go begging for your “here’s the place to come to confiscate some guns” license, make sure you get lots of extra BB’s – I hear there’s going to be a shortage. Good luck on your Right to Keep BB’s Around (RKBA) efforts.

      Oh, and thanks for the chuckle….

    5. badger –
      1) You’re all so well trained and domesticated! Sit. Stay. Good boy. Don’t go to soccer game.

      2) All these terrible scary guns here and your violent crime rate is about the same as ours…. go figure! Maybe it’s a good thing you peaceful folks DON’T have guns – I don’t think you can handle them.

      PS – I think I know you – is your real name Piers?

    6. The only bullshut I see is how your comment is pertinent to the article.
      You have to beg your government for a gun license, then get yourself put on a grab list.

      Too bad for you. Enjoy your bird gun. You’ll lose it as soon as the muzzies get going.

    7. If I live in such a crime riddled and violent country, why are our police officers not routinely armed. They don’t need to be. Don’t want to be and are not in fear of their lives every time they pull someone over for a routine traffic stop.

    8. So to summarize: Control may not have made England the Most Violent Country In Europe but it did not keep it from becoming the Most Violent Country In Europe! Either way is sounds useless!

    9. Is it also BS, Mike the Limey, that there was no reduction in crime or greater safety as promised to the British people as a result of Firearms Act of 1997?

    10. Invariably omitted from commentaries and reports about the Hungerford and Dunblane atrocities is that they were preceded by numerous complaints and warnings about the perpetrators to local authorities from locals, which were ignored (just as happened with most multiple shootings in the US, like Columbine, Virgina Tech, Tucson, etc,) Most so-called journalism reports on gun ownership and crime issues tend to be heavily slanted, being little more than propaganda (I just read an absurd Washington Post article that reminded me why I hardly believe anything put out by US media these days.) Illegal possession of firearms and associated gun crimes have increased since the gun ban, aided by the abundance of cheap small arms munitions coming out former Warsaw Pact stockpiles, but collation and interpretation of crime stats in the UK is very much a murky area that has more to do with the unspoken CYA policies of career officials and presenting an appearance of being in control of a relatively crime free society. Truth is something else entirely.

    11. Sorry but this is bullshit for several reasons.
      1) The use of firearms for self defence has never been anything but rare in the UK
      2) Violent crime in the UK has been higher than in most other European nations for as long as records have been kept.
      3) The rise in crime here happened at the same time as the Labour government allowed almost unfettered immigration from some of the most violent nations on Earth, such as Somalia, Sri Lanka & Sudan.

      That this happened at the same time as handguns were banned was a coincidence.

      I’m a gun owner, firearms enthusiast & supporter of the RKBA.
      It makes me cringe to see such blatant misinformation used in an attempt to support a cause I passionately believe in.

      1. MIke – your points #2 and #3 are mutually contradictory.

        And handguns outlawed is coincidence? So you are saying uncategorically that if handguns were universally permitted tomorrow, the crime rate would remain the same as it is today for years? Sorry, but I don’t think anyone at all believes that.

        I suspect you’re full of beans, lad, unless Brits have only started keeping crime records ‘coincidentally’ with the Labour party’s immigration program.

      2. Joyce Lee Malcolm shows that homicides, and homicides with guns, were lower when there was not gun control in England and Wales.

        I do not think you can show that gun control causes the crime rate to go up, but it is clear that it does not cause the crime rate to go down. It was not crime that drove the first serious gun control law in England and Wales in 1920, but fear of insurrection. The government wanted to know where guns were so that they could confiscate them and insure that they were in hands “freindly to the government”.

        http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2014/10/gun-registration-and-confiscation-in.html

      3. The article references violent crime you automatically assumed violent crime only includes firearm violence. Being from the parent country of the English language you should have realized this. Next why would government ban firearms of law abiding citizens? To make it’s citizens victims and oppress them. Next , issue I have with the UK , you charge people with assault and murder for killing criminals or beating them in your own home. Self defense is a natural right and the right of criminals to die in the commission of crimes is normal. People have the right to to be Judge Jury and Executioner in their own home.

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