Britain’s pistol ban cost taxpayers almost £100m

2 Aug 2016 – The kneejerk ban on most civilian target pistols in 1997 cost taxpayers almost nine figures, according to a Parliamentary statement made last week.

Answering a question in the House of Lords from Earl Attlee, Home Office peer Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “The rounded total of compensation payments made under the two Acts was £97 million.”

The first of the two Firearms (Amendment) Acts of 1997 banned all full-bore pistols. This was a vain vote-grabbing exercise by the doomed government of John Major, which lost power in that year’s general election.

Tony Blair’s incoming Labour government, as an act of pure spite, passed the Firearms (Amendment) (No.2) Act 1997, which banned .22″ pistols as well.

Both acts were passed as a response to the Dunblane murders, where a man who police had been repeatedly warned was not safe to possess firearms – including by their own constables – continued to hold a firearm certificate and used his pistols to murder an entire class of primary school children and their teacher.

The staggering cost of banning private property may give the EU pause for thought as it prepares to force through a ban on semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines. Vicky Ford MEP, the EU’s “rapporteur” for the ban, seems to have compromised by agreeing with a full ban but immediately introduced draft wording that exempts target shooters, while making it harder to buy full-bore semi-autos.

Recent government statistics showed that there are more than 16,000 licensed pistols in UK private ownership today, though these are all long-barrelled and black powder firearms rather than true pistols. The figure runs at about two thirds of licensed pistol ownership pre-1997.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Britain’s pistol ban cost taxpayers almost £100m

  1. Paul

    I’d question those figures. £ 97 million suggest an average payout of just under two grand per FAC holder. For most of the people I know the compensation, including my own, was well in excess of that. Then consider the payout to dealers, with some in seven figures bracket. I can only suggest that there is a considerable amount of massaging going on in Government circles … and by that I don’t mean the type with the happy ending!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Dom

    I have in mind that figures circa £300-400m were mooted at the time, for compensation. Not sure where that figure came from, may have been the shooting press. Of course that doesn’t include the cost of administration, does it?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Paul

      Who knows? There were rumours about interesting items turning up in some odd places. Probably just a figment of an overactive imagination.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Jerry

    For a politician’s 15 seconds under a dark sun, we are stuck with this, forever.
    Integrity matters, above all else. Get angry at this betrayal, and stay that way.
    Without that anger, the Americans would not have one iota of their Freedom left.

    Like

    Reply
  4. TIM

    Concur that the costs seem low, I am sure I saw a separate estimate buried in a parliamentary document referencing a minimum of 150mil. I also am sure that the paperwork suggested that the decisions were classed as “undemocratic” with the compensation levels being too low, and owners being unaware that they could challenge the original figure being offered as comp.
    The total costs should of course include comp, admin, destruction of the handguns.

    Like

    Reply
  5. D S

    Handguns relinquished at the time of the ban that had special interest such as historical provenance or that were of a particularly unusual design were offered to various museums , similarly there were a few that were kept as exhibits by police forces for training purposes , I recall seeing one that was a revolver but was completely concealed within the fist when closed with a really short stubby barrel on it , a little bit like the old fashioned Apache knuckleduster /dagger/revolver

    Like

    Reply
  6. Ed McBain

    I think that figure is very conservative to say the least. I held a relatively small collection of pistols and associated equipment compared to many and my ‘compensation’, if seizing legally held property under duress can be called that, was in the region of £4K

    Like

    Reply
  7. Andy J

    In Jersey, the States (government) considered following UK law until it was pointed out to them what the compensation bill would be. There are some very wealthy people in Jersey, one, to my knowledge, has a collection of pistols numbering over 450 – some of them very rare and therefore valuable. The result was that the States decided that it was not necessary to implement the “small firearms” ban.
    Previously, they had seen no valid reason to legislate against full-bore self-loading rifles or converted machine guns which can still be legally owned and used on the island.
    Curiously, there have been no instances of mass shootings, insurrection or an armed crime wave.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s