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 Yorkshire UK Operation Quartz booty (courtesy

“A SPECIALIST police anti-gun squad has claimed criminals in a Yorkshire city are dodging detection by forcing ‘vulnerable’ people to store their weapons – after revealing that last year saw a four-fold increase in firearms seizures.” This according to the United Kingdom’s “The Operation Quartz team – set up in 2009 to combat gun and drug crime in Leeds – confiscated 27 weapons from criminals over the course of 2013, having seized seven the previous year. The figures are predominantly made up of shotguns and sawn-off shotguns, in many cases stolen from legitimate owners.” Twenty-seven? As in twenty more than seven? That is not, it must be said, an awful lot of firearms collected by how many full-time coppers? Not stated. But what it clear is that they’re operating within a police state. Check this . . .

Working in conjunction with covert units, armed officers and neighbourhood policing teams, its tactics include subjecting known offenders who are not in prison to regular visits at home. Those suspected of being involved in firearms crime are warned that they are being watched.

Covert methods include surveillance by under-cover officers and the use of spy cameras.


Since 2009, 140 people have been convicted and sentenced to a combined total of 546 years in prison as a result of Quartz.

Last year was the operation’s most productive to date, with 35 criminals being handed prison sentences totalling 150 years.

Meanwhile, violent crime is up in Yorkshire. Well, it would be if the Yorkshire Police weren’t using “community resolution orders” to massage the stats and lower the reported violent crime rate. Anyway, reported gun-related crimes are down – from 363 in the 12 months to November 2012 to 294 in the following 12 months. “The number of incidents in which a gun was fired also fell, from 54 to 39.”

I know what American gun control advocates would say: we’ll take it! Comparatively speaking. I also know what the victims of these 294 gun-related crimes in the U.K. would say: where’s the Old Bill when you need him? Or: spend more money, violate more liberty, just get rid of these thugs! Both would celebrate the U.K.’s civilian disarmament. Yes well . . .

Detectives admit they are unable to eradicate gun crime entirely. High-profile incidents like the shooting of PC Suzanne Hudson in Headingley last month serve as an illustration of the difficulties they face.

Mr Twiggs said: “What has happened to our colleague recently brings home the fact that it’s very difficult to know who’s holding weapons. Quartz is doing its level best with the intelligence available but to understand the full extent of the problem is very difficult.”

Understand this: police can not completely disarm criminals. Not in a country that has outlawed civilian firearms. Not even on an island that’s outlawed civilian firearms. As long as there are criminals, gun crime will exist.

And as long as there are politically active Americans who understand that they are their own first responders against criminals and the government, the U.S. will not become the U.K. Well, that’s the theory . . .

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  1. Sooner or later, the criminals will discover how easy it is to make guns. Especially shotguns.

    Then it’s game over for the fascists.

      • Such technology is not necessary. Guns are state of the art 19th century or at most early 20th century technology. There is skill required, but the tools have been available for a long time.

        • Exactly so. What’s more is that making a shotgun is foolishly easy.

          Oh, people will say “Making a barrel is tough work there DG! Bet they can’t make that easily! That’s deep hole drilling, and you yourself said deep hole drilling is a black art, akin to witchcraft!”

          Not necessarily. In the days of damascus barrels, they made barrels by beating damascus steel around a mandrel near the final bore size needed. They forge-welded the barrel together.

          Well, today, it would be no big secret process to heat up a strip of stainless steel, wrap it around said mandrel, grab a MIG torch and weld the strip into a barrel pretty quickly. TIG if you want it to be prettier and more precise, but MIG will do the job just fine. With the barrel still on the mandrel, put it between centers in a lathe and turn down the welds, then strike to finish with a file.

          Spill bore the barrel to size, ream a chamber, ream for chokes (if you want, but mostly not necessary), add lumps (more welding) and hang it on a receiver. Cobble up a single-acting trigger and… Ta-da! Gun.

          The Brits used to make many of their finest guns with little more than files, cold chisels and polishing. The “best gun” industry didn’t do lots of CNC machining – or manual machining. There was, however, a great deal of file work.

          Rocket science, this is not.

        • Dyseptic Gunsmith,

          It is way, way, way easier than that. Anyone can make a single-shot shotgun in one afternoon for less than $30. All you need is some 3/4 inch galvanized pipe, a 3/4 inch coupler, a 3/4 inch plug, and a few other items (such as a nail, rubber band, and some metal strap) — all of which are readily available at just about any hardware store — and you can make a functional 12 gauge shotgun. It will only shoot once before reload and reloading is slow. But who cares if you are a criminal and just want to assault someone?

          Furthermore, they are so cheap and easy to make that a criminal could carry two of them. And, as it turns out, there are other standard sizes of galvanized pipe that fit some standard handgun calibers perfectly. While those pipes would not provide rifling of course, who cares if you are using the gun for targets at 5 feet?

        • Making a zip gun is much easier, yes.

          I’m talking about making a crude, break-action shotgun like the one above. A man who can drive a file can replicate the above piece of work pretty easily.

        • You dont even need to build a break action, just take a look at the BSP SMG that the late Phillip Luty. He also designed a singleshot, striker fired 12 gauge pistol (could probably downsize it to .410 and load it with heavy slugs).

    • They already know just how easy it is. There is an earlier article archived here that highlights a report that criminals are literally converting airsoft replicas bought in France into (temporarily) working guns.

      Aside from that, the gun markets in Pakistan are almost entirely supplied with weapons (and ammunition!) made with literally nothing more than simple hand tools — and they’ve been at it for over 150 years. There are underground operations like that scattered all over the world, especially in the Philipines where they have access to a steady supply of cheap electricity and decent machine tools.

      And then, like Jeff and others have suggested, there’s 3D printing which will likely no longer be cost prohibitive given another decade or so. Those $500,000 metal deposition printers? I wouldn’t be at all surprised that, in that same time frame, that price point came down by 80% or more for a unit you set up in a spare bedroom.

    • At the moment, they’ve figured out how easy it is to put them on a container ship and bribe the dockyard workers. For now that’s even cheaper and faster.

      Unfortunately, when times get tough, it’s the ordinary citizens who will have to make due with Luty specials or four winds.

  2. FWIW, they didn’t completely outlaw civilian firearms. They left them with things like shotguns, which also happen to be the types of guns they’re finding in the hands of criminals. I can’t imagine shotguns help victims much though, since they don’t lend themselves to keeping them handy around the house or upon the person..

    PS – TTAG is broken in HTTPS mode for the past few days.

    • I was going to say you were wrong about the HTTPS, but I looked and it had disappeared from my choices, and I was using HTTP instead. I will try this on HTTPS.

  3. I read the rest of the article, and it states that there is an “automatic five-year minimum prison term for possessing a gun.” So, as I understand, that’s just unlicensed possession, not committing a crime of any type using a firearm. This, in the same country where a convicted child molester can be sentenced to only two years in prison, and that’s only after an outcry over a suspended one year sentence he was originally given. Unreal.

  4. Option A:Help the criminals by storing their guns.
    Consequence: negative government attention in a country so monitored that you’re probably screwed anyways.

    Option B:comply with the law and risk the day to day safety of your family.
    Consequence: you anger the criminals near you, and the government cannot save you.

    When the law ceases to be about right and wrong-as it does in disarmament happy societies-, ethics occasionally demand unorthodox choices.In the case of the UK, I’d argue the moral high ground does not lie with the government.

  5. Wait until the Brits get tired of being used as mobile ATMs and realize that with less cash than the last robber took, they could import (at night from the bloke on the dark, unmonitored corner) an AK and ammo from North Africa, where 5 year olds have them to spare. Plenty of lovely containers go back and forth daily, and no snitches…

      • Boys ‘n girls have been spray painting camera lenses for a while now. Cops in Germany can’t keep up with them. It’s catching on here and in the UK too.

        • When they started spraying glass-etching acid on camera lenses — then the real war on CCTV has begun…

        • I don’t know in the UK, but in many EU countries paintball guns are illegal because their muzzle energy exceeds the limits to be classified as firearms. That’s why airsoft is so popular.

  6. That’s a no brainier. As long as there are guns anywhere in the world gun violence everywhere will never be able to be eliminated. I’m just surprised that both it too those over in the uk this long to admit it, and that they admitted it at all. 🙂

  7. Belt feds, RPGs and C4 don’t seem to be rare in Northern Ireland under Brit rule. Islamic radicals blew up the transit lines on 7/11 without much trouble. The poor private who was butchered on the street might want to weigh in on the violence irradication program.

  8. This paper discusses how after bans have passed in places like the UK and AUS, only a minority of the estimated number of guns were surrendered. Section 2.2 points out that it is estimated only 20% of semi-auto rifles were surrendered in AUS.

  9. Tell us something we over here in England don’t know. When guns are against the law only the lawless will have guns. And as for Piers Morgan, yeah he’s a scumbag.

    • I’m sure the UK could indeed eradicate gun crime completely. All they’d need to do is install cameras inside everyone’s home, with full coverage (while making any form of camera obstruction, disablement or avoidance a crime), and conduct cordon and sweep operations on a weekly (though with randomized day) basis. If there were, say, 1 inspecting officer for every 5 citizens. Plus, a phone snitch line would be fairly effective.

      The sad part is, I’m sure plenty of Britons would have no problem at all living under such a regime.

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t the Uzi built and designed in underground work shops? Then there was Stalingrad…..didn’t Germany declare that city a gun free zone?

  11. Anyone who thinks that you could control the flow of guns any better than you can control the flow of immigrants or drugs needs to fly by their local Cuckoo’s Nest for a visit.

  12. Who cares about guns? “Gun violence” is a red herring. Getting rid of tall the guns in a country, even if you can manage disarming criminals, you still have violence and murder. Guns allow someone who has not been sentenced to six months lifting weights to meet such an attacker with overwhelming force. Removing guns from society will always favor criminals.

    We always fall into the trap of working within whatever incorrect frame the debate has been placed in. It’s like we don’t catch the sleight of mind perpetrated by the slight of mind.

    Guns in society will always favor the safety of the citizens from criminal acts.

  13. Such a fascination these people have with “Gun Crime” that they seem to ignore the other types of crime. Any idiot can easily suggest that if you are looking at crime caused by a specific tool, and you largely eliminate that tool- crime with that specific tool will diminish- to an extent. The real question is what is the consequence of removing guns from law abiding citizens? Has crime in general risen ? Has violent crime with guns been supplanted by violent crime wielding knives, base ball bats and other makeshift weapons ? Or crime where the bigger or stronger person prevails based solely upon size?

    Pro-gun people should stop using the term “Gun Crime” and focus on the real issue– and ask about CRIME and Violent Crime instead.. Just like we don’t call our modern sporting rifles “Assault Weapons” and correct others when someone else calls them such- well, we should do the same with Crime and Violent Crime when some sap talks about “gun crime”. To me, I see no real appeal in distinguishing between “being killed with a gun” & “being knifed to death” & “being beat to death with a baseball bat” –more of one and less of another does not make the situation any “better”… Any time someone brings up the subject of “Gun Crime”- we should ask- what about crime in general and also- what about violent crime ? Make them think about the bigger picture- not the small slice ..

    So, is UK & Australia any safer from crime and violent crime ? Or did they just lose their rights to defend themselves in vain ?

  14. Gun control like all socialist programs is not really about helping anyone but making sure we’re all equally miserable. I wonder how Margaret Thatcher felt about guns? Was she pro-gun? Poor Brits, they’re so used to being slaves/subjects that they don’t notice the chains anymore. I wish UKIP the best of luck, that’s the alternative to the “conservative” Tories which have moved to the center. If you ever want to see the dangers of moving to the center, look at England.


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