Self Defense Lobbying in the UK
October 30, 2005 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Are there any groups in the UK campaigning to change the laws on self-defense and weapon ownership?

I would like to join groups campaigning to allow British citizens more rights to defend themselves, and to legalise the carrying of handguns/other weapons.

Does anyone know what organizations are doing work in this area?

I'd like to steer clear of anyone promoting discrimination, extreme politics etc.

Ideally they would be inclusive groups without a political agenda.

Also are there any websites summarizing weapons laws in different countries around the world and different US states?
posted by lunkfish to Law & Government (20 answers total)
I'm sure if there was a group like this they would have come to promenance around the Tony Martin prosecution and release, so you could look through some newspaper archives. If not, why not start something? Can't say it would be easy mind you.
posted by fire&wings at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2005

What do you mean by "groups without a political agenda?" Isn't any group who tries to change a law going to have a political agenda?
posted by electric_counterpoint at 12:39 PM on October 30, 2005

Your chances of finding an inclusive, non-extremist pressure group post-Dunblane is pretty low.

Anyhow, as the law stands just now, UK citizens already have the right to use lethal force (if it's reasonable in the circumstances). So it's hard to see how 'more rights' could be granted. What exactly do you mean by this?
posted by the cuban at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2005

Response by poster: Fair enough..I'd rather self defense was the only agenda, rather than being bundled with immigration or anything else.
posted by lunkfish at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2005

Laws for different US states. They also have forums where you might be able to find information for your questions about UK lobbying.
posted by reverendX at 1:03 PM on October 30, 2005

I've thought long and hard about answering this question since I disagree vehemently with the poster's sentiments. the cuban is correct - our current laws are pretty wide-ranging as it is. Every pro-gun lobby I've ever had dealings with has been full of the kind of nutters that I wouldn't want in charge of a water pistol. Their politics inevitably tend towards the Daily Mail end of the spectrum.

I do not agree with any of the views expressed in the following websites. Nonetheless, you asked:

UK chapter of the NRA - yes, really.

Cybershooters - espousing the right to keep and bear arms for the UK

And, for the sake of balance: The Gun Control Network
posted by blag at 1:06 PM on October 30, 2005

You're about as likely as you are to find non-extremist lobbyists who want the US system of healthcare. Or public transport. In fact, there are now adverts in daily newspapers warning tourists not to travel to Florida because of its gun control laws.
posted by bonaldi at 1:23 PM on October 30, 2005

I mean, jesus: why would any country that doesn't have them already want more guns? I can see the US argument -- there are so many out there that even reasonable people need them, but here?
posted by bonaldi at 1:24 PM on October 30, 2005

Response by poster: I don't really want to get in any arguments - I'm happy to have a chat off thread - email in profile. I know this is an emotive topic but askme rules apply.

It's fair minded of you blag to answer even though you don't agree. I'm not a daily mail reader.
posted by lunkfish at 1:29 PM on October 30, 2005

but askme rules apply

I'm trying to help you find an answer by showing you there isn't really one. It's like the question is "I want to ride a unicorn. Where can I get one?". There is just no support for this in the UK. Even the NRA is all about clay pigeon shooting
posted by bonaldi at 1:34 PM on October 30, 2005

Mod note: a few off-topic comments removed, on-topic please?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on October 30, 2005

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you were a DM reader! Merely that, on this one particular issue, they probably share your viewpoint.
posted by blag at 4:19 PM on October 30, 2005

Move to Northern Ireland - it's a much more gun friendly part of the UK. You'll find many more groups there fully in agreement with the idea of personal gun ownership.

In Northern Ireland, 4.7% of the population hold firearms certificates. This is a significantly higher proportion than in England and Wales (1.34%) and Scotland (1.6%).
posted by meehawl at 6:19 PM on October 30, 2005

I was quite pro gun control, until I had to debate the subject for four months in high school. Quickly learned to dread arguing affirmative on gun control...kind of hard to argue against "London banned guns, and had a 4x violent crime increase during the 90's." Given that this was a period in which violent crime in the states absolutely plummeted, the data's pretty compelling.
posted by effugas at 12:43 AM on October 31, 2005

effugas: That's a moronic line of reasoning. There are just too many factors involved to draw any kind of correlation. For a start, there were practically no guns in London before the handgun ban. We've not even gone into factors like the economic cycle, unemployment, level of policing, level of crime reporting, etc.

As to the original question, I believe campaigning for a change in the law right now is pretty futile. There is almost no support in the country to reverse the ban.
posted by salmacis at 12:57 AM on October 31, 2005

effugas: You're ridiculous and I laugh at you.

At a time when the UK Government is not so much attacking Civil Liberties as already looking for a place to bury the corpse, I personally think that there are more pressing battles to fight. However if you insist with this moon-on-a-stick like fantasy you may find the Randroids over at Samizdata are pro-gun.
posted by oh pollo! at 1:50 AM on October 31, 2005

sorry, Samizdata
posted by oh pollo! at 1:51 AM on October 31, 2005

Response by poster: Do you really?

Well I've seen gun crime in East London rise 10 fold under the gun ban while ordinary people have no way to protect themself.

I've been kidnapped by an armed gang, beaten and forced to reveal my address so they can steal everything I own.

I've seen someone shot in the chest and die bleeding on the pavement.

Last week I saw someone openly carrying a combat knife outside my mum's block of flats.

I can decide for myself what fucking issues are relevant.
posted by lunkfish at 2:58 AM on October 31, 2005

For weapon laws: this site seems to have extended data and stats on the topic (click on "Regions")
posted by elgilito at 3:20 AM on October 31, 2005

UK chapter of the NRA - yes, really.

In the interest of historical correctness, the British NRA predates the American one -- 1859 vs. 1871 -- and is in no sense a chapter of the US organization.

Unless things have changed radically in the last twenty years, the NRA has always been a respectable organization of target shooters, rather than a collection of self defense wingnuts. Queen Victoria set the tone by firing the first shot of their inaugural competition in 1860; it doesn't get more respectable than that!
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 1:55 PM on October 31, 2005

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