By Gabriel Carter (not pictured above)
Quite a few on TTAG reckon that the UK is a socialist “police state”, intent on eliminating the right of its “subjects” (not citizens) to bear arms, and implementing ever-expanding surveillance programmes and curtailing civil liberties of all sorts. As a proud gun-owning Brit, and one who regularly carries firearms in the course of my work (security contractor, mostly in Afghanistan) as well as for hunting at home, I’d like to give a little local perspective on that . . .
First off, some (non-exhaustive) basic information about firearms law in the UK:
- Handguns and SMGs are, with a few very heavily regulated exceptions, illegal for all except LE/Military.
- Centre-fire rifles are restricted to bolt/lever-action only (again with some regulated exceptions) apart from LE/Military.
- Civilian semi-auto rifles are restricted to .22lr only.
- Shotguns are mostly, but not exclusively, restricted to a max capacity of 2 +1.
- Universal police records are held of legal firearms ownership, and an appropriate license is required to purchase weapons or ammunition
But it’s not all bad news. Some aspects of gun ownership in the UK are actually pretty reasonable. And licensing requirements are fairly common sense within the limitations of the law as it stands: