British Police Turn the Screw on Gun Ownership

U.S.A.-( For at least six gun owners in the UK in recent weeks, the unthinkable has happened. Police have knocked on their door and ask them to surrender their guns and their gun certificates. The police officers give no reason – and the police force concerned has continued to give no reason.

These six gun owners, who have more than 100 years of blameless gun use and ownership between them, are – well, you can imagine the emotions – baffled, confused, angry is just the start.

You may imagine how they feel, but remember that there is a gulf between gun ownership in the UK and the US. Where Americans believe in self-defense and the right to bear arms, Brits believe in target shooting and the privilege of going hunting. You may not use a gun in self-defense in the UK. British police only carry guns for specific operations. The British bobby is typically unarmed.

It would be hard for Alec Baldwin’s accident on the set of Rust to take place in the UK. Studios make war movies in the UK, but nobody would be able to use the guns to plink at targets after work. That has to take place on a range or on land with permission of the landowner. Ammunition is as restricted as guns.

I can almost hear American gun owners grind their teeth and spit the word ‘snowflake’. They are correct – we Brits have given up gun rights in a manner unthinkable in the USA. I would not wish our gun laws on the USA but, strangely, we have grown to find them workable, and for these reasons:

To get a gun certificate in the UK is a badge of citizenship. Shotgun and Firearm Certificate holders have to pass certain tests of character with their local police forces. For example, I asked one police firearms inquiry officer what he looks for when he makes a home visit to a shooter to check their gun security. “Bruises on the wife,” he answered candidly.

It is difficult to get a gun certificate if you have committed a crime, and the police remove it if you go on to commit a crime. That includes drink driving. Gun owners in the UK are fabulously law-abiding. Nobody wants to lose their license.

Gun safety is spectacular and we are obsessive. We record statistically zero deaths from sporting shooting accidents per year. Actually, there are one or two, but out of 650,000 firearms and shotgun license holders and an estimated 12 million pellet guns in circulation, the figure is tragic but insignificant. A few years ago, shooting sports in the UK recorded a safer year for deaths than the sport of table tennis. As you can see above, our reaction to the Rust accident is, ‘It couldn’t happen in the UK’.

We have nutters. In August a licensed gun owner in the city of Plymouth, Devon, shot dead five people before turning the gun on himself. But they are few and far between.

We also have a serious illegal gun crime problem. In 1997, Tony Blair’s government restricted handguns. Within three years, gun crime had risen 40%. Apparently, he hadn’t thought to take the guns out of the hands of criminals – only legal gun owners. He was never a details man.

All this makes the situation of the six gun owners even worse. Nobody in the shooting community knows what’s going on.

These men are people like us. They are deer hunters and varminters, who have not put a foot wrong all their lives, partly to preserve their gun certificates.

The only reason we can conclude is that local police are overreacting to the August shooting. All of them live in the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary area, where the Plymouth shootings took place.

This week, we are expecting a report on the shooting which will allow our Home Secretary to blame the firearms inquiry officers at Devon & Cornwall Constabulary for letting the Plymouth shooter have guns in the first place.

So, we believe that grabbing these six people’s guns is pre-emptive action by Devon & Cornwall police officers. It is a poor-quality attempt to pretend they have ‘taken action’, in order to save their jobs. We don’t know this. Devon & Cornwall Constabulary is not saying anything to anyone.

Our shooters have had to complain for up to three months to the equivalent of the local mayor’s office, and even that is only producing vague promises of an explanation – presumably, next week after the Chief Constable has made some bland remarks to the local media about his or her ‘tough stance on gun crime’. This week, they, at last, had official communication from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary: their gun certificates are to be revoked, say police, and they have 21 days in order to appeal.

One of them, Andrew Alger, looks after 1,000 acres of deer management. He has to have his rifles if he is to keep his deer population under control. Another is the captain of his local pheasant shoot, and it is the height of the UK’s pheasant shooting season.

The police action produces two problems that would not occur in the USA.

The first is the manner in which officers removed the firearms. They sent armed police and they didn’t telephone beforehand. Armed police attend incidents including acts of terrorism, not visits to people who display the kind of citizenship and responsibility that allows them to own guns. The message that Devon & Cornwall Police is sending out is ‘British gun owners could start shooting at any moment’ – which is the opposite of the truth.

I was delighted to hear from one of the gun owners that armed police turned up at his home while he was at work. He said he would be able to come back home and meet them immediately, but Devon & Cornwall Police said that armed officers wouldn’t be available to meet him. Any terrorists reading this, make a note: if you are planning to strike in the Devon & Cornwall area, find out first whether armed police have the day off.

The other problem is more pernicious. Faced with a request to ‘surrender’ their guns and gun certificates, all three shooters had to do so. The alternative would be for the police to ‘revoke’ their gun certificates and seize their guns. Revocation would mean it would be harder for the three to re-apply for a gun certificate at a later date. However, surrendering your guns voids your legal insurance, so if you want to appeal, you have to fight your court case yourself. It’s a nasty Catch-22 situation that the police have, probably unwittingly, introduced to the UK shooting community. The only silver lining is that the police have clumsily written to say they are revoking the surrendered certificates. Although the police can’t have it both ways, they may have reopened the door for legal insurance.

One nickname we give British police is ‘plod’. This whole sorry saga makes the police look plodding.

Whatever is going on, we don’t like it, and now the police are going to feel our anger in the courts and the media.

For more on this story, visit

About Charlie Jacoby

Charlie Jacoby is co-founder of Fieldsports Channel, the UK-based TV network that covers hunting, shooting and fishing. He has edited hunting magazines and has been writing about countrysports since the 1980s.

Charlie Jacoby Headshot

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 I would not wish our gun laws on the USA but we have grown to find them workable.”
One of the founders of the USA had a thought about people like the Brits:

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams


British men used to be real men. That day is past. The same guys who fought in WWII raised a bunch of snowflakes.


Many 10’s of thousands of MEN, were killed off in the 2 World Wars….. what was left on the British Isles after the wars to reproduce were poofters, panty-waists, pillow-biters, and wearers of fancy pantaloons.


What do you expect in europe they micro manage their subjects ,and yet the American “elitist class ” loves to praise the europeans

Deplorable Bill

Citizen vs subject. The RIGHT to be armed, of self defense, of defense of others etc. is given to mankind from GOD ALMIGHTY, these rights are among the unalienable rights our founding documents refer to. It’s sad to see a nation full of mostly good people under absolute tyranny. Worse is to see the people don’t care about it. It is easy to still see why our founding fathers broke from you, very little has changed. Here, in free America, we are legally able to address thefts, assaults, rape, murder etc. ourselves without having to wait for the police to… Read more »


Lesson 1 to Brits we did not turn our guns in to red coats . We turned our guns on them ! This is why we don’t have to kiss Brittish ass to own them now ! The ilegitiment idiot occupying our oval office needs to read an American history book . LETS GO BRANDON #FJB

Wild Bill

I’m not entirely sure the the fellow that you mention could read a book, anymore. He can hardly read the teleprompter. The committee that runs him is not interested in our history, or shared traditions because they have another vision for America.
There was no easy way out for our founders, and there is no easy way out for us. But … our founders did provide an example to follow.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New pile of your favorite ammunition!

Last edited 1 year ago by Wild Bill

You boast of the gun safety record in the UK – yet your record is actually worse than that in the US. You have 650k rifles and shotguns with 1-2 sport-shooting accidental fatalities a year. We have ~600M firearms and ~400 total accidental fatalities involving firearms per year. Don’t know whether your ‘sport-shooting’ fatalities should be compared to a subset of ours, but comparing totals shows that your accident rate per firearm is 2-5 times as high as ours. Not saying the UK record is bad, quite the opposite. However our safety record is exemplary – rather than horrific massacre… Read more »

uncle dudley

You folks don’t live in a free country, so much for the phrase, keep a stif upper lip old chap.


The British are subjects, Americans are citizens. Brits have their rights solely based on what the government at the moment decides is in the government’s best interest. Our rights pre-date our government, and our government is (supposed to be) the protector of those rights. I feel for the Brits, but they, like Blue States and big city voters, keep voting in their elected politicians who work for themselves rather than the people.


The article is a good reminder on why registration and Universal Background Checks are a bad idea. It’s also a good reminder to just say no more gun control. As soon as a gun control law is passed, totalitarians start pushing for the next one. Before long, you end up like the UK with people like Charlie bragging that Shotgun and Firearm Certificate holders have to pass certain tests of character with their local police forces. F–K all that. The police should have to pass certain tests of character with their local “civilian” community members before they are allowed to… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

“Awaiting for approval”:

“Snowflake”? Yes. And serf, subject, sheep, groveler.

we Brits have given up gun rights in a manner unthinkable in the USA. I would not wish our laws on the USA but we have grown to find them workable.”

How lovely to speak for everyone else being happy about being as defenseless as the deer the elite “citizens” hunt.

“To get a gun certificate in the UK is a badge of citizenship.” So he’s a “citizen”, vs subjects who can’t get certs.

“Cert holders pass tests of character with their local police forces.” Probably more a test of connections, wealth, groveling. That sort of “character”.

Wild Bill

I appreciate that the UK will be an important ally in the coming war with Communist China, but the UK is a f’ed up place. Happy Christmas, Charlie.


Are you sure there is going to be a war with Communist China?

When will it be?

Where are your footnotes?

Wild Bill

I am glad that you ask! What took so long? The CCP said so, and their actions are following Sun Tzu. When they think that the conditions guarantee their victory … there will be war with the Chicoms.


The CCP says a lot of things – do you believe them all?

That’s your footnoted source – Chinese communists?

You are 100% sure the US will be a war with China at some point – is that your opinion?

Wild Bill

The CCP knows of what it speaks. Our Joint Chiefs, State Dept, the office of the president are all talking about war with China. It took fifteen seconds to find this one: “Washington Is Preparing for the Wrong War With China A Conflict Would Be Long and Messy By Hal Brands and Michael Beckley The United States is getting serious about the threat of war with China. The U.S. Department of Defense has labeled China its primary adversary, civilian leaders have directed the military to develop credible plans to defend Taiwan, and President Joe Biden has strongly implied that the… Read more »


The Chinese Communists are propogandists.

The joint chiefs get more money, more power, and more post-retirement BOD seats when they spend more money and drag the US further into debt.

Are you 100% sure there will be a war with China? You wrote it above with no uncertainty.

Do you believe Biden is 100% certain there will be a war with China?

Wild Bill

The issue is logistics, not beliefs.


Another deflection.

You stated:

“the UK will be an important ally in the coming war with Communist China”

“there will be war with the Chicoms.”

Are you 100% certain?

Did you study the work of Fama in your upper-level finance classes?

Do you find it odd tha the DJIA is still over 35,000 with this certainty of war looming?

Do you think it’s strange that all the Fortune 500 companies haven’t recalled their expats from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan?


It’s warming up outside – I’ll let you search on that for awhile.

Have a nice afternoon.


Logistics. That’s one o’ them PhD words!

Wild Bill

I can explain it to you, if you like.


Sure thing, Cuck Tzu.


“Gun owners in the UK are fabulously law-abiding.”

Sounds very familiar.

“Apparently, he hadn’t thought to take the guns out of the hands of criminals – only legal gun owners. He was never a details man.”

Again, sounds very familiar.


you cant treat people as slaves if they are armed, cant haul people off to covid camps if they can fight back. stupid people are slaves free people require facts and science to act


“Whatever is going on, we don’t like it, and now the police are going to feel our anger in the courts and the media.”

Perhaps the police should feel ostracism from everyone in their community.


Surely the British POLICE are TERRIFIED of the FURIOUS ANGER of DISARMED SUBJECTS in the courts and media. (!)

LOL (!)

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Never underestimate the power of a weeping spouse. Every day coming home from a hard day of “plodding” to find a wailing, screeching spouse informing the bobby of the latest way she has been snubbed by every single person she knows.

“No one came to little Nigel’s birthday party!”

“Evie didn’t say hello to me at the market!”

“Beatrix told me to piss off!”

“We were not invited to the Burton’s bash!”

“Why are you such a wanker?”


Judging by the “citizen” who wrote this article, the subjects are too cowed & Stockholmed even to snub their POLICE oppressors.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

When I saw the title of the article, I was expecting a spirited call for civil disobedience and a caution to Americans that they should stop worshipping law enforcement.

Instead, the article and the videos show a lot of “firearm laws are good and we followed every single one, no matter how insane, and they still took our guns. I bet the media will be on our side.”




But Americans are not Brits. If we had been, the revolution would not have occurred.


Good article. Sounds like the fundamental truths are no different over there, just the politics are even further from reality.


The tone of the people in the videos was disturbing. They sounded so subservient and so resigned to living under a boot.


“Snowflake”? Yes. And some other S words: serf, subject, sheep, suck-up. “we Brits have given up gun rights in a manner unthinkable in the USA. I would not wish our gun laws on the USA but we have grown to find them workable.” How lovely of you to speak for everyone else being happy about being as defenseless as the deer you elite “citizens” hunt. “To get a gun certificate in the UK is a badge of citizenship.” So you’re a citizen, vs lowly subjects who can’t get certificates? “Shotgun & Firearm Certificate holders have to pass tests of character… Read more »


Why the censorship, Ammoland?

Wild Bill

Ammoland supports free speech and the evidence of that is that they let you post here.


That’s funny, I’ve seen you whine about it, “Doctor Bill”!

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

Quote it then, ged boy.


1st you quote where JSNMGC started the ‘credentials’ war, ged boy! Then I’ll get right on your demand.

See how that works?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

I see how debate works for you and other six year olds.


I see how it works for you & other 6-yr olds:

1) Honest man raises issue.

2) ‘Dr’ Bill: I went to Hemline! Where did you go? You won’t say so I WIN & you have a ged & your argument makes no sense! I’m a PhD military strategist descended from Sun Tzu! What are your accomplishments? I run a ranch so huge I get to project my prissy hypocritical insecurity at people all day like a snippy little B! What do you run? You won’t say, so your argument makes no sense & I WIN!” ETC

LOSER-Leftist M.O.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

You are not even a good liar. No wonder you hate yourself.


You’re a GREAT liar, Doctor Bill! No wonder you “love” yourself! Probably “loving” yourself right now with one of your sock pups! MC!


Will you two clowns just kiss and make up? Come back when (and if) you have something important to pass on.

Wild Bill

I would love to but some insults can not go unchallenged. Merry Christmas and a Happy New upvote.


Insults? More projection. Review the bidding.

Wild Bill

No, Rob is right. When you post your hate and vitriol, many people refrain from commenting here and many good view points are never published here.


Uh huh. Who butted in here & elsewhere with insults, hate and vitriol? You did. I offered a peace treaty months ago. You & your sock puppets pissed on it immediately. You’re always ready with the effeminate leftist M.O. of passive-aggressive attacks & projection against JSNMGC & myself. All this is because you hate anyone who exposes local cops who abuse power, Just Follow Orders & help the federales enforce unconstitutional, unconscionable laws & decrees. You won’t even say the names of their victims without being sarcastic.


I don’t think of it as two clowns. Russn8r has never found anyone he didn’t hate. (unless you agree with his horse shit opinions) WB is having an unfortunate lesson about responding to ass clowns.


False. I don’t hate anyone. I positively seethe with goodwill.

Wild Bill

Yes, I am a slow learner! MC, and a Happy New … Happy New … well something firearms related!

Dr. Strangelove

Trolls are insecure, attention seekers. I try to ignore them as much as possible.

Wild Bill

A wise policy. I will make that my New Year’s resolution. MC, brother.


Yet you’re sucking up to a troll right here. Review the bidding.