Crimes involving firearms continue to rise every single year in Britain in spite of the nation having a near-total ban on civilian gun ownership. That’s according to the latest annual numbers released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics which tracks overall crime there. How could this be happening? It’s a big mystery to the leadership in Britain!
Considering that Britain has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the world, it’s clear that a thriving black market is supplying the criminal element there. The total number gun crimes in Britain increased by 27 percent in 2016. That includes a 25 percent increase in crimes involving handguns and a 53 percent jump in crimes involving shotguns. Half of all gun crimes in Britain are confined to the nation’s three major urban centers and two-thirds of all police forces in Britain recorded an increase in year to year gun crimes.
All of this points to the fact that organized crime has figured out a way to smuggle more firearms into the island nation. Imagine that! The response from Britain’s government so far has been to hold another gun surrender initiative, inviting all law abiding citizens to turn over their sidearms and BB guns. The Brits even call it a gun “surrender” program.
Possessing a gun in Britain carries an automatic five year prison sentence and possession with intent to sell a firearm carries a life sentence. All handguns that fire cartridges are banned. The only handguns that private citizens are allowed to own are cap and ball muzzle loaders.
The vast majority of people purchasing “illegal” weapons in Britain these days are not doing so for personal or home protection; the crooks are virtually the only ones buying guns, because the penalties are so stiff for owning a gun.
What can America learn from the mistakes the British are making? The first thing to note, of course, is that making something illegal does not make it go away. In spite of strict border and customs checks, Britain cannot keep illegal firearms out of their country which is an island! It’s not like they have a 2,700-mile border with Mexico for criminals to bring contraband firearms across, yet the guns are still arriving (presumably by the boatload). The old saying that if you outlaw firearms, only outlaws will have firearms is not just a cliché — it is literally true as we see in Britain.
The British estimate that there are about 750 criminal street gangs now operating in the country which are involved in the illicit arms trade. Terrorists in other parts of Europe, France especially, are now purchasing firearms from the black market in Britain. The head of MI5 announced last year that there are an estimated 3,000 “violent extremists” operating in Britain and about half of all firearms-related crimes involve that segment of the population (“violent extremist” is of course the politically correct euphemism to describe Muslim terrorists).
One other important thing to note is that gun grabbers love to point out how “safe” Britain is because it has seized all of the firearms from law abiding citizens. This is based on nothing more than a fabrication, because Britain tallies certain crime statistics like murder by a completely different method than we use in the United States.
In America, the FBI publishes annual crime statistics based on actual crimes committed. If a person is murdered by any means, the FBI tallies it as a murder. In the UK, the Home Office only tallies murders in cases where there has been a criminal conviction – after a suspect is arrested, put on trial and found guilty.
How many unsolved homicides take place in Britain every year? Estimates on the number of actual murders vary between two and five times higher than the “official” number reported by the British government. If the number really is five times higher, that would make Britain more dangerous to live in than Chicago, one of America’s largest gun-free zones.
Britain actually did see gun crimes go down for about the first decade after it enacted its total gun confiscation program. Now that enough time has passed and the criminal underworld has figured out how to elude border controls, the rate of gun crimes is rising. And it doesn’t look like the Brits have any good ideas to deal with it, other than lying about the statistics to make everyone feel safe.
~ American Gun News