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“No one needs anything more than a 5-shot .22 Pistol”

“Only .22 pistols are used in the Olympics, so nothing else is necessary”

This type of statement is often made in jurisdictions across Europe and elsewhere, to “justify” severe restrictions on the types and numbers of pistols that may be owned by civilians.  These views often lead to major problems for lawful pistol shooters in such jurisdictions and are doing so today in the Republic of Ireland.  These problems are having to be resolved in Court.

The letter below entitled "To Whom it May Concern" is intended to explain the realities of the target pistol shooting world to judicial circles which, in the absence of such expert evidence, may simply accept as valid, statements such as those above.

"To Whom it May Concern".


National Shooting Association is pleased to announce a successful section 44 Firearms Appeal on the part of a well known Surrey Firearms Dealer and Gun Maker. The success of this appeal was due in no small measure to the combined excellent efforts of Mr Nicholas Hamblin, Barrister at law, and Mr Adrian Dagger, Solicitor.  N.S.A. can highly recommend the services of this winning team to anyone requiring legal services in the field of Firearms Law or any problem related to Firearms.

Mr Adrian Dagger's office, based in West Sussex, can be contacted on: 01293 403399

Full text of the 1968 Firearms Act.



Read the excellent dissertation by Guy Frazer Staniland on the subject of the 1997 Firearms Amendment Act. Well worth reading!


Human Rights and the Firearms Laws
Experiencing undue delays in the renewal or variation of your certificate? Click here to read a summary of the advice given to an A.C.P.O. licensing conference by Mark Scoggins, solicitor advocate. Read the House of Lords judgment cited by Mark Scoggins in his advice to A.C.P.O. Steed v. Home Office where Lord Slynn speaks of applications needing to be dealt with in a reasonable time.


Firearms Law - Guidance to the Police 2002
.....................this is a must have and must read for every secretary of every shooting club in the UK!. These are the guidelines drawn up by the Home Office concerning the administration and practice of the Firearms Acts.. Download a copy in PDF and keep it handy. Know what your obligations under UK firearms law are! Don't rely on someone else's word for it -
check for yourself !

Alternatively, a copy can be ordered from Amazon Books on:


New regulations applying to the approval of Civilian target shooting ranges!!

2006 Home Office Circular to all Chief Constables

Ranges used by civilian shooters have historically been inspected and certified by the military, hence the condition "...on any MOD approved range". Home Office and Scottish Executive approved clubs are required to have regular use of a range with a safety certificate, and a standard condition is included on firearm certificates for individual target shooters requiring them to shoot only on ranges with a safety certificate issued by the Ministry of Defence. This situation  has now changed.

Following an internal review, the military has ended its inspection and certification scheme for civilian ranges.  New arrangements now place the responsibility for safety on the range owner/operator. For a full description of the new approval, and third party insurance requirements click on the link to:
Home Office circular 031 / 2006


And from across the Pond..................
The recent ruling of the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. Heller, (see News page) confirmed the right to keep and bear arms as being an individual right not contingent upon being a member of a militia. Read the Amicus Brief of the Cato Institute and History Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm as Amici Curiae in support of the Respondent (Heller).  This briefing document is of particular interest because of what it says about the English tradition of bearing arms as being the origin, and antecedent, of the American Second Amendment.

"The English right to have and use arms belonged to individuals broadly, regardless of militia service"

(Amicus Curiae - friend of the Court, a disinterested adviser.)

For a glossary of the most common legal terms and words, click here.

Professor Malcolm has a particular interest in the history of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in both America and Britain, and has written a number of books and essays on the theme pointing out the antecedents of, and similarities between the two jurisdictions.

Guns and Violence: The English Experience,    Read a review of the book from Harvard University Press.

                                                                         Also read a review of the book from the von Mises Institute.

To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right     Read a review by Harvard University Press




As to the history of firearms restrictions in the U.K. read:




click here

An excellent essay by Joseph E. Olson and David B. Kopel of The Second Amendment Project. A must read for anyone who wants to understand how we in Britain have got to where we are today.

Professor Olson also submitted an Amicus Curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in the Heller case. Read Academics for the Second Amendment in support of the Respondent, Heller.

In the light of the Heller judgment, David B. Kopel has also written an essay called 'The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller's lesson for the World.  Well worth reading, click here to download and read


 Gun availability and use may be beneficial to an individual facing a criminal attack, but what effect, if any, would increased gun ownership and gun use for self-defence, have on general levels of criminal violence?

There is a widespread view, not only amongst policy-makers, but amongst the UK general public as well, that increased gun ownership will likely lead to increased violence.  This perception appears to be strengthened by the thought that ordinary members of the public might use guns for self-defence.  Stopping even authorised gun-owners from using their guns in self-defence is probably one of the reasons why the UK gun ownership permit procedure is both complex and restrictive. Are these worries justified?

 As is often the case, careful and unemotional research and analysis can throw light on even complex and emotional matters and, in the fullness of time, lead to better public policies.

Read:  Individual Rights v. Society by Derek Bernard