After the Dunblane slaughter, the U.K. worked swiftly to honor the memory of the innocents by passing bold gun reform, which was widely supported by the people.
Thankfully, the U.K. had already banned semi-automatic and pump-action rifles through the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1988, following the massacre of 16 people in Hungerford, according to theBBC. The Act also made shotgun registration mandatory and required owners to store shotguns securely.
Nine years passed; then, the violent bloodshed in Dunblane prompted more action. To try to restrain future massacres, the British Parliament responded by banning all handguns above a .22 caliber, known as the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1997. Later that same year, another amendment outlawed .22 caliber handguns, effectively banning private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns.
Certain handguns still allowed are antique and muzzle-loading black powder guns, guns of historic interest, air pistols, and some others not typically regarded as handguns. Certain hunting rifles are also allowed.
People who oppose gun control point to data that says gun crime in the U.K. actually increased after the handgun ban. Some conservative American bloggers are already playing defense after the Newtown tragedy, holding up this statistic as proof that gun reform doesn’t work.
However, if you dig into the data, you see that rising gun crime in Britain is mostly armed burglaries. Gun deaths are, in fact, very rare in the U.K., which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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