The law relating to firearms in the British Isles
A summary of the operation of the gun laws in the British Isles and also a history of firearms regulation. Separate sections cover Great Britain, Guersey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
(Note: firearm laws are subject to frequent change and these summaries may not be accurate and are not exhaustive.)
“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty — so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator — and subject innocent persons to the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws makes things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.” – Cesare Beccaria, “On Crimes And Punishment”, 1764