Following the 1996 Dunblane school massacre, in which seventeen people were killed by a man armed with two 9mm pistols, Britain passed a law outlawing the ownership of most handguns, despite researchers finding "no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession." It's a law so severe that the Britain's Olympic shooting team is forced to train abroad, lest one of its members try to shoot up a grammar school. So how effective has the law been? A doubling in gun-related crimes since the ban, naturally. The London Times on the spate of gun crime in Merseyside:
Senior police officers have been warning for several months that a growing number of teenagers in big cities are becoming involved in gun crime.
The age of victims and suspects has fallen over the past three years as the availability of firearms in some cities has risen. Liverpool and Manchester are the cities where illegal guns are most readily available, with criminals claiming that some weapons are being smuggled from Ireland. Sawn-off shotguns are now being sold for as little as £50, and handguns for £150.
Despite a ban on handguns introduced in 1997 after 16 children and their teacher were shot dead in the Dunblane massacre the previous year, their use in crimes has almost doubled to reach 4,671 in 2005-06. Official figures show that although Britain has some of the toughest anti-gun laws in the world, firearm use in crime has risen steadily. This year eight young people have been killed in gun attacks: six in London and one each in Manchester and Liverpool.
According to the Times, Merseyside alone has seen 552 "gun crime incidents" this year, but, miraculously, only 8 murders.
In 2002, Prof. Joyce Lee Malcolm looked at the British gun ban and its failure to reduce levels of violent crime.