Gun debate in Britain usually concerns the United States and the Second Amendment. But more gun owners are bringing the discussion inside the UK borders.
While mass shootings aren’t common in Britain, the government further restricts law-abiding gun owners with each incident. After the Hungerford shooting in 1987, semi-automatic rifles were banned. Handguns were added after Dunblane. And since the 2010 Cumbria shooting some want even stricter laws, while others simply want back semi-automatic rifles and handguns for self-defense. “Criminals are laughing at us,” a British gun shop owner explained to BBC News. “They know a lot of people are scared to do anything offensive in their home because of the repercussions.”
A misunderstanding of law-abiding gun ownership could be a “city/countryside” divide. Farmers need shotguns for work, but many Londoners find gun ownership unimaginable. “It’s frustrating that when you tell someone you own a gun, you’re instantly labeled a weirdo,” added the shop owner.