Extracts from a report in -
04 November, 1997 page 6: News
"Mr McLeish [the Scottish Home Affairs Minister] …said a government review would now consider if shotguns should be subject to the same, stricter, firearm certificate procedure as for rifles."
It was reported that every licensed fullbore handgun in Scotland, amounting to 6,259 weapons, had been surrendered to the police. This can't be true, since I know people who (legally) shipped their guns overseas and therefore didn't hand them in. The bill banning smallbore handguns has yet to receive Royal Assent but (no doubt in view of its inevitability) 1,733 of the 2,800 smallbore handguns had been surrendered already.
McLeish is reported to have said that it was "worrying" that many shooters who have surrendered handguns were applying for substitute weapons, that there had been applications for 102 pistol-calibre-carbines, 109 rifles, 35 single-shot muzzle-loading guns and 151 "muzzle-loading revolvers." (Read cap-and-ball revolvers, of course most people involved don't understand what they're talking about.)
"I want to send a very powerful message that this undermines what is being attempted. We do not want to see the end of handguns and then a move by the shooting community to replace these guns with other weapons which are currently legal but which could pose the same problems as handguns."
Emphasis mine. It was reported,
"McLeish was particularly concerned about muzzle-loading revolvers [sic] which, he said, held six rounds and could be fired fired quickly. He said they ought to have been included in the first round of legislation."
It seems obvious to me that clear signals are being sent by the politicians that Chief Constables of Police have a carte blanche to refuse applications for firearms permits. The intention is plain: to as far as is practicable eliminate the civilian ownership of firearms in mainland UK.
Meanwhile, the police become ever more heavily armed: I spotted an Edinburgh Policeman carrying an H&K .223 calibre carbine with a 20-round mag., alongside were his colleagues with another favourite, the H&K 9mm MP5 carbine. There are now three "Incident Response Vehicles" containing heavily-armed officers patrolling the streets of Edinburgh. Ten years ago there were none. Many British police forces are going ahead with the issue of CS Gas Sprays, the formulation of which is 25 times more powerful than that allowed in the USA.
However, the most disquieting thing for me is the apparent complete acquiescence to this on the part of the general public. The more I learn of history, the more scared I become.