Gun misuse



The United Kingdom gun laws are some of the best in the world and this is why we experience less gun misuse than most other countries.


By comparing UK gun crime statistics with those from other countries we can see that our laws are effective, although there is no room for complacency.  




Figure produced by IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) and taken from their recent presentation Gun Violence: The Global Crisis.



Gun ownership in the UK is a priviledge, not a right and our Gun Laws are some of the most effective in the world as the above image demonstrates.


Guns are designed to kill, injure and frighten, and that is what they do. Whether they are illegally held prohibited weapons being used by criminals or legally held licensed guns being used by experienced members of gun clubs, police officers, those representing their country in shooting activities, gun enthusiast, hobby shooters or gamekeepers.  No matter how much training and experience the user has had guns are always dangerous.   


Familiarity with guns does not make gun owners, gun users or their families safe, and does not prevent them from becoming involved in serious and sometimes fatal gun misuse. 


All the gun massacres in UK in recent decades have involved licensed gun owners and/or legally held guns apart from one about which further information is awaited*.

All the gun massacres in UK in recent decades, apart from one, have involved victims known to the perpetrator (domestic violence.)


Mass shootings in the UK - *legal guns and/or licensed perpetrators.


2016 Sleaford, Lincolnshire 2 dead + suicide, Lance Hart

NB A police statement confirms that the perpetrator did not hold a gun licence at the time of the shooting. However press reports from a former neighbour indicate that the perpetrator apparently did own a shotgun sometime before the shooting.


2014 Farnham, Surrey, 2 dead, John Lowe.

2012 Horden, County Durham, 3 dead + suicide, Michael Atherton.

2010 Cumbria, 12 dead + suicide, 11 injured, Derrick Bird.

2009 Maesbrook, Shropshire, 2 dead + family pets + suicide, Christopher Foster.

2001 North West London, 3 dead + suicide, Peter Denyer.

1996 Dunblane, Scotland, 17 dead + suicide, 11 injured, Thomas Hamilton.

1989 Monkseaton, Tyneside, 1 dead, 16 injured, Robert Sartin.

1988 Bristol, 2 dead, 1 injured, 2 bludgeoned to death, Kevin Weaver.

1987 Hungerford, Bucks, 16 dead + suicide, 16 injured, Michael Ryan.

1978 West Midlands, 5 dead, 3 injured, Barry Williams. 


People who have undergone extensive training and education in the use of guns go on to kill or injure themselves, threaten, injure or kill other people.

They include:-

  • Trained and serving professional soldiers; former soldiers and members of the armed services; gun collectors;  gamekeepers; Police officers; members of gun clubs; firearms instructors; national and international shooting team members;  farmers and people who regularly use guns for hunting.


Familiarity with guns, and easy access to weapons stored in the home can result in the impulsive use of a gun at times of stress, drunkenness, debt, illness, depression or emotional trauma, divorce, separation and relationship breakdown. 






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