Firearms in England and Wales

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lovelylife22, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. lovelylife22

    lovelylife22 New Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    For those of you who have read the book "Guns and Violence:The English
    Experience" by Joyce Lee Malcolm,Firearms Control by Colin Greenwood or ALL THE WAY DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE: GUN PROHIBITION IN ENGLAND AND SOME LESSONS FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES IN AMERICA by David Kopel This is the article by David Kopel.

    If any of the members are willing to write a fresh and new look into
    gun control in england and wales and publish it as a book,I have compiled
    a list of the relavent files from the National Archives in England.

    My view is the article by David Kopel balances the history of gun
    control in England (The police liberally enforced the firearms
    legislation in the early years 1920-1967. Even through they
    tightened the law during these years,it was still overall
    liberally enforced.) After the Shephards Bush massacre,the
    police started to enforce it severely in 1967.

    The book by Joyce Lee Malcolm is a book on firearms
    and the police (the book is true,however I feel the
    author puts the police in a negitive light.)

    1.HO 287/238 Report of the Working Group on Crime Prevention Methods (HMSO 1956) 1955-1959
    2.T 221/941 Home Office and Scottish Home Department: research in field of crime prevention and treatment of offenders 1950-1960
    3.HO 287/239 Crime prevention campaign: exhibitions and displays 1951-1961
    4.MEPO 2/10089 Crime prevention activities in the Metropolitan Police District: reports, memoranda and papers 1960 - 1968
    5.MEPO 2/10128 Crime prevention: policing system during Christmas period 1961 - 1967
    6.EXT 1/13310 items extracted from INF 13/265. Flyers for crime prevention.
    7.RG 23/435 Enquiry into people's awareness and attitudes towards crime prevention, for the Crime Prevention Society 1969 Oct
    8.MEPO 2/8319 Crime prevention notices to householders (Form 133) and business premises (Form 135A) 1939-1961

    9.HO 45/23249 POLICE: Publicity for crime prevention: preparation of a film and staging of an exhibition. 1948-1949
    10.MEPO 2/8052 Crime prevention campaign 1947-1952
    11.MEPO 2/9880 Pickpockets: production of crime prevention posters for display at large gatherings 1959-1966
    12.MEPO 2/6861 Crime prevention: eliciting the co-operation of shop-keepers through trade journals and circulars 1945-1949
    13.MEPO 2/5001 Co-operation of garage owners in crime prevention and intelligent observation of cars: Motor Agents Association Scheme 1930-1939
    14.MEPO 2/10132 Working Party on CID Work: sub-committee to consider improvement of format of crime report to aid crime prevention and detection 1962 - 1975

    15.MEPO 3/2029 Crime prevention: notes of conferences at New Scotland Yard 1945-1952

    16.INF 13/265 Crime prevention: 3 Pamphlets 1961-1976

    17.INF 2/124 Home Office: civil defence and crime prevention 1961-1973

    18.INF 2/122 Home Office: civil defence and crime prevention 1956-1973

    19.HO 287/1001 Crime prevention: co-operation with insurance companies; meeting with the British Insurance Association 1964-1969

    20.J 82/232 Parker, D.A. Crime: Possessing offensive weapon
    21.J 82/787 Name: Benson, E Crime: Being in possession of an offensive weapon in public
    22.J 82/1392 Name: Rankin, R F. Crime: Possessing an offensive weapon
    23.J 82/1458 Name: Xapolytos, A S. Crime: Having an offensive weapon in a public place
    24.J 269/13 Clarke, Neville: charged with possessing an offensive weapon
    25.CRIM 1/2382 Defendant: BARNES, Edward Charge: Forgery and carrying an offensive weapon
    26.Defendant: CORBIN, John Michael Charge: Possessing offensive weapon
    27.ASSI 26/506 Carrying offensive weapon: Clark, James Michael
    28.CRIM 1/3010 Defendant: DIMOND, Ronald and others Charge: Possessing offensive weapons

    29.CRIM 1/4940 CHRISTOPHER, Andrew Having offensive weapon and corruption

    30.HO 45/25113 FIREARMS: Local Defence Volunteers: issue of firearms to Home Guard; difficulties under the Firearms Act 1937
    31.Firearm certificate granted to Ian Dundas,chief of staff,British Union of Fascists MEPO 3/2515

    32.MEPO 2/2030 Issue of firearms certificates to certain members of the Royal Family

    33.MEPO 2/1162 Firearms: issue of gun licences to persons under age

    34.MEPO 2/1667 Lost property: Loaded firearms found in public carriages

    35.RECO 1/342 Report by the Committee on the Control of Firearms to the Minister of Reconstruction.

    36.MEPO 2/4430 Applications to register as firearms dealers: Overseas and General Trading Company Limited formerly A.C. Harris and Company Limited
    37.CO 54/940/2 Overseas and General Trading Company: request to use Ceylon Arms for proposed Ceylon Bureau
    38.HO 45/10348/145619 FIRE-ARMS: Law on firearms and ammunition
    39.MEPO 2/4348 Revocation of licence for not ensuring safe custody of firearm when leaving United Kingdom
    40.PREM 4/37/14B 'Mass Observation' organisation

    41.HO 45/23031 FIREARMS: Firearms Act, 1937: slaughtering instruments.
    42.HO 45/17385 FIREARMS: Prohibited weapons: circulars, reports, etc.

    43.HO 45/17386 FIREARMS: Prohibited weapons: circulars, reports, etc.

    44.MEPO 2/7675 Meetings by National Unemployed Workers' Movement outside Labour Exchanges and Unemployment Assistance Board

    45.HO 144/18186 Disturbances: National Unemployed Workers' Union: march to London in protest against means test

    46.HO 144/6898 DISTURBANCES: Convictions arising out of the General Strike in Birmingham.

    47.HO 144/6896 DISTURBANCES: General Strike, 1926: conduct of certain Justices of the Peace.
    48.HO 144/6903 DISTURBANCES: General Strike, 1926: police baton charge at Poplar.
    49.HO 144/22377 DISTURBANCES: General Strike, 1926: Leniency of sentences passed by Ipswich Bench: complaint by Chief Constable; question of appointing temporary Stipendiary.
    50.HO 45/25860 POLICE: Report of the Royal Commission on Police Powers and Procedures (Cmd 3297, 1929)

    51.HO 45/18449 FIREARMS: Custody of firearms belonging to certificate holders who are absent from home.

    52.MEPO 2/4366 Special firearms certificates issued to collectors and the imposing of certain conditions

    53.MEPO 2/5172 Firearms Form No 29: stressing conditons under which certificate is held

    54.HO 144/22353 FIREARMS: Smooth bore guns and ammunition: legality of sale to and use by persons not in possession of a firearms certificates.

    (I need you to copy this one again,because the file you copied was on a person being deported to Ireland.)

    55.HO 45/19676 FIREARMS: Firearms Acts, 1920 and 1937: possession of firearms as trophies of war.

    56.HO 45/14618 FIREARMS: Administration of the Firearms Act, 1920
    57.Administration of the Firearms Act,1920 1928-1932 HO 45/14619
    58.Police policy in granting firearm certicates 1938-1948 HO 45/21888
    59.HO 45/10635/202756 FIREARMS: Pistols Bill, 1911.
    60.HO 45/10961/341762 FIREARMS: Firearms Bill, 1919.
    61.MEPO 2/1429 Firearms Bill: amending Pistols Act 1903

    62.HO 288/12 Flick-knives: Restriction of Offensive Weapons Bill and Act 1959 1959

    63.HO 288/13 Flick-knives: Restriction of Offensive Weapons (Amendment) Bill 1961; Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1961 1960-1961
    64. HO 288/3 Sub-machine guns: possession by private individuals; issue of certificates

    65.HO 2/4355 The use of so called "toy" or safety pistol and ammunition as offensive weapons

    66.HO 287/684 Crime prevention, security of bank notes in transit: Report on the Security of Bank Notes in transit as it Affects The General Post Office, Members of the Committee of London Clearing Bankers, The British Railways Board, and the Police Forces of England and Wales 1964.

    67.HO 287/685 Crime prevention, security of bank notes in transit: liaison with British Transport Police; proposed use of odometers and arming of the police

    68.MEPO 2/8173 Organisation of night watchmen for the protection of private premises

    69.MEPO 2/9042 Urban district of Merton and Morden: requests for more police protection

    Every book that is written brings new information to light,
    it is time for another book to be written.

    Tell me if you are willing to tackle this project.

    I have a researcher in England who researches these files and
    I was going to spend £1000 on these files and then give the
    files to anyone who has the time to write a book on this topic.

    I have files that are not listed that you might be interested in
    on a USB stick at home.

    I also have newspaper articles on the subject as well.

    If a person decides to go ahead and write a book,
    the person should include almost everything in
    his book from the files,so that the person that
    reads the book gets the most out of it
    plus the files bring new things to light
    and also put the files in a historical context.

    The books mentioned should be the base
    on which the author of the new book
    bases it on.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  2. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    I've chatted with a few guys from the UK, they wish they had more progressive gun possession laws.

    But the crooks and little bad asses love it now!
  3. mogunner

    mogunner Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    Eastern Missouri
    I've sold a few of my Mosin Nagant sight tools to fellows in the UK, we've had some interesting conversations over such things as them having to buy a permit to purchase ammunition, and account for all of it before being allowed to purchase more, and limitations on caliber etc. One of the reasons a lot of them own the old Mosin's as they are considered collectibles more than being ruled as modern firearms and thus closely restricted.
  4. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Just came across this thread. I don't really want to write a book on the subject, but I will be puting a post on this thread about my experiences here in the UK now.
  5. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    I can describe gun legislation in the UK from personal experience in getting a Fire Arms Certificate (FAC).

    Permission to keep firearms.
    First, I wanted to be able to own firearms over here because Dad was cleaning out his house and had several rifles that I didn’t want to leave the family, including a couple of Browning semi-auto shotguns and a Winchester 30-30 that was made around 1917, and my own Remington 1100 with which I have brought down a few deer, and the .22 that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was an early teenager. There is also the old single shot .22 that Dad learned to shoot with, and a .30 cal M1 carbine of Dad’s from WWII that we learned to shoot with. Asking questions in the UK I soon learned that the carbine was out of the question because it is a semi-automatic center fire rifle. Further research revealed it would be next to impossible to bring the other guns over because of the cost and paperwork. Fortunately my brother is able to keep them.

    Air rifles with output of less thann12 ft/lb and air pistols with power output less than 6 ft/lb at this point are not subject to registration. The Scottish government has toyed with legislation to register these guns, but the consensus is enforcement is impractical.

    Getting my FAC
    In order to legally have a gun I have to have a FAC. To get that I need to show the police that I have a good reason to own guns. Valid reasons include control of animals such as rabbits, foxes, and deer, and sporting activities. I also need to demonstrate that I have a place to shoot.

    The first step for me then was to join a gun club. I went to our local gun club, showed that I am sane and capable of handling firearms safely and over a period of a couple of months enjoyed shooting a variety of guns in the process. The club members are all generous, friendly, helpful, and full of great advice. Joining was a similar process to getting my FAC. I had to provide two references. The gun club committee contacted my references, evaluated me, my application, and range performance over a couple of months of weekly attendance, decided I was OK and invited me to join the club. Each time I visited the club I signed the register so that when the police came along they could see just who has been shooting what kind of gun. As a member now I sign the register. The police have a record of my regular attendance and what guns I have been shooting.

    Next I had to apply to the police for my FAC. There are various categories of firearm; civilians are allowed to own Section 1 firearms. This application also required two references and the application form specifies what kind of person is a valid reference. I also had to specify what calibres of gun I wanted to obtain and how many rounds of ammunition I wanted. The law stipulates that guns need to be stored in an approved safe, with ammunition stored separately, so I purchased and installed a gun safe with integral ammunition compartment, under a separate lock. I filled out the four page FAC application and a four page application for shotguns at the same time. (I get a price break for submitting both at the same time. Shotgun possession doesn’t have the same stringent requirements that section 1 fireams possession has.) I specified that I wanted a .22 rifle, a .308, a 30-30, a .38/.357, and a .44 muzzle loading pistol. For each gun applied for I had to specify a reason for having it and contact details of where I would be using it. I had to try to plan ahead for all eventualities in this first application. The rules say I can make changes to this application.

    The application also requested my local medical practice contact information.
    I had to specify how many rounds of each calibre ammunition I want to have on hand and elected to ask for 600 rounds for each calibre.

    I submitted my application to the police fire arms people, along with four passport size pictures and the £80 fee. Processing time can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months. I was fortunate; it only took a couple of weeks for a firearms officer to contact me and set up a time for a visit. He came along and we had a very good chat for an hour or two. Again I am fortunate to have a friendly, competent and sympathetic police contact. He was very thorough and professional as he asked me questions about myself, relationships with others, and general activities. Part of his job is to see if I am stable enough to be entrusted with weapons. We went up to see my gun safe installation and he was pleased with the make of safe, and how it was installed out of sight and unmovable. He wanted reassurance that I was the only one to have access to the safe. He also checked out my references, chatted with my wife, and with my doctor.

    In another week or so I received a four page document—my fire arms certificate that has on it details of rifle calibres and how much ammunition I can have. I am supposed to carry this with me whenever I am transporting my guns. It's good for five years. Then I need to apply to renew it and go through the whole interview process again.

    Buying my guns.
    Now that I had my FAC I could start to “fill the slots”. My first purchase was a .22 from a friend in the gun club. We filled in a transfer of ownership certificate (make, model, calibre, serial number, contact details of seller and buyer, FAC numbers of both) which he sent into the police and I took my first gun home and installed it in my gun safe. I took my new FAC to the local sporting goods store and asked to buy 400 rounds of ammunition. I specified CCI mini-mag solid point ammunition (the gun club doesn’t like hollow point ammunition for target practice). The salesman went into the back room where live ammunition is kept out of sight and brought the ammo out, and filled out the place on my FAC to say I had purchased 400 rounds of .22 ammunition. Later I discovered I could get a price break if I bought 1000 rounds, so I sent my FAC in for a variance to 1500 rounds of .22. There was no charge for this change and a week or so later I got my new FAC with the changes (what guns I have, what ones I am approved to get, and how much ammunition I can have). Whenever I get more ammunition I simply show my FAC and the store puts on it how much ammunition I am getting. It’s my job to make sure I stay within the ammunition limits on my FAC.

    My next purchase was a gallery rifle (the .38/.357 rifle) through my local dealer who supports our club and gives a 10% discount to club members on anything except live ammunition. He faxed the transfer paperwork in to the police and I took my new gun home. I bought the reloading “fixings” from him at the same time to make my own ammunition. There are no limits on how much reloading components I can have at home; only on how many finished loads. One quirk of the law: if the bullet heads are fragmenting or expanding they qualify as live rounds and even if they are not loaded into live rounds they count as part of my total for that calibre.

    I decided I wanted a .223 rifle instead of the 30-30, so sent in a request for a variation. Since it was a one-for one change there was no charge. When I got my .223 it came with a silencer so I had to request another variance. Since I was adding this to my initial FAC I had a £25 fee to pay. I will have to pay additional fees to have other guns added. If I want another .22 I'll need to get a variance and pay for it. I found this gun on the internet, contacted the seller (a gun dealer), and paid for it. He sent it up to my dealer who called me when it arrived and I picked it up. Once again we filled in the ownership paperwork and the police now know I have another gun. I took it home, along with 40 rounds of ammunition (registered on my FAC), 100 bullet heads, a couple hundred primers and a pound of powder (not on my FAC). Homeloads are not registered on my FAC, but I keep a log, so that when the police come to inspect I have a record of the amount of shooting I do, and so have good reason to keep the guns and maintain the quantity of ammunition on my FAC.

    I got my .44 Remington NMA revolver, again through the internet. It was sent to my local dealer who called when it arrived. We filled out the usual paperwork and I had to decide if I wanted Pyrodex or black powder. I opted for Pyrodex because it’s less hassle. If I use black powder I need to get an explosives certificate from the police and it requires special storage. For obvious reasons my house would be flagged to the fire department as having explosives.

    I hear that anyone with a FAC is flagged whenever the police do a routine license plate check. Legal FAC holders are among the most law abiding citizens in the country. We value our certificates and don’t want to do anything to jeopardise that.

    I can take my guns to the range and back, and I can have them out of the safe for “gun smithing” purposes. If I want to go hunting, I have to get the landowner to fill in an application to send in to the police. The police inspect the property and let me know if I can hunt there, and what calibre of gun I can use.

    One thing I have not applied for is a long barrelled revolver (.38, .357, .44 are the usual calibres). According to the law, unless I have it on my FAC I am not allowed to even handle one. LBR’s are, including the arm brace, a little shorter than a carbine.

    The current legislation prohibits handguns of any type except black powder pistols or revolvers or long barrelled revolvers. If you can prove you need it you can have a semi automatic or pump action shotgun that holds more than two rounds in its magazine, as a Section 1 gun. .22 semi automatic rifles are permitted but anything with a larger calibre has to be non-autoloading.

    Knee-jerk reaction laws
    Reasons for this are knee-jerk reaction legislation, despite the efforts of the British NRA and gun clubs across the country, and even the Olympic committee. A number of years ago someone took his handguns into a school on a shooting spree. When the dust cleared the press led a major campaign to outlaw private ownership of any kind of handgun and the politicians, eager to jump on the popularity bandwagon, were only too happy to comply. Now athletes practicing for Olympic pistol shooting events need to go outside the country to keep their skills sharp. A few years later some idiot went on the rampage somewhere down in England with his semi-automatic rifle. The press again led the campaign and lawmakers immediately started the ball rolling to make semi-automatic centre fire rifles illegal.

    There is talk about making .22 revolvers and pistols legal.

    Misinformation and ignorance
    There is a lot of mis-information and ignorance about guns among the public in this country. A friend of mine was moulding lead bullets behind his house, out in the country. Some walkers came by, chatted for a few minutes, found out what he was doing, and moved on. A short while later a police car screeched to a stop outside his house and he was all but put into handcuffs before he could tell them to call the local fire arms officer. (No guns...routine police here are not armed. Only specially trained fire arms officers carry weapons.) A short phone conversation with the local firearms officer left them a little embarrassed as they said a polite farewell. People in my gun club generally know more about gun ownership law than the police. Gun stores sell bullet moulding equipment direct or over the internet but the police didn't know that. When people found out I was reloading at home they wondered if it was legal. Everything I am using is available from my local gun dealer. Someone asked if I kept my guns at the range. Could I legally keep my guns at home?

    There is a concise summary of the law at .

    Bottom line:
    The UK has some of the most strict gun ownership laws in Europe but we can still own guns. Please keep doing all you can to keep the US laws from becoming as strict as they are here in the UK. Keep pushing the fact that the Second Ammendment is part of the constitution and changing the constitution requires major effort.
  6. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    PS Welcome to the forum, lovelylife22. Great bunch of people here.
  7. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    My wife, her people came from Hungary back around 1900 to work in coal mines after they replaced all the Irish when they unionized. After WWI, some of her ancestors went back to Hungary. So wifey has Hunkie relatives still in Hungary. We email, keep in touch. They told me that there is a huge black market when it comes to cheap sat night specials all over Europe; like 100 bucks, how many ya want? Is that bull or kinda like in America where most guns are unregistered anyway? Or maybe in England the people respect the law, no matter how foolish the law about guns may be; Maybe in Italy they just keep their illegal guns hidden?

    Bottomline, I don't think I could live anywhere where everybody else didn't have lots of guns like in Alaska or Texas or Pennsylvania; Americana, clinging to them and all. ha ha. And honestly, they will never disarm America, they don't have the resources and way too many millions luv their guns & go hunting like a religion. Just ain't in the cards.
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    All these rules haven't stopped gun crime in the UK. Black market guns are on the streets across the UK and gangs use them on a regular basis. The addage only criminals have guns when guns are outlawed is rampantly true.

    Interesting thing...I heard about an interview with an ex-bank robber. He had been convicted and did his time before capital punishment was banned in this country. He said they went armed on their heists, but were afraid to use their weapons, or if they had shotguns they were loades with salt. They knew that they would be executed if they killed someone in the process of committing a crime and were caught and convicted. Capital punishment is a deterrent. Now if someone commits murder he will probably get a 20 year sentence and only serve about half that.

    Now that they have "eliminated" guns, politicians are going after knives and the press constantly howls about knife crime and knife culture. It is illegal to carry anything with a blade longer than 3" on the streets, and police can use just carrying a stanley knife as probable cause. Metal detectors at the entances to pubs check for knives of any kind. You risk arrest if you just carry a pen knife downtown on a weekend. ***Sigh*** this is a civilised county.
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    PS... Britain hasn't been completely disarmed...there is still a healthy number of hunters and sporting shooters here. It's just that we are under lots of legislation and have lots of red tape to go through before we can own guns.
  10. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    anytown, OHIO
    There are a lot of different gun surveys of US gun ownership that vary a bit all over the place. Most say that nearly 40-50% of households have guns.

    This was an interesting chart from a 2004 study:
    Objectives: To examine the size and composition of the privately held firearm stock in the US; and to describe demographic patterns of firearm ownership and motivations for ownership.

    Design, setting and participants: A nationally representative household telephone survey of 2770 adults aged ≥18 years living in the US, conducted in the spring of 2004.

    Main outcome measure: Responses to questions regarding firearm ownership, the number and types of guns owned, and motivations for ownership.

    Results: 38% of households and 26% of individuals reported owning at least one firearm. This corresponds to 42 million US households with firearms, and 57 million adult gun owners. 64% of gun owners or 16% of American adults reported owning at least one handgun. Long guns represent 60% of the privately held gun stock. Almost half (48%) of all individual gun owners reported owning ≥4 firearms. Men more often reported firearm ownership, with 45% stating that they personally owned at least one firearm, compared with 11% for women.

    Conclusions: The US population continues to contain at least one firearm for every adult, and ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated. Long guns are the most prevalent type of gun in the US but handgun ownership is widespread. Ownership demographic patterns support findings of previous studies.

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