Credit: Vladimir Dudak/wikicommonsCredit: Vladimir Dudak/wikicommonsA British court has heard that an SAS sniper who was given a jail sentence for illegally owning a Glock was pressured into pleading guilty by an army judge.

Sgt Danny Nightingale admitted that he had a 9mm Glock pistol and 338 rounds of ammunition in a court martial. Nightengale was given an 18-month sentence, although he was released early. The pistol was a gift that Nightengale received in Iraq. From The London Evening Standard:

The SAS sniper jailed for illegally having a pistol and ammunition was forced into pleading guilty by his court martial judge, the Appeal Court heard today.

Judge advocate Alistair McGrigor, who chaired the military board, put Sgt Danny Nightingale “under pressure” and “deprived him of a free choice,” the court was told.

The judge told the soldier’s then QC Ian Winter that Nightingale would get five years in a civilian prison if he denied the charges and was convicted. But if he pleaded guilty, there was a “very strong possibility” he would escape custody. 

Sgt Nightingale, 38, pleaded guilty but was jailed for 18 months in military detention in November last year.

He admitted illegally possessing a Glock 9mm pistol – given to him as a gift by overseas special forces he had trained – and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.

The U.K. has very strict gun laws, which Nick has discussed here.

A book on prohibitions edited by King's College London professor John Meadowcroft and published by my old stomping ground the Institute of Economic Affairs has a chapter on firearms with the following two graphs that suggest that the causal relationship between strict gun laws (like those in Australia and the U.K) and less homicides is not as easy to establish as some gun control advocates seem to think.  

Homicide trend in Australia compared to the U.S.:

Credit: "Prohibitions" Edited by John Meadowcroft, Published by the IEACredit: "Prohibitions" Edited by John Meadowcroft, Published by the IEA

Homicide rates in the U.S. compared with homicide rates in England and Wales:

Credit: "Prohibitions" Edited by John Meadowcroft, Published by the IEACredit: "Prohibitions" Edited by John Meadowcroft, Published by the IEA