Category Archives: Our Responses & Comments

In reply to @borocomphelp

This post is a response to a comment posted by @borocomphelp during a Twitter conversation on what shooting clubs and ranges can do to improve and promote shooting.

borocomphelp

Firstly we are not familiar with the term “Butters”, so given the context we will assume you actually meant “nutters”. Now everyone is entitled to their own point of view, however absurd, but let us point out a few things for you, and anyone else who shares such an opinion.

Shooting is not only a legal recreational activity enjoyed by a million people in the UK alone, but shooting is also a key part of many jobs and Great Britain are internationally recognized in the shooting sports. To suggest we should not be proud of our heritage and our achievements in this area is to suggest we should have no pride if England won the World Cup. Secondly shooting is well recognized as safe and responsible sport and hobby, should those who enjoy a Sunday game of cricket be ridiculed because one night someone used a cricket bat as weapon?

Rather than make ill-informed judgements presumably based on sensationalized stories in the media or what you see in movies why not take a look at the shooting sports themselves, pop a long to a clay shooting ground; you still may not like them, but you would likely change your absurd opinion noted above.

Open Letter to Lorraine Kelly, Scottish Sun Columnist

On Saturday 14/12/13 Lorraine Kelly spoke about Gun Control in the US one year on from the Sandy Hook tragedy. The article was full of the usual emotional based rhetoric with no consideration given to facts or the pro gun side. I tried to contact Lorraine via the E-mail address on her column but it was sent back undelivered. Below is the E-mail.

“Dear Lorraine,

I read with some interest your article regarding Sandy Hook and the US pro gun lobby. A very emotive piece but I wonder if you had given some consideration to the pro gun lobby’s arguments and certain facts and figures.

You try to trivialise the pro gun argument by using the word “bleating”(I wonder if you would use this term to describe people if they were defending their rights to free speech or trial by jury.) However if you would care to look at their side you would see they have very many valid arguments and the facts go some way towards backing it up. Do you know that firearms are used for self defence and prevention of crime daily? Estimates range from hundreds of thousands to millions of uses a year often with no shots fired. Would you rather have hundreds of thousands of innocent law abiding people raped,mugged,assaulted or murdered because of the actions of one madman?

Studies have shown that victims of crime that offer armed resistance are less likely to come to harm than those that offer no resistance, this effect is actually higher with females than men.

More children in the US are killed each year by drowning in garden swimming pools than by firearms. If people were so concerned with saving lives then surely swimming pools would be a higher priority?

You have stated that gun sales in the US has gone up. Well if guns are the problem they surely we should be seeing millions of gun deaths in the US every day?

You mentioned Dunblane and how gun laws were (unfairly) tightened after this tragedy, however you don’t mention that gun crime actually sky rocketed after the handgun ban, you do not mention that there was more than enough justification under laws at the time to remove Hamilton’s firearms, you also don’t mention that Hamilton had actually obtained one of his firearms illegally and for some reason was allowed to put it on ticket. So even if his firearms certificate was revoked he would still appear to have access to an illegal source.

More and more evidence is emerging each day that there is no link between legal gun ownership and violent/gun crime. The evidence would also appear to suggest that the more law abiding gun owners their are then the safer society is as violent crime falls. Restricting the rights and freedoms of the law abiding because of the actions of criminals and madmen does not make society a better place

There was a period in the UK where anyone could purchase a firearm and freely carry it and there did not seem to be many issues.

Are you aware that in China where the Government heavily restricts firearms(A common  trait amongst totalitarian regimes is to disarm the people they wish to control) there have been several attacks in schools where the perpatrator has used a knife to murder and maim dozens of children.

Until people stop blaming guns and actually look at the root causes of violence it will never be stopped.

I realise that your column is an opinion piece but I think you have a duty to your readers to let them know both sides of the argument and make their own minds up. I think once people get past the emotive argument of the anti gun argument they will see that rationally the pro gun lobby are in fact correct.

Regards,
Dave Ewing”

Environment Minister announces new measures to tackle raptor persecution

Firearms UK supports the Scottish Governments efforts to tackle illegal raptor persecution and other wildlife crime….

However, buried in the Environment Minister’s announcement is the following statement;

“I will be asking Scottish Natural Heritage in their capacity as the authority for licensing decisions under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to examine how and in what circumstances they can restrict the use of General Licences to trap and shoot wild birds on land where they have good reason to believe that crimes against wild birds have taken place. These General Licences allow the holders to carry out actions that would otherwise be unlawful if undertaken, without any reference to SNH. We regard the use of General Licences as a privilege that should not be extended in circumstances where there is evidence that their use may be facilitating illegal activities.”

Firearms UK is concerned that restricting General Licenses may have an unjustified and unfair impact on law abiding shooters. Why should someone else’s illegal activities impact those who actually obey the law?

The full announcement can be read here

We encourage the law abiding shooters of Scotland to write to their MSPs expressing concern at the potential impact of restrictions to the General Licenses.

You can write to your MSPs via the writetothem online service

Our Response to the GCN’s Mission Statement and Objectives

Front cover for Firearms UK Response to the GCN

UPDATE: Write Your Own Laws – The Telegraph

On the 16th of May 2013 Firearms UK responded to the Telegraph’s article “Write your own laws — and win prizes”

Our submission was:

“The right for law abiding citizens to keep firearms as recognised by the Bill of Rights 1689. All current Firearms Acts to be repealed in place of a new simplified act which recognizes this right for citizens without a history of violent or persistent offending. Emphasis on harsh punishments to be on criminal misuse and stopping the criminalization and penalization of ordinary responsible and law abiding citizens.”

Despite receiving the most votes by far, 68 votes with our nearest rival at 42 votes, the Telegraph has chosen to put the following forward to MPs;

  1. A ten-year term limit for Prime Ministers, suggested by Alun Morris.
    (2 votes)
  2. A flat tax, proposed by Taxfair. (3 votes)
  3. A law to encourage the ‘greening’ of public spaces, proposed by Mattstrat. (3 votes)
  4. Abolish the loophole that leaves student parents exempt from paying child maintenance, proposed by Rebecca Lynall. (4 votes)
  5. A ban on spitting in public, proposed by LestWeForget. (1 vote)
  6. Repeal the ban on hand guns and re-open shooting clubs, proposed by Colliemum. (8 votes)

Interestingly the Telegraph highlighted the following from Colliemum’s submission: “After all, why should only criminals be ‘allowed’ to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenceless citizens and police officers?”

For completeness the actual submission is:

“Repeal the various acts which prohibit citizens in good standing (no criminal record) from owning and bearing hand guns, and re-open shooting clubs so people can be trained in the sfe [safe] use and handling of said guns. After all, why should only criminals be ‘allowed’ to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenceless citizens and police officers?”

Firearms UK is disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised with the decision of the Telegraph, however the law proposed by Colliemum, “Repeal the ban on hand guns and re-open shooting clubs”, does merit a vote and we would encourage everyone to support it.

More details and how to register your vote can be found here

Write Your Own Laws – The Telegraph

Firearms UK has commented on the “Write your own laws — and win prizes” article in the Telegraph.

If you could take a minute to visit the page and “recommend” our comment it would be much appreciated. It should be near the top when the filter is set to “best rating”, just look for our logo.

Our comment is as follows….

“The right for law abiding citizens to keep firearms as recognised by the Bill of Rights 1689. All current Firearms Acts to be repealed in place of a new simplified act which recognizes this right for citizens without a history of violent or persistent offending.

Emphasis on harsh punishments to be on criminal misuse and stopping the criminalization and penalization of ordinary responsible and law abiding citizens.”

Hopefully it will make some people think.

The article can be found here

Many thanks

Media Privilege

Trust the British Press to find new depths of sensationalism in the pursuit of profits. The Mail on Sunday have today published a piece that in their minds is an expose of an international security scandal, only they had to break several laws to do it, and will yet again be another example of the media getting away with crimes that would see the rest of us behind bars.

The piece entitled “How Mail On Sunday ‘printed’ first plastic gun in UK using a 3D printer- and then took it on board Eurostar without being stopped in security scandal” shows two reporters with a manufactured version of the Liberator pistol. The Liberator pistol designed by Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed in the US, is the latest in a series of developments from the federally licensed manufacturer to produce a working firearm from a 3D printer. This model fires a single .38 calibre round with the use of an additional metal firing pin, the remaining parts, as demonstrated here, are capable of being produced via a 3D printer.

The Mail on Sunday would have us believe this is a world-wide security scandal, but is it really? Firstly the fact that this entirely “plastic” firearm is completely inoperable without the addition of a metal firing pin and of course ammunition was quickly glossed over, the paper preferring to focus on a working model, one which they did not get passed security, instead identify their recreation as “The pistol, capable of firing a deadly 0.38-calibre bullet”. Without the firing pin and ammunition the two reporters successfully managed to smuggle past security several pieces of plastic which by themselves or combined where no threat to anyone on board the train, and to suggest otherwise is bordering on ridiculous, and the same is true for airports or other secure areas.

Airports for one don’t only utilize metal detectors to detect threats, there are various types of scanners available, such as CT scanners and different search and detection mechanisms, all of which are likely to detect rounds of ammunition, if not the required metal firing pin, without either, the smuggled “weapon” is only a weapon by legal definition.

What the Mail on Sunday has successfully demonstrated here is that there is one rule for the media and one rule for the rest of us. The two reporters have broken numerous laws during this stunt, laws for which the typical working person will be subjected to automatic minimum term prison sentences; for example in breach of Section 5(1)(aba) regarding the possession of short barreled weapons as shown below, section 287 of the criminal justice act 2003 now requires an automatic minimum sentence of 5 years for a person over 21 years of age and between 18 and 21 the sentence requires “detention at a young offenders institution under section 96 PCC(S)A 2000.”

It is an offence under Section 1 of the 1968 Firearms Act to:

“to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, a firearm to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate;”

And also to:

“to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, any ammunition to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate, or in quantities in excess of those so authorised.” (Firearms Act, `968)
It is also an offence under Section 5 of the 1968 Firearms Act if a person has in their possession, purchases or acquires, or manufactures, sells or transfers:

“any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30 centimetres in length or is less than 60 centimetres in length overall, other than an air weapon, a muzzle-loading gun or a firearm designed as signalling apparatus” (Section 5, 1968)

In contrast a serving member of the SAS is now having to face a retrial “despite a last-minute claim that prosecutors acted improperly by consulting on the case” over possession of a pistol and ammunition against the same acts. If rule of law must be applied without consideration for the acts of our special forces, than why should the media be treated leniently when they break the same laws within view of the public, and openly admit to it? (The Guardian, 2013)

Finally whilst unfamiliar with the going rates for black market firearms in the UK, I’d be surprised to hear about any criminal or terrorist paying £1,700 just for a 3D printer, which assuming they have got everything else right may allow them to manufacture a single shot .38 pistol, when presumably there would be a whole host of illegal firearms already available for a lot less.

Firearms Act 1968 Chapter 27 (1968), 30 May 1968 [Online] Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27 [Accessed 12 May 2013]

Section 5, Firearms Act 1968 Chapter 27 (1968) [Online] Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/section/5 [Accessed 12 May 2013]

The Guardian (2013) SAS sniper Danny Nightingale faces retrial over illegally possessing pistol,1 May 2013 [Online] Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/may/01/sas-sniper-retrial-pistol [Accessed 12 May 2013]