How Much Gun Ownership in England and Wales?

The Guardian went through all the police records for England and Wales and put them in a spreadsheet.  Looks like there are about 129 thousand rifles, and about 549 thousand shotguns legally owned in those two countries.  That’s a very low level of gun ownership considering the combined population of England and Wales is 53 million.

You also see this in states that have licensng of gun owners, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have very low levels of gun ownership by American standards.  Once you get that nose under the tent, it reduces our numbers, and thus reduces the constitutency willing to fight for more reasonable gun laws (reasonable by our standards, not theirs).

Try getting someone into shooting when it requires dealing with the police for months in order to get approved.  You can do it, but it becomes a lot harder.  We have one air gun shooter who’s been borrowing other people’s guns.  He’s from New Jersey.  To get one there, you have to go through the whole permitting process, including getting permission from the police first.  It takes months, fingerprints, and a lot of paperwork and hassle.

10 thoughts on “How Much Gun Ownership in England and Wales?”

  1. To get one there, you have to go through the whole permitting process, including getting permission from the police first. It takes months, fingerprints, and a lot of paperwork and hassle.

    That’s a feature, not a bug.

    The easier it is to keep law abiding citizens from exercising their rights – you’re not denied the right, we’re only going to make you jump through so many hoops you simply can’t be bothered – the easier it is to disarm the populace.

    And I don’t mean taking away the guns. Certain individuals see the physical removal of THEIR firearms as the Rubicon when in reality, the mental disarmament of the populace is what requires our attention.

    The lady who asked for assistance in learning about firearm safety? Unconvinced. Not because I couldn’t prove that firearms in and of themselves weren’t dangerous statistically, but she does not have the mindset required for self protection. Without that, you can give 1911’s to every child born and still have no threat of revolt from a pacified and de-fanged populace.

  2. Of course, we don’t know how many non-papered firearms are in the U.K. or New Jersey. You are taking a chance that way but many are willing to do it.

  3. I’m curious when a “Heller” inspired lawsuit is initiated to remove those hurdles. Surely regulation whose sole purpose is to restrict gun ownership would fail Heller.

  4. I recently bought my first handgun. A glock 19. I live in NJ. The process was not too painful. The permit paperwork is very dependent on the town. I happen to live in a town where the detective in charge of the paperwork was extremely helpful. I received all my permits back in 30 days, which is exactly how long they have to get back to you under state law.

    The real pain in the ass is that I have to buy my handguns in NJ or deal with the FFL transfer process. From what I hear it is a pain in the ass. I want to be able to go anywhere to buy a handgun. PA has so many good gun shops and the prices are so much cheaper!

  5. IIRC, According to Evan Nappen’s book on NJ gunlaw, it is perfectly legal for an NJ resident to travel to a free state, buy a compressed air/gas bb or pellet gun, take possession of it there, and travel back to NJ with it.

    What you can’t do is take possession in NJ, order via mail/’Net, etc.

    Your guy should be made aware of that.

  6. That is correct, but I’ve been told by lawyers over there that you should really have an FID if you’re traveling with a “firearm” in New Jersey.

  7. I am quite thankful that my local PD was reasonable over the permit process. To the point that I’m trying ot figure out how one goes about finding out the local PD’s attitudes towards permits as part of my househunting process (if I change towns I have to get a new permit).

    I’m also wishing I’d put in for more than one pistol purchase permit…

  8. Actually that is a count of rifle owners. If you look at the second tab it shows the total number of guns covered on the certificates. The column entitled Firearm Certificate Variations refers to when someone who already owns one rifle wants to get another.

    Minor minor nit, but the Shotguns may include some blackpowder guns (without rifled barrels) and the Rifles may include some blackpowder guns (with rifled barrels). Without knowing their source data, some shotguns may be included in the rifles total since there are some which require a “Firearms Certificate” to own.

    Finally, this is statistically insignificant but the sort of thing you would think the British press might want to look into: they don’t break out how many of those Firearms Certificates are “Section 5” ones which are not possible for normal people to get, but which are theoretically possible and allow people to own handguns. There is also something called a personal protection permit which allows CCW with up to a whopping 25 rounds of ammunition on your person. Those only tend to be issued to spooks and ex-spooks (since one of the details of British law is that the intelligence services are basically just civil servants).

    It would be really interesting to know how many Section 5 licenses are out there, and what kind of person gets them.

    (The above is a generalization. I never owned a gun until I moved to the USA, so may have missed some details of UK law.)

  9. I live in NJ, I am trying to buy as many guns as possible… but they just don’t have any in stock! (nor can I afford such a habit)

    I own 2 pistols, 2 shotguns, 1 rifle (a .22)… looking to buy an NJ legal “AR” now… none to be found.

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