What are the laws on gun ownership in the UK?

Gun crime is becoming more prevalent in the UK recently but fortunately the laws for gun ownership are amongst the toughest in the world. While in the States it is a citizen's constitutional right to own a gun, in the UK you will have to fill in reams of paperwork and convince the police that you would not be a danger in possession of a gun.

Top related searches:
  1. UK gun law
  2. Gun ownership
  3. Gun crime statistics
  4. Gun crime
  5. Anti gun campaigns
  6. Ban guns
  7. Hunting laws UK
  8. Securing your home
  9. Self defence classes
  10. Bullet proof vests
The only types of gun permitted in the UK are shotguns, which is a long-barrelled weapon that can fire no more than two rounds at a time, and firearms, which are other legal guns that fire bullets such as rifles. These are the kind of guns you see farmers and game hunters carry. But to own one of these legally is not easy.

The police are responsible for administrating the gun control system all over the UK and they issue separate licences for each type of gun. At the moment, in England and Wales 138,728 people are certificated to hold guns and they own 435,383 weapons. There are 1.4 million legally owned shotguns. In Scotland 70,839 firearms are certified and 137,768 shotguns.

If the police believe that a licence holder can no longer be trusted to be in possession of a gun, they are able to revoke the licence. In the year 2008-09, almost 1,300 certificates were revoked.

The application for a gun licence is long and complicated. It asks specific questions about the applicants reasons for wanting a gun, it requests character references and also examines the applicants medical history.

One question asked of a referee is: "Do you have any knowledge of any significant difficulties the applicant has in relationships with his or her immediate family... given that a firearm or ammunition may be available in the household?"

The final check made by police on licence applicants is that they have a secure place to store their weapons so that no one else may have access.

Do you think that the UK gun controls are stringent enough? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.