GCN Introduction

OUR MISSION

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

All our activities and objectives are predicated on the belief that the interests of public safety demand a reduction in the availability and attractiveness of firearms of all kinds.  No reasonable person doubts the fundamental connection between the number of guns there are in a society and the prevalence of gun homicide, suicide and accident.

Almost all guns start out legal and there is no clear demarcation between legal and illegal weapons.  Therefore what is needed is legislation to control the availability of legal weapons and law enforcement to control the illegal ones.

BACKGROUND

The Gun Control Network was established as a small non-profit making organisation in July 1996 in the aftermath of the Dunblane tragedy.  The founders included lawyers, academics and the parents of victims killed in Dunblane and Hungerford.  It was the first gun control organisation in the UK.

At the time, in 1987, of the massacre by Michael Ryan of 16 people in Hungerford there was no UK organisation campaigning for tighter gun laws and the shooting lobby succeeded in watering down much of the proposed new firearms legislation.  After the tragedy in Dunblane in 1996, when Thomas Hamilton gunned down 16 children and their teacher in the school gym, we were determined to ensure that the same thing didnít happen again.  The public demanded real change in the gun laws and they got it.  We now have a complete ban on handguns in this country and some of the strictest gun laws in the world.  This dramatic achievement, and others are outlined in the Achievements menu.

We are proud of these achievements but we are not complacent.  The shooting lobby is rich and powerful and determined to see the handgun ban reversed.  They will always oppose further restrictions on guns and will fight to get their handguns back.  They exert perpetual pressure to increase gun ownership and are particularly concerned to ensure that the next generation of shooters is on stream.

GCN is the one of the few countervailing forces against the gun lobby in the UK.  We will continue to work for a safer society where there are fewer guns and less gun violence.  There is still much to be done and our objectives are outlined in the Objectives menu.

GCN campaigns for its objectives in a variety of ways (see Strategy).   In particular we will work with gun control groups around the world and will disseminate information and research data about guns in the UK and elsewhere (see Facts and Research).

As with most voluntary organisations we are permanently in need of funds.  We run a part time office and depend upon grants and donations to keep it going (see Donations).

We also need people actively to promote gun control and keep the issue in the public domain.  We are particularly concerned to keep the politicians informed about the issue and to urge the government to include further gun legislation in their manifesto for the next election (see What you can do).  If you have support to offer or information to give we can be contacted at the address below.