“Internal police documents seen by UK Shooting News have revealed that police firearms licensing employees want to ban: .22 semi-autos; magazine-fed shotguns; all 50-cals; section 2 certificates; free 1-for-1 variations; old spec deactivated firearms; antique firearms; and appeals to courts against police decisions. UK Shooting News’ author assures readers that this is all real, and not some feverish nightmare.” An assurance that should resonate here in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, in the sense that . . .
anyone who thinks that “common sense” gun control isn’t the proverbial “camel’s nose in the tent” is oblivious to history, both in the UK and, say, California. New Jersey. Hawaii. And every other U.S. state where gun control legislation found purchase. Not to mention federally.
The info obtained by Shooting News is a blueprint; the proposals have not been formerly introduced. What are the odds? Excellent! After banning handguns for personal defense and instituting draconian purchasing, licensing and inspection provisions for all remaining civilian-held firearms, the UK authorities would now like to ban . . .
Semi-auto firearms and shotguns. The police rhetoric from a year ago, demonising the licensed firearms community and repeatedly stating that we as a whole were ignoring the law by not keeping our firearms securely stored, has continued. “Domestic extremism” is a good enough reason for police figures to demand all semi-autos, firearms and shotguns alike be banned. Realising this may not get through, the police employee writes: “Consideration should be given to amending S5(21)(ab) to read “other than one which is chambered for rimfire cartridges not exceeding .22”. . . .
.50 calibre rifles. In a worrying development the police appear to have started a new campaign to ban .50 calibre rifles for no readily apparent reason. Under the heading “material destruction rifles”, the police employee writes: “If someone were to use such a firearm in a firearm related major incident scenario, the results could be devastating. Consideration should be given to making these firearms prohibited weapons.”
Airguns. Despite the police officially rejecting the Scottish Nationalist proposal to make airguns licensable – which since passed – the author of this document appears to have lost touch with his comrades, blandly stating that “further restrictions should be placed on such weapons.”
Old-spec de-acts. The police want to make all pre-1995 de-activated firearms illegal by making the 1995 standard mandatory. This would be hugely costly and criminalise tens of thousands of people across the country for absolutely no good reason – although it would produce a rich seam of arrestable people, who otherwise did no wrong, that could be mined for years to come.
Antiques. As previously discussed on UKSN, the police want to bring in licensing of antiques through the back door by forcing antiques dealers to keep records of customers and making them sign declarations.
And institute . . .
Magazine capacity restrictions. Hitherto, Britain has not fallen for the American virus of arbitrarily restricting magazine capacities or targeting firearms for bans based on their form rather than function. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. “Consider further limits on the magazine capacity of multi shot shotguns”, writes the police author, “and the introduction of a magazine capacity on semi-automatic rifles.” . .
Shotgun cartridges, currently not licensed, should be licensed, say the police.
Leading to . . .
New powers of entry without warrant. Chief constables, says the police author, should be able to suspend a certificate pending investigation. This, if you knew nothing about how the licensing system operates, appears reasonable. “Such a suspension should carry a power of entry without warrant in order to seize the certificates and any firearms held by virtue of them,” writes the police employee, who brazenly goes on to state that the suspension should be for a fixed term of six months renewable for another six months through an internal police self-authorisation process. In effect this would be a revocation by another name, evading the statutory controls placed on police to ensure they only exercise the power of revocation in a lawful and accountable manner.
Abolishing court appeals is one of the more offensive suggestions on the list. While both police and public know that the cost of a court appeal starts from five figures and increases exponentially, it looks as if they are not only fishing for hugely intrusive and disruptive powers to target the licensed firearms community but they also want to pull the ladder up to ensure that courts which make binding decisions on the law which the police are forced to obey no longer play a part in firearms licensing.
And there you have it: the Land of Hope and Glory sliding down the slippery slope to complete civilian disarmament. For those who say “Bravo! look at the comparative firearms-related homicide rates in the UK and the US,” I remind you that Americans’ right to keep and bear arms is subject neither to arguments of social utility or the democratic – or bureaucratic – process. At least in theory. [h/t JA]