After the most recent terror attack in the London Bridge area that left eight people dead and nearly 50 more injured, British activists are calling for looser gun laws. Advocacy groups are saying the British government has left citizens vulnerable by maintaining a restrictive stance on firearms ownership, especially in light of the recent events.
As reported by Vocativ, Dave Ewing, a representative from Firearms-UK, a gun ownership advocacy group, said, “These tragedies may have been the eye opener to just how ineffective our laws are.”
Advocacy groups including Firearms-UK, Arm UK Citizens, England Wants Its Guns Back, and Legalise Guns in the UK, have taken to social media to make their perspectives heard regarding the strict legislation surrounding gun ownership in the UK and accusing the government of leaving citizens exposed to threats though the restrictions.
In a Facebook post after the London Bridge terror attack, Firearms-UK spoke regarding the fact that politicians have access to “24 hour armed body guards” while maintaining the “lie that firearms are not suitable for personal protection.”
Britain has some of the most restrictive gun laws in all of Europe. Assault rifles and handguns were banned after a 1996 school shooting that killed 15 children and a teacher. Additionally, background checks for other firearms were also heightened in response to the tragedy.
Illegal gun ownership in the UK is fairly low since the country does not have physical borders with any other nations.
Most British gun rights advocacy groups are asking that current laws be reformed to allow the use of firearms for self-defense while still allowing the government to maintain strict oversight regarding gun ownership, background checks, and mandatory weapons training requirements.
Unlike in the US, gun ownership in the UK is not protected by anything similar to the Second Amendment.
Discussing the difference in how Americans and Britons are instructed to respond to incidences, Firearms-UK posted on Facebook saying, “In the US you are advised to Run, hide FIGHT if you are attacked. In the UK it is run, hide, tell and this shows just how the authorities care so little for us. We are not running from school bullys, we are not all able to run or hide and might not have time to tell [sic]”
The above post was in response to British authorities instructing people in the area of the London Bridge terror attack to run, hide, and then call authorities.
Additional social media posts supporting the expansion of gun rights for UK citizens were also created by Americans, including on that said, “Ya’ll have what it takes, in admirable quantity, to prevail against these fanatics. Your government merely needs to stop throttling it to death.”