After London Attack, British Gun Activists Call For Right To Bear Arms
British activists are advocating for looser gun laws in response to the Saturday night ISIS terror attack that killed eight people and wounded nearly fifty others in central London.
“These tragedies may have been the eye opener to just how ineffective our laws are,” Dave Ewing, a representative from the gun ownership advocacy group, Firearms-UK, told Vocativ.
Firearms-UK, along with other advocacy groups like Arm UK Citizens, Legalise Guns in the UK, and England Wants Its Guns Back, have flocked to social media to slam the British government for maintaining harsh restrictions on gun ownership in response to the attack at London Bridge, which was the third terror attack on British soil in as many months.
They accuse the government of leaving its citizens exposed to violent terrorists and criminals, while politicians enjoy “24 hour armed bodyguards protecting them while they continue to sell the lie that firearms are not suitable for personal protection,” said a Firearms-UK Facebook post published in the wake of the London Bridge attack.
Gun ownership is heavily restricted in Britain and is among the tightest in Europe. After a school shooting that killed 15 children and their teacher in 1996, the British government legislated bans on assault rifles and handguns and heightened background checks for other types of firearms. Illicit gun ownership is also relatively low in Britain, which does not have the porous borders of its neighbors.
The British “gun rights” movement, therefore, remains fringe when compared to the U.S., where carrying guns is enshrined in the constitutional Second Amendment. British gun advocates call for modest reforms to gun laws that would allow the government to retain strict oversight on gun ownership, extensive background checks and mandatory weapons training, but would still permit gun owners to use their weapons in self-defense.