How it went down in UK with guns. (long)

How it went down in UK with guns. (long)

This is a discussion on How it went down in UK with guns. (long) within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Anubis asked me to describe the details and chronology of the gun situation back in UK which I experienced - tho I have in odd ...

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Thread: How it went down in UK with guns. (long)

  1. #1
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    How it went down in UK with guns. (long)

    Anubis asked me to describe the details and chronology of the gun situation back in UK which I experienced - tho I have in odd posts here and there alluded to it - just not in great detail.

    So - here for anyone interested is the story. Note BTW, CCW - it was never an option!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    First off let me outline how we got our guns. I had to apply for and be sanctioned for a Firearms Certificate from the regional Police HQ firearms department. I had to give ''good reason'' for my request (which basically meant being an approved range/club member) and also had to have listed any guns (types thereof) I was planning on buying in the future - if you like they were ''pre approved''. This meant usually putting down anything that was anticipated (and if anything was forgotten then a ''variation'' had to be implemented - more cost!). In earlier days there was also a shotgun certificate separate from the rest - ultimately the two were incorporated. Incidentally, each gun type had to officially be eligible for some class of acknowledged (on the books) competition regime.

    What then? - go buy one of the guns that was listed by category - all details then recorded on the certificate, logged at dealers and eventually those details logged at Police HQ - yes, registration par excellence! Then, ready for this? - buying ammo. All calibers had an ammo max and purchase figure - the max was the total amount legal to hold and the purchase figure the limit on one aquisition. Wonder why I reloaded ??

    I was obliged to show local cops that I had a means of secure storage - and to that end I built a gun safe into a thick wall - concrete lined, steel frame and 1/4" steel doors with secure hinges, alarmed etc. I have old pics, somewhere of that - lot of welding. Three five lever locks on it.

    I got into shooting more seriously around 1978, having only done some shot-gunning and much pellet rifle shooting in earlier years. I joined a local small bore club and did more competition shooting, pistol and rifle, and soon had my own guns for that (Ruger MkII and BSA MkII Martini target rifle). Not long after being involved in that club, a guest shooter at one of the open matches was talking about his shooting at an outdoor range where most was centerfire handgun. That piqued my interest and so started the main impetus to my shooting.

    I bought my first wheelgun, a M27 Smith and that was enough to get me started in regular competitions there - after which the aquisition process over the following years really took off! I finished up with about 24 handguns (list to follow) and quite a few longarms too. Some years I would go to the annual pistol meet at Bisley during the 80's.

    M27, M686, Trooper MkIII, Repro .45LC, Webley MkVI, Webley MkIV, Enfield break top .38's (2), Walther GSP in .22, Walther GSP in .32, Ruger Redhawk, Ruger MkII, Cap&Ball .44, Charter Pathfinder, BHP, Baby Browning, Ivor Johnson .32, Smith M1917 in .455 - I forget the others right now!!

    Long arms - Enfield MkV Jungle, K38 Mauser in .308, Mauser Obendorfe .22, Mini-14, Stirling carbine, .577 Musketoon, Rem semi .22 (suppressed), SMLE,

    Troubles began as far back as 1987 - ''Michael Ryan, Hungerford, Berkshire County, UK, Wednesday 19 August 1987 (sixteen people shot to death and another fourteen injured, eight of them seriously. The butchery ended only when the gunman, twenty-seven-year-old Michael Ryan, was cornered in a school and turned the gun on himself.''. He had gone around with his AK clone spraying about anything that moved. I had it on quite good authority he did not shoot himself!!!

    That provoked a predictable backlash and gave the Gov' the excuse to ban semi rifles - forget exactly when, probably coupla years later - and so my Mini and Stirling had to be relinquished. I got compensation for them but also got them back finally, as wall hangers. Sad.

    Things went on pretty much OK then until - ''March 13 1996, Thomas Hamilton, 43, left his home at 7 Kent Road in Dunblane, Scotland, with only one thing in mind -- murder. At about 9:30 a.m., he drove to the Dunblane Primary School with a pair of pliers, four handguns and more than 700 rounds of ammunition. Once there, he cut the telephone wires on a nearby pole and then proceeded with weapons in hand to a side entrance of the school.''

    This debacle could have been prevented in fact had the chief of police in his region disallowed his certificate renewal as he was known to be unstable, and somewhat keen on small kids etc. However, it happened and of course the uproar thru the sheep community was vociferous - ''What - people are allowed to own guns - and <gasp> keep them at home''!!!!!!

    This was the absolute gift on a plate to the UK Gov' - the chance they wanted to ban handguns altogether (just think of all the extra votes they could get!). The privilege could be revoked - it was. Around September 1997 I had to relinquish my collection. Many have said it was a whimpy thing to do - well my answer to that was, when guns are registered and ''they'' know exactly what you have - and - you have responsibilities to a family etc - where is the percentage in going out in a bloodbath. Only to probably be labelled - ''Good - there goes another gun nut"! I chose to stay alive.

    I was over time gradually in receipt of compensation money - which hardly assuaged my sense of loss and anger. The only remaining options at my old centerfire club were shooting .22 rifles and pistol cal carbines. or, rifle shooting at another club with a suitable range. Sadly the NRA in UK was way too small to have ever had any significant voice or teeth. I all but ceased much active shooting.

    Fortunately I kept the bulk of my reloading gear - and am now pleased I did. Having crossed over to marry my lady wife here in 2000 I was eventually once more able to get back into shooting properly, and actually sank quite a chunk of the proceeds of selling up into that. Once I was legally able to do so, I resumed my handgun passion and got my CCW organized and the rest is pretty much history.

    After what I had to endure in UK I am as strong a protector of our 2A as anyone - maybe more so. I watched the erosion of a mere privelage and the extremes of anti gun paranoia - and know just how easily the ''chip-chip-chip'' of incremental legislation can damage things, even what we here regard as a right.

    Sorry this was long - Anubis - you did ask
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.


  2. #2
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    Very interesting saga, Chris. While very sad from your perspective, with the loss of your firearms and leaving your country, it is also sad for the country that lost you as a member. We've "gained" you though, and it's typically great to hear your sage advice. Your respect and support of RKBA has very unique meaning to us, Sir. Thanks for the thread. We're glad you chose America.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Thank you Richard - your words are much appreciated.

    I can still enjoy saying, all the more since I gained my citizenship - I am proud to be an American. I no longer feel quite as much the outsider
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Thumbs up

    Chris thanks for going over what happened over there.

    It's a shame that went down like it did.

    And your presence is very welcome here in the USA.

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    Member Array yoshi's Avatar
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    My wife is dual national (British and American) and so she has family over there.

    The unexpected results of: the ban, on my marriage, and my own interest in guns -

    A) I have to send magazines and catalogues over to one uncle of hers (lives near
    Swindon, and had an extensive collection, reloaded etc... very little compensation from what I understand)

    B) And my father in law comes over and uses up all my ammo !!!! (and of course he doesn't know how to clean a gun!!!!)

    Thanks for the info
    Live Free or Die

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Very interesting Chris what really sucks is you lost all those guns and im sure got nothing from the government for them

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    Senior Member Array TonyW's Avatar
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    Very sad, but also a very strong reminder of why we need to keep on our politicians here. It can happen if we let it. The government, like any government, would prefer us unarmed.
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    A very sad tale of how a people's freedoms are curtailed.....very sad indeed.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    I remember the Scotland incident. Don't think I heard about the first one. It's a shame that something like that could happen, and Australia followed down the same path.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    lost all those guns and im sure got nothing from the government for them
    Not so Bud - there was financial compensation - not enough but darned sight better than none. As I said tho that really was still a very bitter pill to swallow.

    I also had thoughts, imagining (as was supposed to happen) my beloved M27 going thru a crusher (ouch, )
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Thanks for writing up all the details of the grim story. Definitely a lesson for us here, and it's lucky you were able to come here and get back into shooting actiivities.

    I thought the sequence in which the multistage banning occurred was interesting. First an assault rifle incident precipitated the rifle ban, then a handgun incident justifies the handgun ban. Clearly a reaction to events. If it were a coldly planned course of action, I would imagine handguns would be the first target because their easy concealment is more useful for criminal actiivity like robbery.

    Criticism for complying in that situation is laughable. The best outcome was obviously to lose the registered guns, rather than lose the guns and go to prison---or worse.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Wow Chris,

    That was a sad tale, I can't imagine, and hope that's all I have to do, is imagine going through it. Thanks for the scoop, We sure will never see the actions spelled out like that from the media.

    What is surprising is that other nations want to follow this example.

    It sure stopped well short of Germany's example in the 30's, but the people sure couldn't do anything to keep it from progressing in that direction. I sure wouldn't want to put all my eggs in that gov basket.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    Chris, thanks for the facts. As much as we hate the fact you lost your gun, we love the fact that we gained you.

    At to criticism about your giving up your guns; people have to understand the major difference in the legal situation between the UK and the US. For you having guns was a privilege allowed by the govenment. Here having guns is a right that is being eroded by the government. The reaction to an order to turn in your guns in the US would have been unthinkable in the UK. The other difference is the number of gun owners and the number of guns. I figure that the state of Alabama with 4.5 million people has more gun owners and more guns than the UK had at its greatest number. Here if there is a turn in your guns order you have a civil war. There even if all gun owners refused it would still have been a violent protest. I for one am glad you made the wise decision and then came to the US.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Thx George You are all stuck with me now anyways

    Well yes my decison was certainly wise tho strange to say in 1999 altho my son was already here and working I had no notion of actually making the move. Would have seemed as likely as aerobatic swine LOL!

    That was all down to (the lady who became) my very special wife - and all the upheaval was more than worth it. The firearms aspect has really just been a huge bonus and one I have utilized well

    I do tho feel intense sadness and frustration for all my old shooting buddies over there.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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