Gun rights advocates here also say Britain`s bans have gone too far, leading to public stigmatization of legal gun owners and police harassment of gun owners and athletes. They note that Britain has a rich historical tradition of game hunting, an ancient sport of kings that still thrives in the countryside, where bird shooting and especially deer harassment remain a fancy pastime on rural estates. The 43-year-old killer, a former scout leader haunted by rumours of inappropriate behaviour towards young boys, considered himself the victim of a « sinister witch hunt », according to The Independent. Although authorities never gave a definitive motive for the attack, the Scottish Herald reported that the gunman had referred to Dunblane Primary School in a letter to clear his name. Air guns are firearms like any other as defined in section 57(1) of the Firearms Act 1968.  However, with the exception of Scotland, where a certificate is now required, they are exempt from the requirement that a firearms certificate or shotgun certificate be required to possess or acquire them, provided they meet certain limits on their powers. The legislature has emphasized the dangers of pistols in the hands of children and drunkards and has made specific provisions for their sale to both groups: persons under the age of 18 may be fined 40 shillings if they buy, rent or carry a pistol, while anyone who sells a pistol to such a person may be fined. could be fined £5. Anyone who sold a firearm to someone who was « intoxicated or mentally ill » was fined £25 or 3 months` imprisonment with hard labour. However, it was not a crime under the law to give or lend to someone who belonged to both groups.  Twenty-five years after a local shopkeeper entered Dunblane Primary School and opened fire, killing 16 people aged 5 and 6 and their 45-year-old teacher, the attack occupies a unique place in British cultural consciousness. Die Tragödie vom 13.
March 1996 was not the first mass shooting in modern British history, but as Peter Squires, a criminologist and public policy expert at the University of Brighton, explains: « The idea that someone could use handguns to kill children like fish firing into a cannon was so horrific that it provoked a reaction that went beyond that. who had been lived with Hungerford. A massacre in 1987 in which 16 adults were killed and 15 others seriously injured in a small English town. « What we have in the UK. now gun crime is significantly lower, a level that continues to decline today, » said Andy Marsh, Director of Firearms at the UK Association of Chiefs of Police. « People say you can`t unravel hundreds of years of gun history and culture [in America], but here in Britain we`ve learned from our tragedies and taken steps to reduce the likelihood of them happening again. » An amnesty had been organized, which had a very high turnout; Handguns were allowed, so it was easy to find out who owned one, and there was a compensation system in place to compensate owners. Written by a group from Scotland who had experienced a similar tragedy 22 years earlier, the letter offered both a statement of solidarity and a vision for the future. Referring to their successful campaign for gun reform, the authors of the letter wrote: « Laws have been changed, handguns have been banned and levels of gun violence in Britain are now among the lowest in the world. » Since the Dunblane massacre in 1996, they have stressed that there have been no school shootings in the UK. Residents of Northern Ireland may hold firearms licences for activities such as sport and pest control. In 2020, there were 55,441 firearms licence holders.
Shotguns are legal as long as they are not allowed to hold more than three shotgun grenades – including those in the chamber if it is a shotgun or semi-automatic rifle. There is no such restriction on rifles. It was a year of great political upheaval when the Conservative Party left power after 18 years and Tony Blair`s New Labour took power. The Conservatives had already introduced the Firearms (Amendment) Act following the Cullen report on the Dunblane shooting, which banned large-calibre handguns. The updated law went even further and banned all handguns for private use. In the UK, public access to firearms is subject to some of the strictest controls in the world.  However, compliance with the criteria and requirements established by law results in the approval of the vast majority of gun permit applications.  The laws in Northern Ireland differ slightly as Northern Ireland has its own gun laws. Concerns have been raised about the availability of illegal firearms.
   At about 9:30 a.m., the gunman entered the school with four handguns and 743 rounds of ammunition, all of which he had legally acquired. After firing two shots into the girls` auditorium and bathroom, he entered the gymnasium where 28 children had gathered for class. Britain has seen a mass shooting since its most expensive gun ban in 1997, with criminologists saying a 2010 shooting in rural Britain could have been worse if the perpetrator had had access to stronger firepower.
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