Gun Laws Of Great Britain Essay

Gun Laws Of Great Britain Essay

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Gun laws in Great Britain are “some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world” (Library of Congress – Great Britain 1). In Great Britain, unlike the other countries that have been explored in this paper, the only people who are legally able to own a handgun are “police officers, members of the armed forces, or individuals with written permission from the Home Secretary” (Library of Congress – Great Britain 1). The history of firearm regulation in Great Britain, like in the previous two countries, has been preceded by incidences of gun violence (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). In 1968 all prior firearm laws were consolidated into one, and this became known as the Firearms Act (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). The aim of these laws was to “curb violent crime” (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). In 1870 and 1903 there was an act put in place that required people to have a license with a post office in order to have a firearm, in 1937 there was an additional act that was put in place to put restrictions on certain weapons that were considered dangerous, like machine guns (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). In 1987, a male named Michael Ryan shot 30 people, he killed 16 of them and wounded 14, Ryan’s attack is known as the Hungerford Massacre (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). Ryan used “a US M1 carbine, and an assault rifle” in his mass shooting (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). Ryan owned these guns legally, the fear that other people could get guns legally and commit a mass shooting as Ryan did (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). The amendment to the Firearms Act after this incident was enacted in 1988, the outcome of this act was the banning of “high-powered self-loading rifles ...


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...earms after 2 of the 3 major mass shootings in Great Britain (Library of Congress – Great Britain 2). The fact that there were multiple mass shootings after significant tranformations in firearm legislation provides evidence that the stricter gun laws do not effectively prevent gun violence or mass shootings. In a report done by the Home Office it shows that between 2000-2001 there were 62 homicides in which a firearm was involved, 10 years later, the number was 52 (Library of Congress – Great Britain 10). This is in fact a decrease, however, the number fluctuated a good amount over the 10 years, at some point reaching 90 homicides, and only falling as low as 33 (Library of Congress – Great Britain 10). It is possible that the stricter gun laws in Britain have prevented some mass shootings, and incidences of gun violence; however, it has not eliminated it completely.

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