In another thread someone asked me to write how British Gun Laws had been changed to where now, possessions of anything other than a Shot Gun or Rifle for hunting and pest control only, is forbidden. This historical summary illustrates how Rights can become Privileges and that given the right circumstances + people in power, privileges can be removed. The UK's system of Parliamentary Sovereignty allows the repeal of any previous laws with no exceptions if there are enough votes. Be thankful for the US Constitution where something’s are better protected, but...... amendment is possible right? In the sixteenth century English Protestants (Catholics have always gotten a bad deal off the English), had the right to possess arms under common law. In the prevailing years various minor amendments were crafted mostly as a revenue raising measure, requiring a person to obtain a license if he wanted to carry a gun outside his own property, whether for hunting, self-defense, or other reasons. A license was not required to buy a gun. This sounds like were Texas is now right? That was until 1920. Fears of a possible surge in crime from the large number of guns available following WW1 and working class unrest in this period, the 1920 Act made this right to own conditional upon the Home Secretary and police officers approval and transformed the Right to Possess arms into a Privilege. Do we have a large number or guns in the country and what constitutes population unrest ? In 1937 self-defense was no longer an acceptable reason for applying for a gun license. Fully automatic weapons were banned from private ownership the same year. Big Changes came following 2 gun incidents and fueled by mass media that heavily influenced public attitudes and changed the basis on which firearms were perceived and understood in British society. Increasingly graphic portrayals of firearms involved in gratuitous acts of violence gave rise to concern of the emergence of an aggressive "gun culture" – Sound familiar ? I. In 1987, 27 year old, proceeded around the town of Hungerford killing 16 people, wounding fifteen and shooting himself, this became known as the Hungerford massacre. In the aftermath, the government passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988. This confined semi-automatic and pump-action centre fire rifles, military weapons, short shotguns that had magazines and self-loading rifles to the Prohibited category. Registration and secure storage of weapons held on shotgun certificates became required, and shotguns with more than a 2+1 capacity came to need a Firearms certificate. The law also introduced new restrictions on shotguns. .22 rimfire rifles and semi-automatic pistols were unaffected. II. In 1996, a former scout leader shot dead sixteen children and their teacher in the Dunblane Primary School's with his licensed weapons and ammunition. He then shot himself. In the wave of hysteria that followed, the government passed another Amendment in which all handguns have been completely banned from private ownership of any caliber. Exceptions to the ban; black powder antiques, starting pistols and shot pistols for pest control. You had to hand all your guns over to the Police. Even the UK's Olympic shooters fall under this ban. Following the award of the 2012 Olympic Games to London, the government announced that special dispensation would be granted to allow the various shooting events to go ahead. However, it was still illegal for Britain's Team to own guns or to practice in England, Scotland or Wales. British shooters receive no public sports funding (Unlike almost all other sports) because their events are considered illegal. The UK boasts that post-Dunblane, they have the toughest gun control laws in the world. However, they have actually proved strikingly ineffectual. Gun crime has doubled since they were introduced. Bad guys are able to acquire handguns - either replica weapons that have been converted, or imports from Eastern Europe - with ease. The only people currently inconvenienced by the firearms laws are legitimate holders of shotgun licences, who are subjected to the most onerous police checks. and to round things off.... 2006 - Airguns had their power limited to 12lbs rifles and 6lbs pistols. If you have one more powerful, you must hand it in to the Police. Forget trying to by you kid a toy gun – they got banned from the shelves of toy shops. Knives that do not fold and/or have a blade longer than 3 Inches are considered an offensive weapon and are banned. If you had something outside these limits, hand it in at the Police Station. Could it happen here ? You tell me.