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Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 4.29.17 PM

By Gabriel Carter (not pictured above)

Quite a few on TTAG reckon that the UK is a socialist “police state”, intent on eliminating the right of its “subjects” (not citizens) to bear arms, and implementing ever-expanding surveillance programmes and curtailing civil liberties of all sorts. As a proud gun-owning Brit, and one who regularly carries firearms in the course of my work (security contractor, mostly in Afghanistan) as well as for hunting at home, I’d like to give a little local perspective on that . . .

First off, some (non-exhaustive) basic information about firearms law in the UK:

  1. Handguns and SMGs are, with a few very heavily regulated exceptions, illegal for all except LE/Military.
  2. Centre-fire rifles are restricted to bolt/lever-action only (again with some regulated exceptions) apart from LE/Military.
  3. Civilian semi-auto rifles are restricted to .22lr only.
  4. Shotguns are mostly, but not exclusively, restricted to a max capacity of 2 +1.
  5. Universal police records are held of legal firearms ownership, and an appropriate license is required to purchase weapons or ammunition

But it’s not all bad news. Some aspects of gun ownership in the UK are actually pretty reasonable. And licensing requirements are fairly common sense within the limitations of the law as it stands:

  1. Silencers are not restricted, and for centre-fire rifles they are actively encouraged by most police forces, as reducing noise pollution in a fairly crowded country.
  2. No restrictions on magazine capacity for rifles, and shotgun capacity restrictions can be waived with appropriate licensing.

Assuming the applicant has no criminal record or medical/mental-health issues making ownership of concern, has a safe place to store the firearms, and a “good reason” to want or need them, there is no bar to ownership of the legitimate and approved classes of weapons.

  1. Access to gun clubs is generally not restricted in any way, and there is a healthy pro-gun lobby which promotes the positive aspects of firearms ownership, without aggressively lobbying to repeal or de-regulate the law of the land; and government generally doesn’t seem inclined to restrict things any further
  2. Open carry is, technically speaking, legal across the whole of the UK with no restrictions. That being said, you’re likely to get a pretty speedy response from LE if you carry weapons in public other than in a slip/case.

So let’s look at the restrictions first:

  1. Handguns: apart from black powder/nitro muzzle-loaders, and some ‘long-barrel’ weapons designed to comply with minimum size restrictions, handguns are illegal in mainland UK. They are, however, legal in Northern Ireland for certain individuals who are deemed at risk from terrorism, as concealed carry PPWs. And they are legal, with mechanical restrictions, for some practical uses such as humane slaughter of livestock, etc. (usually with welded-in magazines/cylinders permanently restricted in capacity to single shot).
  2. Centre-fire: centre-fire semi-autos were banned after the Hungerford massacre in 1987, carried out with a .30 caliber M1 and a 7.62 Type 56. The only real exceptions to the ban are ‘lever release’ rifles, for practical shooting competition: basically a semi-auto AR with an automatic hold-open after each shot, requiring a manual release to “re-cock” and therefore deemed roughly equivalent to a bolt or lever action.
  3. Semi-autos: limited to .22lr with the exception of lever release rifles described above.
  4. Shotguns/capacity: in theory, shotguns are restricted to a “magazine of two”, which is universally interpreted to mean O/U, S/S, or pump/semi with 2 +1 in the chamber. High capacity shotguns can, however, be licensed, albeit with more stringent checks and licensing requirements.
  5. Records and licensing: I guess this may be one of the most contentious points for many TTAG readers. Basically, the law says that absent a compelling reason why an individual may not possess firearms, there is nothing to stop them acquiring said firearms – but that the license holder must provide a bunch of information about themselves and the weapon(s) they hold to the police. In slightly more detail:
  • Shotguns are covered by a Shotgun Certificate (SGC). It is presumed that every non-prohibited person has a legal right to own a shotgun, subject to having a secure place to store it, and no objection from their local police licensing department. A background and medical check is carried out, one reference is taken, and an interview is held with the licensing department. It helps if the applicant has their own land, permission on a friend’s land, or a club at which to use the shotgun – but this is not a legal requirement (contrary to popular belief).
  • Other firearms of any sort, including high capacity shotguns, are covered by a Firearms Certificate (FAC), which is slightly harder to qualify for. In addition to the licensing requirements for a SGC a second reference is required, and the applicant must show “good reason” to obtain firearms and ammunition. Self defence is not a “good reason”; acceptable reasons include membership of a club, hunting, pest control, and target practice (not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea). The applicant must also show that they have a “proper place” to use the weapon – which in practice means either a club, or their own/a friendly person’s land of reasonable size.
  • It is important to note that while a SGC permits the holder to acquire an unlimited number of shotguns/quantity of ammunition, simply notifying the police of each weapon acquired/disposed of, a FAC imposes specific restrictions on the number of weapons, calibre, and quantity of ammunition that may be purchase or held at any given time.

Now let’s look at the more positive aspects:

  1. Silencers: silencers are technically classed as firearms in their own right, and must be entered on an FAC. However this is actively encouraged (informally) by almost all Police forces across the UK, as it makes good sense for noise pollution, hunting practicality, etc. No tax stamp required.
  2. Magazine capacity: not limited for rifles, and subject to their being listed on a FAC rather than SGC, not limited for shotguns either. Although AR platforms are less common, and therefore hi-cap magazines are less frequently seen, there is nothing to stop the UK gun owner from slapping a 100 round drum on any compatible and licensed weapon, anywhere in the UK.
  • No bar to ownership: just as felons and registered maniacs are (reasonably enough) restricted from owning firearms in the US, the same restrictions apply in the UK. Otherwise, and assuming that you have somewhere to keep it – and for FAC weapons somewhere to use it and a good reason to do so – there is nothing to stop Tom, Dick or Harry from getting the paperwork and going shopping. The police are generally very open and helpful in this process, though clearly if you live in an inner-city area and are covered in gang tattoos, they may ask a few probing questions about your “good reason” for acquiring a .50 sniper rifle…! Discrimination is a bitch.
  1. Gun clubs and the pro-gun lobby: basically, the vast majority of firearms use in the UK is country sports related. Hunting, wild-fowling, etc. Clubs are not a huge thing, but do exist all across the UK and have an active membership. What is a real plus, though, is that the pro-gun lobby and government generally engage in fairly constructive dialogue. It’s not really adversarial. The main advocate role played by the gun lobby (we have an NRA, but the larger lobby is the British Association for Shooting and Conservation – BASC) is actually to clarify points of law when they are misunderstood by police licensing departments, and/or to participate in government working groups trying to understand any new developments – such as getting lever action rifles or long-barrel pistols approved.
  2. Open carry: there are literally no restrictions on carrying weapons, except in a few obvious prohibited places. The law simply says you should not do so in a threatening way: this is usually interpreted as meaning it should be in a slip or case, or at least broken/displaying a chamber flag. I have personally gone to a meeting at the Foreign Office (think State Department) while on my way back from a rifle competition, and left my rifle at the front desk: I took the bolt out and kept that with me, and nobody had a problem with that. Post 9/11.

What about the armed citizenry protecting itself against encroaching government? Or indeed what about the law abiding citizen’s legitimate right to self defence? I mean, it’s one thing to have firearms technically available, and another to actually have them when you need – right?

Well, kinda. Let’s take them in turn:

Armed citizenry defending against the actions of government:

The UK has never been a particularly heavily armed country (at least not since firearms became the dominant battle weapon). Go back in time and sure, there were militias, and we had a civil war a few hundred years ago, etc. etc. But the reality is that firearms – outside those used by LE or the military – were in the main either held for personal defence or for sporting/hunting use.

There is basically no concept of a constitution, or of a political class directly answerable to its citizenry as there is in the States. Our parliamentary system basically did that back in the day, (Magna Carta, 1215 AD), establishing a separation between the power of the Crown and the power of the people – or at least the important people of the time. Since then the principle has evolved, but it remains the case that most citizens of the UK, while being subjects of the Queen, neither resent that fact too much nor feel unduly oppressed by the government.

In fact, from the point of view of a modern gun owner, the government has actually done a pretty good job – on the whole – of standing up to a vocal anti-gun majority of the population. Most Brits don’t use guns, don’t own guns, and don’t like guns. Campaigning against gun-ownership follows the same emotive lines as it does in the States, but without the fallback of the Second Amendment or indeed a large armed population.

Against this, government has generally taken the view that while some types of firearm are generally not needed for public use (handguns, ARs, machine guns) some are (shotguns, hunting rifles, target rifles). And so they have consistently protected ownership of these weapons.

Legitimate self defence:

The law on self defence is pretty clear over here. You can use any level of force and any means available to you, provided that your actions are “minimum, reasonable and proportionate”. If someone uses harsh language and you shoot them in the face (or stab them), you’re looking at time inside. But if somebody charges at you with a knife and you happen to have a loaded rifle or shotgun to hand, then…you should be in the clear.

We don’t have a Stand Your Ground law. However even that has, to an extent, been improved following a number of recent cases in which homeowners have responded with deadly or extreme force against a home invasion. Not necessarily with firearms – but the principle has been upheld that if a homeowner has reasonable cause to fear for their life or the lives of their loved ones then they are entitled to play to win, rather than handicapping him/herself to the same form of weapon used by the attacker.

It’s obviously borderline impossible to put figures on illegal gun ownership, but even there, in the last twenty-odd years, fatal shootings (total!) have varied from an annual low of 30 to a high of 96 across a population of about 65 million. Basically, you’re unlikely to be shot to death. Other forms of homicide per year: varying between 400 – 600. Basically, you’re really quite unlikely to be murdered in the UK, by any means: chances are about 0.0009%.

I should point out that we don’t, by and large, have to worry about animals, either. There are wild boar in some parts of the UK, which can be dangerous; but we don’t have bears, wolves or even feral dogs or coyote.

So what’s my conclusion? Well, basically I think it’s a shame that government has caved to pressure from the general public (yes, that way around) and restricted centre-fire semi-autos and handguns from general ownership. Would I have implemented those bans (1987 and 1998) if I ran the country? No.

But in fact we don’t face the personal threat levels that make defensive pistol ownership worthwhile. We don’t have the same constitutionally rooted culture of proud gun ownership as in the States. And given the constraints of a small and crowded island, we don’t have that many places where recreational use of semi-auto ARs would be sensible.

I’m lucky. I live on a 300-acre farm. I own several shotguns, a S&W M&P15-22, AICS/Remington 700 in .308, and have silencers for the lot because I don’t want to disturb the livestock or my neighbours.

And – unlike many TTAG readers, it seems – rather than fearing that my government will take away my guns, I’m grateful to them for consistently standing up against an ill-informed public that thinks people like me are “posh, blood-sports enthusiasts”, who should be deprived of all forms of firearms.

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    • Clearly showing the difference between the United States and Great Briton.

      People left there and came here to be free and not have a nanny .gov/sovereign tell them what to do. As a decedent of that type of person, I too feel the yearn to be free, live my life, and let others live theirs. I am Sovereign.

      People who stayed in their various motherlands, and their progeny, are happy to be told what they can and can’t do.

      I will fight to my last breath for, and teach my children what it is to truly be free, what it means to be a United States Citizen and not subject to some far removed .gov/sovereign.

    • “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
      – Johann von Goethe

    • Why does a regular Brit even need a shotgun, anyways? Home defense? That’s what the lollipop brigade is for. As for bird hunting, the land is all owned, so really only wealthy aristocrat landowners of a wild plot greater than say 10 acres would really have a need for one. Honestly Britain, no wonder their crime is so high compared to the rest of the world, its those lax gun laws letting the rabble own weapons!

      And just in case someone missed it, we should also eat Catholic Irish babies.

    • Let this article be a warning to all of us who love our 2A rights. Without eternal vigil, you will see these types of laws and regulations in every single major metropolitan area in the United States. California, NY, NJ, Chicago, Baltimore are already there and might be even more restrictive (e.g. no supressors at all). Be vigilant my friends. Do not budge. There is no such thing as a “sensible” gun grabber.

      • +1

        Although I have to say that even in your most restrictive states you probably still have a higher proportion of gun owners than we do in the UK (about 1% of the population).

        Therefore, you’re likely to have more people keeping the flame burning in that eternal vigilance than we do…!

        Speaking as a gun owner in a heavily restricted country – it’s a lot easier to keep what you have than to re-acquire what once has been lost. Good luck to all of you!

        • “. . . to re-acquire what once has been lost. . . . ” True, but yet, we in the US have managed to recover over the past 30 years from what came close to a national ban on Carry. A few States continued to permit carry without a permit or with a permit – and willingly issued permits. However, generally, most of the population lived in States where carry wasn’t feasible for the ordinary citizen.

          Yet, State by State we’ve crawled back. There remain 5 – 10 States (or other jurisdictions) that are densely populated and still resist carry. Even so, we are within striking distance of National Reciprocity which will bring even these jurisdictions kicking-and-screaming back to the 2A.

          It seems to be conceivable that you Brits too might come to your senses. Unfortunately, its probably going to take some nasty catastrophe – and a continuing one at that – before 70% of the population has an epiphany. Meanwhile, it’s important that the few of you who remain continue to promote sporting uses of guns and argue the case.

  1. So how much shit would I have to shovel in order to pick up a can across the pond?

    • The can would be easier than the. 22LR or ammo for, Northern Ireland has more sense than the masters they serve. Unfortunately free Ireland is as bad as the bangers & mash country. When Indian Curry is the favorite food it means the former colony is now master.

      Your a contractor in Afghanistan so you won’t.miss being able to protect yourself, should friends or relative’s of someone you killed decide to do a little retribution?

      After putting criminals away for years with no problems, even being thanked by a few for helping change a life theirs or a son/daughter etc… Never making it personal. Was at the mall with wife last night, recognized me tried to cut me at a urinal. He was a wife beater who got 3 years, did 6 months and that was in 1987. Held a grudge that long, one reason I am glad I live in a country where I can provide & protect myself. Can you say the same about the Orwellian nightmare you live in.

      • +1

        and to the UK:

        “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
        ― Samuel Adams

        • No offense but that quote makes absolutely no sense when it is directed at subjects of a Government. They don’t have freedom to to sacrifice at the altar of Political Correctness like WE Americans have and continue to do. Context

          Now that quote would work if the “k’ was a typo and you were being honest and meant it to be an “S”.

      • Absolutely: I am well aware of the loss of that defensive option when I come home and cannot arm myself, and I am deeply concerned that my loved ones cannot arm THEMselves.

        My main aims in writing this piece were:
        • to explain a bit more accurately what the situation is, and
        • to say that it could be a lot worse…

        But yes, I agree 100% that the possibility of a retributive attack is one that I have to be aware of: I am aware of that risk, and within the limits of the law I take what measures I can. It’s a shitty situation, and I hope it never actually becomes life-threateningly shitty.

        • Thank you for writing this piece. It’s very enlightening, but maybe not in the way you had intended it to be.

  2. This was a very interesting article. It’s unique to read from the perspective of a British gun owner.
    The worst part of reading an article that is describing how “it isn’t that bad”, is knowing how much of their freedoms are non existent. I suppose much of this really is a cultural difference. Many believe here that an individual is free until they’ve given cause to lose that freedom (violent felon), and that it shouldn’t be a free man’s job to prove on multiple levels that, you are in fact, innocent and to be trusted with liberty.

    • Prison isn’t that bad, they feed me, we get 5 channels on the breakroom TV, and I only get raped in the ass once every other week.

      • If you’re getting raped in the ass once every other week you damn sure don’t have the juice to change the channel on the break room TV…

        Just say’in…


      • This is awful. I like your style. +1 for listing the liberal haven as “not that bad.”

      • Well, it’s not as bad as getting one channel on the TV, and getting mugged in the ass 5 times every two weeks,…………………….I’m guessing?

    • Having never known freedom they don’t understand that having to ask permission from their “betters” for everything “is not that bad”.

    • Hey Tyler,

      You and several others are reading my article as saying “it’s not that bad”.

      That really isn’t what I am saying. I don’t agree with the UK’s firearm laws and I think they fail in their purpose.

      What I’m saying is: plenty of folk do not have an accurate knowledge of the real situation in the UK.

      For example, they may think that guns are impossible to obtain (wrong), or that only the wealthy can own or use them (wrong), etc.

      To these people, I am trying to tell The Truth About Guns in the UK – and I’m telling them that while it’s not a GOOD situation, it isn’t quite as bad as they think. That’s all.

    • Its more than just the freedom to own guns. but the freedom to carry means to protect ourselves in public places from muggers and rapists.France i read allows all manner of things like 30,00 volt elec stun devices, coshes ,mace and tear gas sprays.Revolvers converted to fire micro shotgun cartriges. When do you ever hear of a woman defeating a rapists attack? Its ALWAYS her body was found etc etc..Likewise 55 % of UK burglaries take place when the homeowner is present .Compared to less than 10%in the US….and no doubt heavily armed France too. I do a lot of camping ,everything i need is always in my car boot.I can and would be prosecuted for having a hatchet and kitchen knife amongst my camping stuff..Its an outrage.Criminals are not detered by any restrictions on the population at large.

  3. Some people love their chains. Please stay on your side of the pond. Oh…and when the ISIS fellows start carving up your fellow subjects like Drummer Rigby, don’t call me.

    • Did you read the article? He clearly said that he didn’t support the bans, and wouldn’t have implemented them.

      The main point of the article was to point out that it’s not quite as bad as many of us thought (I didn’t realize their gun owner licenses were shall issue; I thought the government could deny them for arbitrary reasons), and briefly explain the history of gun ownership and gun laws in the UK.

      • The article says “Basically, the law says that absent a compelling reason why an individual may not possess firearms, there is nothing to stop them acquiring said firearms.”

        That is not shall issue. That is may issue that has so far probably been permissive. Different people read different things into “compelling reason”. Ask Finns, who had similar thing with their concealed carry licenses, and somehow about 20 years ago the authorities began finding compelling reasons (or their equivalent of this sort) to deny any and all CC applicants.

        • Hi Bungameng,

          Just to clarify – it’s not the case that you need a “compelling reason” to own a gun.

          In fact it’s the opposite: the Police would have to show a “compelling reason” why you may not, in order to justify refusing a license. For example, a criminal record or a history of mental illness with violent tendencies.

          There have been numerous successful challenges to Police forces trying to block license applications, and in fact the majority (but not all) of our mass shootings have been carried out by individuals whose licenses were challenged, but ultimately issued because the Police couldn’t show a sufficiently “compelling reason” to refuse.

          I don’t know if that quote counts as shall issue but it’s definitely a presumption that if you can complete the paperwork then should issue.

          The problem is that, with a gun owning population only ~1% of the total, it is very hard to lobby for anything better. And every time a licensed owner shoots somebody, the public (about 70% in favour of a total ban) and the newspapers say that this is proof further restrictions are needed.

    • Hi TommyKnocker,

      You are free to hold that view, and sadly I can tell you there are plenty of Brits who, similarly, would not rush to the aid of America in an hour of need…

      But, as someone who stands up alongside my American brothers in Afghanistan and elsewhere, I find your comments somewhat offensive.

      Whether I find your views offensive or not though, if you were in Drummer Rigby’s position and it was within my power to help, I still would. So I’m sorry to hear that despite the advantages you enjoy under law, you would not help out an ally in need.

  4. So the overall theme of the apologist’s article is that you can own a gun in the UK if you jump thru flaming hoops and have a “good reason” (which is defined by whom exactly?) to own one. No thank you.

    • “So the overall theme of the apologist’s article is that you can own a gun in the UK if you jump thru flaming hoops and have a “good reason” (which is defined by whom exactly?) to own one. No thank you.”

      Pot meet kettle is how I would feel as an informed American citizen after reading your post. The lady that was murdered in Jersey for not being granted state permission for a firearm is just one example.

      “which is defined by whom exactly?”
      To Americans it is a sheriff or one of our political betters that determine if WE can carry a gun after paying a tax on a right. I probably owe farago a twenty dollar tax(fee) for the option to not have my 1st amendment censored.

      • I think that complaining about CWP fees and training is a side-show and counter-productive to our long-term interests.

        We should be touting to non-gun owners that the Shall-Issue States do a BC so that only law-abiding gun owners are permitted to carry. Some – not all – require a bit of training. That’s fine; we are all for training. However, the records of training-required vs. no-training-required States are comparable. Anyone serious about carrying a gun is going to get some training whether formally or informally. (All of this is comfort-talk.)

        (Now for the coup de grace.) A number of States, after running their CWP programs for a few years, have decided that collecting fees, requiring training and issuing CWP cards isn’t worth the effort. They have followed VT and allowed Constitutional Carry (i.e., permits carry) to anyone who is not bared from possessing a gun. They haven’t had any trouble and none has considered reverting to the CWP system.

        So, you see – gentle neighbor – citizens carrying guns just isn’t the pearl-clutching disaster you might think. About 5% of the adult population now carries – either under permit or permit-less carry laws. Have you heard may – or ANY – stories about law-abiding gun-carriers shooting-up bars? No? Who wooda-thunk!

        All the stories you hear about gun crime are committed by the same old culprits; the felons who are barred from even touching a gun to say nothing about carrying a gun in public.

        We OUGHT to be concentrating on pushing CA, NYC, DC, NJ, MD, HI into Shall-Issue as a stepping stone toward Right-to-Carry nation-wide. The CWP is the transition vehicle to get them from Won’t-Issue to recognizing ANY Right-to-Carry.

        Then follows the mop-up; moving Constitutional-Carry along a couple of States at a time. Eventually, half the States will be permit-less; then 3/4 of the States will be permit-less. Thereafter, if a few States stick to their CWPs it just won’t matter. The Right-to-Carry on a permit-less or Shall-Issue basis will be firmly established in American society.

        Our most important effort needs to be to establish carry in public places as a normal activity. A gun is merely a form of accessorizing as far as everyone-else is concerned. Just as one woman has a right to clutch her pearls, another has a right to carry a gun to defend herself and her children. Achieving this goal is NOT going to be accomplished by promoting permit-less CONCEALED-carry. Remember, concealed-is-concealed. The general public has no more idea whether you choose revolver-vs-semi-auto than boxers-vs.-thongs.

        To get the general public to accept guns-in-polite-society I see no alternative but to promote OC. I hasten to add that OC must be introduced both gently AND flamboyantly. We will frighten the hoplophobes; there is no way around this. What we must NOT do is frighten those who have YET to form a fixed opinion about guns.

        We need to seek-out ways to cause acceptance of OC to spread from NM and AZ soon to TX, then on to OK, MO, etc. until we have gradually moved acclimation from State to State until we have reached DE.

        • MarkPA, thank you for your thoughts. That seems to me a very credible and compelling way to move gun rights forwards in the States.

          Your head-start over us is not something we will ever make up, I suspect: no 2A, and only 1% of the population (max) owning guns.

          But thank you for talking through the concept, rather than – as some have done – going to town on Brits for all being serfs etc.

          Very interesting, thank you again.

          • You know who you are; why should we of a different culture rub it in.

            We Americans have become quite used to being called all the dirty names in the book, in countless languages. We don’t care; we never cared what anyone called us.

            The data all speaks for itself.

            Unfortunately, we have our own Progressives to deal with. They are dead set on taking America to hell-in-a-handbasket. Fortunately, when push comes to shove . . .

            What’s that old saying? ‘We got the guns; they don’t. Where’s the problem?’

  5. Come on boys! It aint dat bad! Massa lez us walk da dawgs every sunnay fo chuch, an uz even gets da leftovahs from sunnay dinnah!

    Cold hard fact, Brits: If your system encountered a hard crisis, it would be mob rule, and you would be found along your driveway with your bolt action 22 sticking out of your 4th point of contact.

    • The author has a .308 precision rifle, and a collection of shotguns (among others) on his 300-acre farm. I think he’d be okay. The guys in the suburbs would be the ones with problems.

      • Indubitably!

        After the YOBS empty the cities with their properly registered and legal guns(snickers). The Suburbanites will be like lambs to slaughter.

  6. “And licensing requirements are fairly common sense within the limitations of the law as it stands”

    Spoken like a true subordinate

    • Chrispy, thanks for the opinion…

      I admit that I comply with the law, and try to make the best of the situation that I legally can. On that count, ok, I’m subordinate.

      I assume, given your disdain for that position, that you have a bunch of illegal machine guns and untaxed silencers?

      If not then it seems to me that you are just as “subordinate” to the law of your country as I am to the law of mine… But you have the good fortune to live in a country that has more permissive laws.

      If you are in fact a badass packing loads of illegal heat then fair play to you – true rebel – and I hope the BATFE never find out!

      • No sir, unfortunately I live in the state of New York. And yes, I do follow the laws. But you won’t catch me saying that they’re “really not all that bad.”

        The BS I had to go through to get a carry permit was disgusting, and I live in a county which actually isn’t “that” bad, (relative to other counties in this state). I also will continue to condemn the SAFE act until it’s full repeal, (which likely means I’ll have to condemn it forever.)

        Certainly my comment can be taken as a “pot calling the kettle black”, and I’m okay with that.

        • Hi Chrispy, thanks for coming back on that.

          I’m not arguing – at all – that our firearm laws “aren’t all that bad”. I think they’re pretty dreadful, although I can certainly see that there are places which are even worse.

          All I was trying to convey (and some people did / some did not take this) was a more accurate, factual run-down of the laws in the UK. The Truth About Guns, UK style.

          Personally I disagree with the law, but I comply with it because I’m a law-abiding citizen and don’t fancy jail.

          Anyway, thank you again (sincerely) for replying to my last.

      • Don’t know about Chrispy, but I doubt that very many people keep illegal full-autos. Building a crude cheap silencer is not out-of-the-question; but these are kept well hidden or discarded after the amusement has warn off.

        As a broad-sweeping remark, it’s generally not hard to build, maintain and shoot a pretty nice arsenal without violating the law. So, we don’t have to go out-of-our-way to enjoy our gun liberty in America.

        Certainly, there are exceptions. E.g., I believe that it would be impossible to live in NJ, actively participate in the shooting sports, and avoid committing a felony. If you are careful enough, you won’t get caught.

        Clearly, there are plenty of people in NY, CT, CA, NJ and other States with unregistered illegal modern sporting rifles. These are the scofflaws that might be worthy of your study.

        When we see a law that we just cannot abide, we can muster the courage to defy that law. The “Assault Weapons Bans” and “Large” capacity magazine-‘clips’ are two examples.

        We abide by the machine-gun closing-of-the-registry because the risk/reward just isn’t there for us. We abide by the SBR, SBS and Silencer law because – frankly – $200 doesn’t mean that much any more. (You sort of get the drift when you see PotG complaining about how long it takes for the ATF to send them the stamps they bought and paid for; far more such complaints than complaints about the price of the stamp.)

        The AOW and Destructive-Device taxes aren’t much of a point of complaint. We PotG just chuckle with the spot the ATF put themselves into allowing gun manufacture to market Destructive Devices without NFA stamps because they didn’t read their own law.

        Another avenue for you to study is the outright gun crime that American Law Enforcement routinely ignores. If you are a criminal with a long rap sheet you might be arrested in possession of a gun on a charge of armed-robbery. The prosecutor is dealing in volume-of-convictions. So, he is very apt to cheerfully allow you to plead guilty of strong-armed-robbery and drop the gun-possession and armed-robbery charges. Does this make sense? Only to a prosecutor facing full prisons and a lenient judge. He just can’t afford to go to trial with all the gun charges that flow through his office.

        Another example, straw-buying. Should be a fairly straightforward case. But, it takes some work. And, ultimately, you are facing the prospect of sending a young female – often a single mother – to prison for a non-violent crime of buying a gun and giving it to her “boy-friend”. Prosecutors just don’t want to do this when they have violent criminals to deal with.

        I would be really interested to discover how many peaceable gun-owners defy the bans on carrying without a permit in jurisdictions such as NYC, DC, NJ, MD, and CA. I don’t think many people do; i.e., I think people are largely observing the law notwithstanding their contempt. However, this might change in the next 5 years or so. Maybe citizens in these States will start defying the laws against carrying without a permit because these States Won’t-Issue permits.

        • MarkPA, thank you for that – some very interesting points.

          I was aware of straw buying but I guess hadn’t considered it at any length.

          And regarding the other gun / gun-related crime that you mention, we have a similar problem here with overcrowded jails. The difference is that any crime involving illegal firearms (even if it’s just possession with no use at all) gets a mandatory minimum tariff of 5 years…!

          In any case, thank you for your thoughts. It is genuinely a pleasure to talk to a community of shooters with different perspectives.

          When I referred to illegal machine guns / silencers etc., that wasn’t really a serious point. I was simply trying to highlight that in my view, it’s neither servile nor an abdication of responsibility to:
          • abide by the law
          • arm oneself as far as legally possible, and
          • use legal channels to try and make the situation better

          I’m not saying you were arguing that view – but others have done, and that’s why I put up the ‘straw man’ argument that they have no right to criticise me unless they’re packing an arsenal of illegal weapons.

          Thank you again for your thoughts, and for taking the time to share them!

          • No. No! NO!! You just don’t understand American gun law at all!

            “The difference is that any crime involving illegal firearms (even if it’s just possession with no use at all) gets a mandatory minimum tariff of 5 years…!”

            A mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years ONLY is applied to a LEGAL gun owner with a perfectly CLEAN record for a nominal infraction! If you are a career criminal then you must be treated with leniency. Dis, is AMERICA!

            Read the stories of:
            – Shaneen Allen
            – Steffon Josey Davis
            – Gordan Van Gilder
            – Brian Aitken

            The only one case in the above list that showed a modicum of common sense was Van Gilder. The sheriff’s deputy let him go; but the sheriff came back to arrest him. The prosecutor declined to prosecute; even she would be too embarrassed to send a retired teacher to prison for 5 years for possession of an unloaded 260 year-old flintlock (no flint).

            The ONLY reason Allen got off is because she was charged by the same prosecutor who let (professional football player) Ray Rice off with (essentially) probation for cold-cocking his girlfriend in an Atlantic City hotel ON FILM. ACTAL violence against a woman gets you probation; disclosing to a cop that you are carrying under a PA license gets you a generous plea-bargain of 3 1/2 years. (Her lawyer offered to take probation and a 2-game suspension; but no deal.)

            Allen and Davis eventually got a pardon from the governor; but only because he is running for President and needs any gun vote he might be able to finagle.

            Brian Aitken spent 3 years in prison before the Governor commuted his sentence. His crime? He transported hollow-point bullets from one home to another. It was perfectly legal for him to have hollow points in his home. Perfectly legal to transport hollow points from his home to a range, target-practice place, or hunting. His crime was that he transported directly from home->home. Had he been law-abiding he would have had to go from old-home->range->home-new. The judge had to stoop that low to get this guy imprisoned. The judge also refused to instruct the jury that the gun move from home->home was perfectly legal; the gun conviction was overturned on appeal.

            In NJ, a child’s sling-shot will get you a felony.

            A magazine for a semi-automatic rifle holding more than 10 rounds is a felony. (A NJ resident was caught with a 100 round magazine for a Tommygun. His lawyer got him off on a technicality. The magazine would ONLY fit a full-automatic Thompson; it would fit no existent semi-automatic look-alike. So, the machine-gun mag was fine.)

            The American gun laws that get enforced are applied to OFWG who aren’t doing anything wrong. The laws where leniency apply involve serious criminals.

        • Hi MarkPA,

          Those cases sound appalling – to be fair to the UK, I am not actually aware of anything quite that egregious (this may just be my ignorance, or it may be that there are fewer gun owners to chase after…!).

          Regarding the mandatory five years: that’s the UK law for any illegal possession of a firearm.

          Where it gets stupid is that the law takes exactly the same view of:

          Scenario A
          I am a known gang-banger, and I get caught carrying a full-auto Mac-10 and silencer, and 300rds of 9mm.

          Scenario B
          I am the legal owner of multiple weapons up to and including .50BMG, but I never asked for a .22lr adding to my license. I get caught letting my friend store his .22lr in my safe, to which I have a set of keys.

          In both scenarios, I “possess” a gun to which I have no legal right. The law doesn’t care about the fact that one gun is prohibited for any private ownership, and the other is just illegal for me on a technicality. In either case the court has no choice but to sentence me to a minimum of five years.

          Now, the court may sentence me to more than five years for the Mac-10 because they consider it to be somehow “more illegal”. But in principle if your only crime is illegal possession – deliberate or accidental, blatant or technicality – then you’re still looking at five years regardless.

          • Fundamentally, the more laws there are to enforce the more likely the criminal justice system is to find a violation.

            Likely the main reason there are relatively few full-automatic violations in the US is that the penalties are draconian. Most people with any ability to rationalize their actions can figure out that whatever the amusement value there might be to having a full-auto, the product of the probability of getting caught multiplied by the penalty makes it not worth-while.

            If you are a criminal you can do enough damage with a semi-auto gun to achieve your objective. So, why risk getting caught with a machine-gun for a very slight increment in fire-power.

            We have a lot of laws to complain about; however, most of these complaints don’t really cut to the heart of what we need to defend. My most important objective is to see a Right-to-Carry established in the last 5 – 10 jurisdictions that deny this right. Next is to protect a massive fraction of the civilian inventory beyond any means effectively to track-it-down. Third is to narrow the grounds for classifying an individual as a prohibited-person based on a pretext other than a record of violence. These – collectively – are the greatest threats to gun rights in America.

    • Both my grandfathers brought plenty of guns home from Ww1when there were no restrictions.Sadly their generation never fought the law makers.Nor did my fathers generation.I lobbied my mp several times when i was a pistol shooter.Until all the red tape forced me out. But its too late now the screw will only get tighter.Americans can crow and point the finger ,but you are protected by a RIGHT a LAW SET IN STONE .We never had that.

    • The food sucks and once your cats get out of required quarantine they will find a way to kill you.



    Using “murder” alone as a measure of safety in the UK is beyond short sighted.

    Having the tools available to protect ones self from any of the crimes listed in the link above is a basic human right. Infringing on ones ability to protect themselves from any form of violent crime is not at all tolerable.

    Stop sticking up for the “Law of the Land” and fight for your basic human right of self preservation and defense.

  8. A very good post! I appreciate having a gun-owning Brit’s perspective. There are definitely some good things going on with firearms in Britain, but I know I couldn’t stand to live in a place that wouldn’t let me have my handguns and semi-auto rifles.

      • He can get a suppressor cheaper, and faster than we can (I ordered my most recent one in February, the form 3 finished in May, maybe I’ll see it in August).

        Other than that, I don’t see anything that makes me envious. Maybe somebody in NYC or Hawaii would be envious of some of the other things (no magazine capacity restrictions).

        • He may be able to get a can cheaper and/or faster, but its still treated as a firearm with all the paperwork and ass pain that entails. Hardly a positive.

        • He has to do slightly more paperwork to get the initial permit, but then can get the suppressor quickly. I have to do a buttload of paperwork and wait several months (11 for my .22 suppressor) for each one.

    • Because sadly handguns are illegal in the UK. Skeet, rifle etc. can train here just fine.

      But the pistol team have to train elsewhere because even though we’re talking about .22 target pistols here… the law is basically inflexible on that front.

      Any weapon must have a barrel of 12″ and a total length greater than 24″ – so Olympic pistol shooters are stuck.

      Ridiculous, and caused some serious arguments running up to 2012 Olympics, but the general public – and particularly the newspapers – are very vocally anti-gun, and handguns are top of the “hate” list.

      • How did London handle Olimpic pistol shooting if it is illegal? I don’t watch most Olimpic sports so I don’t know.

        • They passed an Act of Parliament making it temporarily legal for specific individuals (the competitors) to own and use pistols for the purposes of target shooting at the Olympics.

          The controversy mostly centred on whether, in the run-up, Brit competitors should be allowed to train here in the UK with that same exemption. The overall conclusion was no, because it would set a precedent: eg. if you can for the Olympics then why not for the World Championships… etc.

          I think that’s a pretty ridiculous state of affairs, but that’s how it is.

  9. Confirmed (what we already know)… Our Forefathers were right then and are even more so now (if that’s even possible)… Spare us that judas goat happy subject crap, we’re not buying it…

    • Let not our hubris lull us into thinking this can’t happen in America. This is exactly the type of model that our liberal overlords want for us. We must stand our ground or see our rights be eroded over the next century. We think this won’t happen in 2015, which is correct. Can you guarantee that our children or their children won’t be in this situation in 2115?

  10. A 300 acre farm would be highly desirable here in the US, but in the UK?

    Definitely posh.

    I lived in the Suffolk area in the early 80’s, and could not bring home the shotgun I used a the
    rod and gun-club on base. It had to stay there.

    Sure, it made the general public feel oh so much more secure, but just felt oppressive to a
    Yank who grew up with unfettered access to pretty much anything…

    • Yes, unless “military contractors” pay in UK, where land on the island is generally an elite premium, is stunningly more than those contractors from here in the US, mr Carter is indeed a lucky fellow. As for hunting, game in jolly old England was the property of the king/government, versus being the property of all the public here in US – that is a very important distinction. Me. Carter would be welcome if he sold his 300 acres and moved here.

      • Hey JimmyJonga,

        I am posh, as it happens. But as I’ve said elsewhere in the comments, in fact the majority of shooters in the UK are rural working class.

        Rough shooting (as opposed to driven game) is a pretty common hobby. There is actually a fair amount of common land in the UK – eg. publicly owned – and even where land is privately owned it’s not at all uncommon to simply ask the landowner for permission to shoot on it.

        Round where I live, for example, most families have at least one shooter – and pigeon, pig, fox, rabbit etc. are all commonly hunted.

        “Game” animals (deer, pheasant, partridge, grouse, duck*) are usually the legal property of the landowner and you need specific permission to hunt those quarry, but other quarry can be taken without any special permission.

        * duck are treated as game if curated for the purposes of shooting – eg. with flight img ponds etc. If they are on the shore or natural rivers then you can shoot them under the general classification of “wildfowling”.

  11. That sounds awful to me honestly. Incredibly repressive. I can understand things are different over there, but that still sounds really limiting to one’s self defense. I once had a friend come over and visit from the UK and his eyes were wide open like saucers the whole time. He just couldn’t get over how big the US is. Wanted to keep driving across the country haha. Changed his entire perspective, he said. I can dig your view, but man… it’s a whole different world over here. I guess I won’t reference Britain’s role in the US having a 2A in the first place… But I can tell you that even my UK buddy saw things a bit differently after he got a taste of US style freedom.

  12. My ancestors left Britain to seek freedom and liberty. I am their legacy and will never look back.

    I appreciate the author and his perspective, but it is all he knows. It would be saying that flank steak is a great cut a beef while never having tasted filet or a porterhouse.

  13. The Home Offfice has a long history of “cooking the books” to reduce official homicides to very low numbers. I have been there many times. What passes for “liberty” in the UK would be unacceptable to most Americans.

  14. Within the context of the laws as they stand, it may not seem so bad from someone who clearly lives under such laws. Those who are largely unburdened by such tyrannical bureaucracy, like us (I’ll go ahead and apologize to residents of NJ/NY/IL/CA/MD/CT/etc.) rightly understand it as a giant travesty — and a civil rights tragedy.

    It’s all about perspective.

  15. I think I’m happier with not being able to own a silencer without jumping through hoops than jumping through many more hoops to spend way too much on a partially disabled rifle. And I have handguns! At least one that isn’t just military-style, but actually (Polish) military surplus! And I didn’t have to answer any questions about wanting it. In fact, I ordered it off a website.

    Now, I had it shipped to Michigan, which means that before and after I picked it up from the FFL who ran the background check, I had to stop by the Sheriff’s department to get a slip saying I was allowed to own it, then drop said slip back off. That’s two background checks, for those counting. Those two trips plus that initial check cost me around twenty minutes of my day. It’s also what many readers here would call “Draconian.”

    I appreciate your optimism, but you’re wrong. What you described is just as bad, if not worse than what American gun owners imagine. But, hey, enjoy your silencers.

  16. Right, murder is not the only risk – violent crime in general warrants lethal defense, and I do believe that’s a human’s natural right (self-defense).
    I was struck by the ‘not-so-bad’ list. Unrestricted mag capacity, yes, but nothing is legal to use it with except a bolt action rifle.
    Open carry is “legal”, but you’ll be harassed by police if you try it.
    Handguns are legal in some places, but only for the political class that perceives a threat from Irish rebels.
    Murder rate is low, so you’re only at risk of rape and/or getting skull fractures from the criminal element, which you are to some extent expected to lie down for after blowing your whistle.
    I think this is a great read and good perspective, but I think the takeaway is an example of what’s wrong with being a subject rather than a citizen. It’s certainly interesting to see how differently we view the role of government and our role in society.

    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your thoughts. It has certainly been interesting to me, to hear the views of various gun owning Americans (and others) here on TTAG.

      They have generally ranged from appalled but polite, to a misunderstanding that causes them to label me as an apologist.

      I certainly am not – and I’m not saying our situation is a good one, just that it’s not as bad as it might easily be. And you’re right, I do see my government as playing a generally positive role in protecting my freedoms against a ~70% majority of the population who favour an outright ban on gun ownership.

      You are technically wrong on one point: “Handguns are legal in some places, but only for the political class that perceives a threat from Irish rebels.”

      Handguns are legal in Northern Ireland, and self defence is a legitimate reason for ownership. The most common handgun owners in that part of the UK are LEOs who live in Northern Ireland and work where they live – and are therefore under daily threat from terrorism. Assassinations or attempted assassinations occur regularly, even now that a “peace process” is under way.

      Soldiers, politicians and others who may equally be targeted are also allowed to own and carry – but they are slightly less likely to live permanently in the civilian community where they work, and so are less under threat than their LEO counterparts.

      • A clarification on my post above: ownership of handguns in Northern Ireland is not restricted to the types of individual I listed (LEO, Army, politician) – but they are the most common groups to own handguns because they are subject to the highest threat.

  17. Well, um, I have a non hostile question/statement for Mr. Carter. You live on 300 hundred acres and you use cans. It’s my understanding that air gun hunting is a going concern in Britain. Have I been misinformed?

    • Hey JWM, yes I use cans on all my rifles on my own farm, because it’s a working farm with livestock and there’s no point in scaring them unnecessarily. And because it’s very easy to get the necessary permission (actually my local Police force prefer me to have them than not).

      You’re sort of right about airguns, but not 100%.

      In most of the UK they are still a restricted sale item, eg. you have to be an adult to buy, but otherwise no paper required. In Scotland, which has a pretty devolved government and makes many of its own laws (think State vs Federal) there is a strong movement for classing airguns just the same as any other firearm.

      Fortunately, in England and Wales that was laughed out of court.

  18. Keep in mind this is also written by someone privlaged enough to have 300acres in a tighly populated country.
    Not exactly a “common man’s” point of view is it?

    • Hi Jim,

      I guess statistically speaking I’m not a “common man”, in that most people are urban dwellers and therefore almost certainly don’t have 300 acres on their doorstep.

      On the other hand, in the eyes of the law I’m treated no differently than a “common man”. Sure, it’s easier for me to show a safe place / good reason for owning guns. But several of my neighbours have licenses because they shoot on my farm, or on other private land, with the landowner’s permission. Most of them fall much more clearly into your common man bracket than I do.

      The fact remains that the majority of gun owners in the UK are rural working class. That is followed by middle class gun-club shooters and hunters; and then as a distant third by posh folks, of whom there really aren’t that many.

  19. Mr. Carter – thank you for taking pen to paper and submitting an article. I found all that very interesting.

    • And moving right along this is America and we live at the good leave of God the queen can kiss our … ah freedom can’t you just smell it.

  20. It appears to be a better situation than I had figured, but gun ownership is still a “privilege” one must be granted permission for in the UK, and not a right to be freely exercised unless forfeited for cause in the US.
    I estimate that the basic situation here in “tight gun control areas” e.g. MD, MA, NJ, CA, holds true in the UK —- much depends on local authorities and how they view “civilians” owning guns.

    • What does it say about GB laws when you can easily say that CA laws allow far more freedom to own and use guns?!

  21. That’s sad, and even more so because he doesn’t think it is that bad.

    The only reason I can see they haven’t restricted magazine capacity is because they have already restricted every firearm that could make use of a higher capacity magazine. There’s no point in having any.

    Other than no restrictions on silencers I see little to cheer about.

    • “That’s sad, and even more so because he doesn’t think it is that bad.”


      • Hey CentralIL,

        I think you’ve misunderstood my argument slightly.

        I really DO think it’s a bad situation in the UK. But I’ve previously come across numerous posts on TTAG from Americans and others who believe that either guns are completely illegal in the UK (not true, as I’ve explained), or that you have to be mega influential and powerful to get through all the hoops to ownership (also not true, as I’ve explained).

        Do I like the situation? Not at all. But is it better than many people seem to believe? Yes it is.

      • “Well, yes…we have our nutsacks in a vise, but it is not too tight and at least they don’t crank it any tighter.” is what I hear.

        • Hi Scoutino,

          That’s pretty much correct.

          Can you suggest a legal alternative, whereby we as a 1% monitory of gun owners can overturn the will of ~70% of the public, who want a complete ban?

          And are you really do different? Yes your laws are more permissive (the vise isn’t as tight), but you still have both federal and state restrictions of various kinds.

          My nuts are in a vise and I’m very glad it’s no tighter. Is that an unacceptable view to hold?

          • I think you see your options as clearly as anyone could.

            You might want to think of getting US residency in case you see the need to retreat. Maybe Canadian residency.

            I myself am looking to Mexico. They have more interesting guns; but, you seem to be interested only in the lawful ones.

        • MarkPA,

          The U.S. residency option is one that I have looked at quite seriously.

          Having worked DoD and DoS contracts in Afghanistan I used to hold a Common Access Card (U.S. Army sponsored). This required me to get a FIN – as I understand it, the equivalent of an SSN for a non-US citizen. I have been told that this makes the process of applying somewhat easier, although I don’t know for sure.

          I’m a keen skier and used to train in Vail, so had always had CO in the back of my mind as a possibility.

          But right now I’ve got a family to take care of, and a home where I can enjoy the freedoms that still remain open to a British citizen – so emigration is currently in the “maybe some day” bracket.

          • What you refer to as a “FIN” is a “TIN” Tax-payor Identification Number. (Or so I understood from years ago when I worked on a tax reporting project.) The TIN is for non-resident aliens who have a tax-reporting obligation to the US.

            I very much doubt that holding a TIN will do anything for your application for a green-card. The easiest route is marriage; albeit I have the impression that you are already under new management. The quota system is typically a deeply backlogged route; however, it varies enormously by country. If the demand for green-cards from UK citizens is relatively low the queue might be reasonable. I understood that this was the case for the Irish. You might want to look into this; and, if the queue is modest (let’s suppose 5 years for illustration) consider getting your application in so as to move toward the head of the line prior to the need to immigrate becomes really compelling.

            The proposition of being a non-resident green-card holder is one which you need to investigate. You can’t hold your green-card without periodically spending time in-country. What – precisely – the rules are I don’t know; but, you should understand how they would impact you while you are intent upon remaining outside the US. It might be sufficient to make an annual visit for a week; or, it might be much too onerous to keep up.

            Another aspect is taxes. So long as you are either a US citizen or green-card holder you are under the umbrella of the IRS UNLESS your residence is in one of several (not all) of the US territories. So, for example, you could be either a citizen/green-card-holder resident in Puerto Rico. Thereupon, you would be beholden to Puerto Rico for tax and tax-reporting rather than the US. If you could make that applicable to your situation (might be tough) then you might lighten your tax reporting burden by taking up tax residency in PR, USVI, Guam etc.

            I’m very much concerned about the deterioration of security throughout the world; including the US. It looks to me as though the US ought to be the last ship to sink; whereupon there would be no safe haven anywhere. Nevertheless, before the US were to sink, things might actually become more dicy here than in some other places. I imagine you are more capable than I of working out the scenarios given your vocation.

            • >> The quota system is typically a deeply backlogged route; however, it varies enormously by country. If the demand for green-cards from UK citizens is relatively low the queue might be reasonable. I understood that this was the case for the Irish. You might want to look into this; and, if the queue is modest (let’s suppose 5 years for illustration) consider getting your application in so as to move toward the head of the line prior to the need to immigrate becomes really compelling.

              You still need some qualifying reason to immigrate. Family immigration (which includes marriage) is one, but requires a direct relative already with a citizenship. Also, if you have an employer in US, then they can sponsor you for a green card while you’re on H1B – but that requires finding such a job and holding it for long enough. Then there’s asylum seeking, but there you’d have to prove that you’re somehow persecuted with a real danger to yourself where you’re coming from. Finally there’s investment, but it requires bringing in a lot of money.

              Then there’s the diversity green card lottery with its quotas. The problem is that it is still just that, a lottery. Your chances are higher if you’re from a country where not many people apply (UK would likely be one), but they’re still pretty low and you cannot reliably predict if or when you’d win it. If your plan is to immigrate “eventually”, it might be a good option (but note that if you win, you’ll have to immigrate fairly quickly, because the offer expires if not used). But for any serious plan with a schedule, it’s not an option.

  22. I think the purpose of this article is to surprise the reader what guns you can own in Britain and that guns are less than all but illegal.

    • +1
      It’s an unfortunate mentality on this website that anyone who posts a message contrary to the echo chamber is immediately and thoroughly trashed by the usual suspects. This fellow posted an informative article about what gun ownership is like in the UK, and is soundly thrashed for his efforts. Was he embracing those regulations? Not really. Was he promoting them to those of us in the US? Heck no. Do we have to like the laws that he is subject to? Decidedly no. But how about we respect the writer for his effort and show some appreciation for his contribution?

      If this site truly is The Truth about Guns, perhaps the supposed “Intelligentsia” who reside here might be interested in occasionally reading facts, rather than relying on supposition. How many writers are willing to contribute information of a useful nature, if they know they’ll be immediately shouted down by a mob?

      • By and large, I don’t think he got ‘trashed’ or shouted down. I think we as Americans recoil at being ‘subjects’ and at the amazingly repressive laws of which he speaks of being ‘not that bad’. I would rather die free than live like that. And our Forefathers felt the same way apparently. I don’t think that it’s anything personal with him. The Brits are our friends and closest allies, but man… that sounds AWFUL! To most freedom-loving Americans, the idea of a ‘Socialist Monarchy’ is almost as repulsive as a Nazi Police state. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t respect them. They feel some pride in their Monarchy, and I can dig that. But to me, it just sounds like one giant case of Stockholm syndrome!

      • Hey Defens,

        Thanks – no worries, I don’t feel too bashed…!

        Sure, I guess there’s not much I can say in reply to somebody telling me I’m a slave. I mean, I may not enjoy all of the same rights as you guys do but I’m pretty sure that my situation falls well short of slavery. So I have tended to ignore those comments, and similar.

        That being said, several people have either engaged a bit more usefully, or indeed have said “ok, I didn’t know that before, thanks” – which was the main point behind me writing this.

        So, thank you for falling into the intelligent and useful commentator bracket! 🙂

        • “I don’t feel too bashed…!”

          Please keep writing; we need the info so we appreciate our rights more.

          Eventually the Assault-PotG folks will make you sub-come!