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
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
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
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
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
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.