Thank you for your interest in the

Gun Control Network

 The Gun Control Network was established to campaign for tighter controls on guns of all kinds in Britain and a greater awareness of the dangers associated with gun ownership and use


Please note: this is the only bona fide site operated by the Gun Control Network. All other websites and blogs purporting to be ours are malicious and defamatory and have been reported to the relevant authorities.


                                                  email:                   INFER TRUST

CONTACT US                                            Support for Victims

CONTACT US                                            of Gun Crime

Gun Incidents

Gun Control Network monitors media reports of incidents involving firearms throughout Great Britain

and compiles monthly lists and reviews


                     Sentences and Convictions

                     Review - September 2015

                     See Also:     Gun Deaths          Domestic Violence          Airguns

                     Lists of Airgun Incidents: 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011

Latest News


Law Commission Report-Firearms Law: Reforms to Address Pressing Problems - Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Report on Firearms Licensing - Enforcer or public servant: what sort of police force do we want? - Routinely arming the police with Tasers is counterproductive - UKIP would legalise handguns - Another licensed shotgun owner guilty of killing two women - Gun licence fees should pay for hotline - When will the government get a grip on gun licensing? - US study demonstrates that the number of guns per capita is strong predictor of firearm-related deaths in a country - Why is the Taxpayer Subsidising Gun Owners? - Taxpayers Subsidise Gun Owners to the Tune of £100 Million - Further Fall in Gun Crime in Scotland and England & Wales - Book published on Reducing Gun Violence in America following Sandy Hook school massacre - Common Decency Campaign to amend the ‘Game Act’ - Sports Shooting: From Criminology to Cruelty - Three women killed by licensed gun owner: bereaved family launch e-petition campaign for tighter licensing - Arming for self-protection increases your risk of a gun related death - Annual Firearms Crime Figures in England and Wales Show Seventh Consecutive Fall - Lowest Scottish Gun Crime Figures for 32 Years - New Law on Airgun Security - Power to Regulate Airguns to be Devolved to Scotland - BMA in Talks with ACPO about Tagging Medical Records of Patients holding Firearms or Shotgun Licences

View News Stories



GCN Press Release - 15 December 2015


This deeply disappointing report completely fails to address the pressing problems that public safety demands. It has been hijacked by the shooting lobby and become enmeshed in technicalities which are of no interest or relevance to the general public.

Around 55% of all gun crime is committed with weapons that are perfectly legally held, either because they are licensed or because they don’t need a licence. This is the ‘Pressing Problem’ that should have been the focus of the Commission’s report.

The Gun Control Network outlined some of these public safety concerns e.g. the failure of the system to license thousands of lethal weapons, the lack of an independent element in the licensing process, the failure of the police to integrate their domestic violence and firearms data, and the failure of the judiciary to record a declaration of interest when dealing with firearms licence appeals and revocations.

GCN also recommended interviewing the victims and survivors of gun violence but this was never done due to an ‘oversight’.

Instead, the Commission has listened to the Gun Trade Association, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, the UK Airsoft Retailers Association, the UK Airsoft Players Association, the Deactivated Weapons Association, the Countryside Alliance, the Historical Breechloading Small Arms Association, and, astonishingly, Her Majesty’s Council of Circuit Judges. This latter body was represented by a Judge who is himself a shooter.

The one significant recommendation is that a ‘lethal gun’ should be defined as one with a muzzle energy of one joule or more. This would have been helpful if the intention was to license all such weapons but there is no such intention. Shooters are re-assured that weapons such as Airsoft guns and airguns will not be licensed even where they have a kinetic energy of over one joule. [Airsoft guns are realistic imitation military weapons which are unregulated, available through the Internet, and proliferating. They are used in violent and racist skirmishing scenarios of a particularly concerning nature and the Home Office has no idea how many Airsoft sites there are around the country.]

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network, says:

"This report demonstrates how effective the shooting lobby has been over the years and how they have succeeded in resisting reforms to the gun laws in this country, much as the NRA has done in America. They have employed their usual modus operandi and overwhelmed the Law Commission with technicalities which are likely to make little difference to public safety. A great deal of money has been spent in order to make the lives of shooters easier and every effort has been made to re-assure them that nothing will be done to constrain their access to weapons.


Not a single mention of the concerns expressed by the Gun Control Network appears in the report and not a single victim or survivor of gun violence was interviewed.

The report is a lost opportunity to make us all safer and as such has been a waste of public money."




GCN Press Release - 15 September 2015


HMIC have today released the report of their inspection into how guns are licensed in this country, and it contains no surprises. We have known for years that:

  • Legally held guns are responsible for almost all the multiple shooting murders committed in this country over the last 30 years – Hungerford, Dunblane, Cumbria, and Horden being the most notorious.

  • Most women killed by a gun are killed by a firearms licence holder using a legal weapon.

  • The gun licensing system in this country is not fit for purpose - it puts the interests of the shooter before public safety, it is inconsistently applied, and even where there is official guidance this is often ignored.

Now at last these deficiencies have been recognised and clear recommendations have been made.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network says:

“We welcome this report which Stephen Otter has conducted with care and integrity. He has recognised that firearms licensing is not primarily a service for gun owners but a service to the general public – intended to keep them safe and ensure that only suitable people can own guns. He has ensured that the views of victims and their families have been heard and has made recommendations about how the licensing process should change.


The question is – will the government implement these changes? There have been recommendations in the past which have been ignored. This government repeatedly refuses to implement measures which might constrain the shooting community, but which would undoubtedly improve the licensing system and save lives.

The government says it wants to keep Britain safe. This report outlines how it can be done.”


GCN Press Release - 20 May 2015


A society is defined by its police force. In America the police are armed, guns are ‘normal’, and levels of gun violence are high. In the UK the police are not armed, guns are not ‘normal’ and levels of gun violence are low (and have fallen by almost 50% over the past decade). We must decide what sort of police force we want and not drift, unthinking, into a fully armed force. It is especially perverse that key changes in the deployment of armed police officers are being proposed – not as a result of rising crime but as a direct result of threatened cuts.

Every decade or so there are proposals to fully arm the police. It is argued that times have changed and more criminals and terrorists carry guns so the police should do so too. Now it is being argued that we cannot afford to have highly trained firearms officers waiting around for a gun incident to happen.

But the reality is that we should be thankful that our firearms officers don’t have much to do. It is perverse to respond to that benign situation by arming more of them and thereby bringing more guns into our streets and communities. Not only that. It will not save money. Any extension of armed policing will cost millions to train a larger cohort of officers to the standard of the elite, who must re-qualify for their firearms authorisation twice a year. The standard of competence amongst this vital group of specialists is bound to go down as the financial and social costs escalate and criminals upgrade their weaponry to keep up with the police.

There is extensive evidence from America that police carrying guns are more vulnerable to being ambushed, more likely to be killed and injured themselves, and more likely to kill and injure the public. Nothing erodes public trust and confidence in the police quicker than a police fatal shooting, as both Britain and America have recently found to their cost. Further arming of the police in this country is highly likely to result in more of these, and more damaging incidents such as that in Nottingham in October 2014 when a police automatic weapon was discharged with live ammunition at a public event, injuring a 7-year-old girl.

Police with guns make mistakes now. They will make more mistakes if their numbers increase, the standard of training falls, or they are performing routine duties on the streets.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network, says:

“The best sort of policing is community based and intelligence led. In the UK the public generally trust the police and are willing to provide information and intelligence. The police are respected and not feared, and they are not armed. If officers start attending routine incidents, or worse still patrolling the streets, with guns the public will feel they are in danger when they are not. Our police force becomes more of a paramilitary organisation which in turn attracts a different kind of recruit.

So do we want our police to be enforcers as they are in America, or public servants as they are here? Will we continue with our decent unarmed police force? We will, emphatically, be safer if we do and we should fight for it.”




GCN Press Release - 13 February 2015


The Police Federation have recently called for the arming of all police officers with a Taser. This is said to be necessary in order to protect them from potential murder attempts by terrorists.

They say they will be safer if they all carry a Taser. However, it is not clear that this would be so; indeed there is some evidence that police who carry firearms might be in greater danger than those who do not. In the US, for example, police are frequently ambushed for their weapons. The duty of the police should be, above anything else including their own safety, to protect the public, yet a consequence of the routine arming of the police would be to increase the likelihood of members of the public being shot with Tasers.

Can all police officers be trusted to handle a lethal weapon appropriately? Even trained firearms officers misuse their weapons, as highlighted by an incident in Nottingham in October 2014 when a police machine gun was discharged with live ammunition at a public event, injuring a 7-year-old girl. Three police officers have been served with gross misconduct notices.

A Taser is a firearm, a prohibited weapon under the Firearms Act 1968, and can be lethal. There have already been fatalities following incidents in which someone was tasered by police officers (see below), and there is little doubt that the routine carrying of Tasers would mean more incidents of this sort.

So is this really what the Police Federation want?

  • A change in the relationship between police and the public.

  • More suspects and innocent people killed or injured by police Taser.

  • A sharp increase in the police use of Tasers. Tasers were already being used on more than 10,000 occasions in 2013 – a rise of 27% on 2012.

  • A new market created for Tasers as criminals upgrade their weaponry to keep pace with the police the consequence of which could be more police killed or injured in the line of duty.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network, says:

“The basis of good modern policing is intelligence and trust. It is clear that the routine arming of police with guns and Tasers will lead to a deterioration of both these things. The public will no longer feel the police are on their side if there is now the possibility, however remote, of being shot by any police officer. They won’t trust them because they find guns intimidating.

Arming the police is a one way street. It will never be reversed. In this country we have a unique and valued relationship with our police and we must protect that. Of course some officers need firearms training and there are some situations in which they will need to be armed with guns and Tasers but this must always be the last resort. The Police Federation are not serving their members well by arguing for them all to be armed routinely. They are in fact putting them, and us, in danger”.

Since GCN began collecting data about Taser incidents in 2009, we have recorded 456 serious incidents reported in the media. The following is a selection of recent incidents.

24 December 2014
A man died after police shot him with a 50,000-volt Taser gun during an alleged burglary at a flat in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. Officers responding to reports of a break-in shot the victim and placed him in a police car, but he shortly lost consciousness and could not be revived despite treatment by emergency workers.

10 November 2014
A 34-year-old man with mental health problems died after being tasered by police in Gwent.

29 January 2014
An extensive search is underway after a Police Taser Gun was lost in Great Windsor Park. A Police Officer has been suspended.

26 April 2013
A man died from severe burns after he was a shot with a Taser gun by a police officer while covered in flammable liquid at an address in Plymouth, Devon. Officers were called to the house after the 32-year-old was seen holding a can of flammable liquid in the garden of the property. A Taser was deployed and he suffered serious burns, and although he was taken to hospital he died five days later from his injuries. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has begun an investigation into the incident.

12 July 2013
A 23-year man died after being tasered by police at his home in Gorton, Manchester. The man’s mother dialled 999 because her son was involved in a row with a neighbour.



GCN Press Release - 15 November 2014


In January 2014 Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, said that it was party policy for handguns to be legalised in the UK despite being banned for the last 18 years. He said that the current ban on handguns, which were made illegal following the school shooting at Dunblane in 1996, was ‘ludicrous’.

In March 1996 16 small children and their teacher were gunned down in their school by Thomas Hamilton, a legal handgun owner. When GCN began to campaign for a ban on these lethal weapons we were told by shooting organisations that this couldn’t be done because pistol shooting was the fastest growing sport in the country. The UK was clearly following the USA and heading for a dangerous gun culture.

Now, the handgun crime rate in this country is low (having fallen by 50% over the last decade) and the rate of gun homicide is 60 times greater in the US than in the UK.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network, says:

“The handgun ban was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Dunblane tragedy, it was a brave and hugely significant measure to make this country safer. And it has succeeded. We have one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. All decent thoughtful people should be proud of that and those thinking of voting for UKIP might want to consider what they are promising and what sort of society they really want.”

N.B. data from

Gun Homicide in 2011

US 11,101     Rate per 100,000 population 3.6
UK 38           Rate per 100,000 population 0.06
This means that the US has 60 times the rate of gun homicides as the UK.



GCN Press Release - 30 October 2014


Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of GCN says:

"Almost all women and children killed by a gun in this country are murdered with a licensed weapon. These tragedies are preventable. The current licensing system is not fit for purpose and terrible multiple murders will still be committed in this country by people with licensed guns if we don’t sort this out.

The most notorious of these firearms licence holders are Michael Ryan (Hungerford, 1987), Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane, 1996), Derrick Bird (Cumbria, 2010), Michael Atherton (Horden, 2012) and now John Lowe (Surrey, 2014).

Concerns had been expressed to the police about all of these people but still they still hung onto their guns. Those tragic murders could all have been prevented if the licensing regime had been more robust.

A good licensing programme needs three things: money, independence and intelligence.

Currently none of these elements are in place. The gun licence fee is absurdly low, there is no independent element in the licensing process and the police do not seek or adequately respond to information from members of the public.

All of this can be remedied with proper funding and a change of culture.

First, non-shooters should be involved in the licensing process as well so firearms officers do not become too close to gun owners.

Second, the license fee currently costs £10 a year for as many shotguns as you want. This does not pay for an effective licensing system. Shooters will pay thousands of pounds for a day’s shooting and champagne yet the taxpayer is subsidising them by about £100m over 5 years. The license fee should cover the whole cost of running more robust checks and gaining better intelligence about gun owners. A reasonable estimate of this is around £200 per licence.

Third, anyone with a history of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse or mental illness should not have access to guns. Families should be asked if they have concerns about guns in the house. Domestic partners, neighbours and health professionals should be consulted. Concerns raised by the public should be acted on and the police should be more prepared to revoke and refuse licences.

The proposed new Crimestoppers’ gun hotline may provide a channel for information about gun owners’ behaviour if people know about it. If it is to be successful the police will have to respond to the intelligence adequately and the phone line will have to be properly marketed to the general public."




Gun Deaths 2012-13


Published 11 March 2013

  • 87 deaths were reported, including 45 deaths that were apparently self inflicted

  • In at least 51% of all gun deaths the weapon used was a shotgun; at least 64% of self-inflicted deaths involved a shotgun

  • 77% of female gun victims were killed in domestic incidents by a partner or family member

  • 31% of all gun homicide victims were murdered in domestic incidents



Data compiled from British media reports for incidents in England, Scotland and Wales from 1 January 2012 to 11 March 2013



Firearms Crime in England and Wales Fall Eighth Consecutive Year


Annual Total of Firearms Offences in England and Wales

If you experience any gun crime contact your local police force

or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111


If you have any concerns about gun ownership and use please write to us at:

It helps us to know why you are interested in gun control and, if appropriate,

 the institution or group you represent

If you, your family or friends have been affected by gun violence, or have particular issues with guns or gun culture please contact Infer Trust.  Infer Trust is a National Registered Charity which raises awareness of public health and safety issues, with particular reference to use of firearms and imitation guns etc. The Trust offers support, advice and networking opportunities to those affected.


If you are young you can also visit the website of The Kids Taskforce Charitable Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing information to young people on how to stay safe



GCN Press Releases and Comment

Gun Deaths in 2010

Home Affairs Committee Report on Firearms Control Published

GCN's Evidence to Home Affairs Committee;

Supplementary Evidence

Licensed Gun Owner Kills 12 People - June 2010

Cats Continue to be Targeted in Airgun Attacks - May 2010

Young Britons' Foundation and Liberal Gun Laws - March 2010

Gun Crime Figures - February 2010

> View Other Recent Press Releases

Latest Statistics


Gun Ownership in England and Wales

Home Office data given on The Guardian Website provide details of the number of legally-held guns in each police area in England and Wales


  Update for England & Wales (excludes Airgun Crime)


Annual Figures for England & Wales (include Airgun Crime)

> see Comment


Gun Offences Decrease in Scotland


Data Released in Parliamentary Answers: Court Proceedings - Imitation and Air Weapons, Hospital Admissions, Firearms Crime per 100,000 Population, UK Gun Deaths, Misappropriated Firearms


Gun Homicide Rates by Country

(graph shows how much lower gun homicide is in Britain in comparison with most other countries)

 International Comparisons Updated

What Can You Do?

Issues Raised by Correspondents to GCN

Cats Killed but Police Seem Unable to Act ● Neighbours using Airguns ●

Teenage Son is left a Tetraplegic as a Result of Airgun Shooting ●

The Long Term Effects of Gun Crime on a Victim


What Happens to Guns when an Owner Dies ● Gun Sales in a Toy Shop ● Inadequate Responses to Gun Incidents ● Access to Guns by Unfit Persons


 Pet Owners Factsheet

GCN receives e-mails from pet owners whose animals have been shot with guns, usually air weapons.  The factsheet provides some practical advice.


> See GCN Comment on Cat Shootings


Guns in Advertising


GCN was very saddened to learn of the death of Janice Collins.  Following the murder of her son Brendon Lawrence who was shot dead in St Ann's, Nottingham, in 2002 Janice became a tireless campaigner against gun crime.  She was a key member of Mothers Against Guns and ensured that the voice of the families of gun crime victims did not go unheard.  There are tributes to Janice in an article in the Nottingham Post.  We offer our sympathy to all her family and friends.


Other Campaigns and Activities

> Hampshire Police FAKE Campaign


> Winnenden Families' Campaign

Families of students and teachers killed in a school shooting at a school in Winnenden in March 2009 are campaigning for stricter gun laws in Germany



Violent Crime Reduction Bill

Parents of Airgun Victims Write to MPs


Last updated Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Bookmark and Share



This Website outlines our aims - which are simple - and the ways in which you can help.

The role of GCN is not to convince people that guns are dangerous. Sensible people know that already.


Our job is to ensure that public safety remains the priority in all matters of gun licensing and legislation. Owning a gun is a privilege to be earned, not a right to be claimed. There are still too many unsuitable people owning guns.

On the website you'll find details of our campaigns, the activities of other groups, firearms statistics, lists of gun incidents and GCN comment.

Our job is to persuade the law-makers that they must listen to the majority, and not be swayed by the narrow sectional interests of the shooters.


In putting forward our views we have had to contend with hostility from the shooting fraternity for whom it is anathema to advocate controls over the possession of lethal guns (click here for examples).