Should the UK’s Gun Laws Be Relaxed?

by Admin on March 16, 2016

Gun debate is rife in the US, but what about their friends across the pond in Great Britain?

Guns are legal in the UK, although according to the BBC, this fact surprises most city dwellers.

There are around 700,000 legal gun owners currently in the UK, most of these are farmers for whom owning a gun is essential to running their business. Generally speaking, Britain does not have a gun culture like in the US.

Firearms including shotguns and manually loaded rifles can be obtained for hunting purposes, provided the proper license is issued from the police, which can be a tedious process.

Here is a list of gun laws, as taken from this BBC article:

 Firearms can only be owned by members of the public for use during hunting and sport.
 Manually-loaded rifles, shotguns and long-barrelled pistols fall into this category, and all require a firearms or shotgun certificate to possess them.
 Those applying for licences must be assessed by police to ensure they are not a danger to public safety.
 The applicant must also provide a safe storage space for the gun and have access to land suitable for its use, or be a member of a sports club.
 Handguns and other easy-to-conceal firearms are prohibited, as are “centrefire” semi-automatic rifles.

Chaninat and Leeds are American criminal defense lawyers in Bangkok. They have been practicing law successfully in Thailand for decades.

Gun crime is rare in the UK, and the last mass shooting was in 2010, in Cumbria in the north of England, where 12 people were shot dead and a further 11 injured. The shooter, Derrick Bird was using a licensed rifle.

There are those who believe UK gun laws should be relaxed, including Alan Warren, a rifle instructor. He told the BBC:

“Every time there’s an incident the government go after legitimate license holders, tighten the rules up and force a few more people out of the sport.”

He continues:

“A gun is no more dangerous than your car. If it’s driven badly and used wrongly, it’s dangerous. You can go out and have an accident in your car – they don’t then ban all cars.”

On the opposing side, there are many who believe that the gun laws need to be tightened still. In recent weeks reports have emerged over a “legal loophole” regarding antique guns which can be bought as ornaments, even though they may still work.

Read more here.

Relevant UK laws:
UK Firearms Act
Firearms Licensing Law 2015
Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

Gun laws in Thailand are strict, however for a Thai citizen willing to go through the paperwork, obtainable but expensive.

This article reports that Thailand has the highest gun deaths in Asia.

According to this article, import tax generally puts foreigners off buying guns in Thailand.

This video explores Thailand’s gun culture:

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