Firearms Act 1920

The Firearms Bill 1919 was put before Parliament then went on to be signed into law as the Firearms Act 1920. Subsequent firearms acts are more oppressive. They tried it on. They got away with it so they tightened the screw. Politicians like power, like control. It was an era when government power was increasing. The Sullivan Act was passed by a career criminal in New York to disarm victims. Prohibition also began in 1920 on a wave of self righteous hyperbole. That was a failure that lasted until 1933.

His Majesty's Government decided that we, the people of England are the Enemy Within. They used the Blackwell Report as their rationale in secret. In public they claimed that it was about crime. It is about power.
They lied in Parliament. It is there in  Hansard.

Addendum: The end of the First World War in 1918 led to turbulence, which has now been written up, making it easier to see ugly possibilities. The assumptions about Bolshevik influence were misplaced. That didn't lead to the Act's revocation. Politicians prefer power to liberty.

The Firearms Act 1920
This is the offending Act direct from source.

 

Firearms Act 1920 Explained
Jan Stevenson, the editor of The Handgunner puts the whole thing in context.

by Jan A. Stevenson
Most people of retirement age, though they may not realise it, were born at a time when there was no firearms legislation to speak of in this country. Nor had there ever been, for the first Firearms Act of any substance was that of 1920. The 1920 Act was a comprehensive one and gave Britain an extensive set of controls that has rarely been exceeded in a democratic society.

Subsequent enactments put more flesh on the bones but the structure of controls that the government of the day devised serves [ sic ] us still.

From the point of view of social history, as recent research has made clear, the 1920 Act is a particularly important document. It marks a profound shift - indeed a reversal - of the British state's attitude towards it citizens. In 1900 the Prime Minister said he would "laud the day when there was a rifle in every cottage in England." The |Lord Mayor hosted a meeting at Mansion House attended among others by the Duke of Westminster, the Archbishop of York and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool with the purpose of founding a,

Society of Working Men's Rifle Clubs, for facilitating rifle shooting, more especially in the evening with small bore rifle and inexpensive ammunition, as ordinary branch of recreation by working men's clubs and working boys' clubs and institutions.

The Duke of Norfolk undertook to chair the new  Association while Lord Roberts, then Commander-in-Chief had agreed to accept the presidency on his retirement from the Army.


"A rifle in every cottage....." Lord Salisbury and his Committee of National Defence contemplate a map of South Africa, where a few thousand farmers had seen off Europe's proudest professional army. How would England have fared in their place? Standing (from left) G.J. Goschen, the Marquis of Lansdowne and the Duke of Devonshire. Seated Lord Salisbury (Prime Minister for 13.5 years) and his nephew, A.J. Balfour, who succeeded him in 1903.
[ Picture missing ]

According to The Times:

the scheme would be a co-operative one, that is the gentlemen of the country would contribute to the funds, whilst the working men would be expected to join and make themselves efficient in the matter of rifle shooting

This was very different from the purpose of the 1920 Act which was precisely to ensure that working men would not be able to lay hands on a rifle or make themselves proficient in its use. It was not deemed politic, however to say so, and the bill was put through as a crime prevention measure. Its progress though Parliament had been very carefully prepared and it encountered very little opposition.

Police Superintendent Colin Greenwood who, as a Cropwood Fellow at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, during 1970-71 recalls how baffled he had been by the motivation of the 1920 Act.

Sir Nevil Macready, Commissioner of Police, arranged for nationwide stockpiling so that Tory sympathisers could be issued with arms. Registration lists would facilitate confiscation of those in other hands.
Sir Gordon Nevil Macready, 2nd Bt
The right man?

Firearms Act 1920 

 

There are more and better details at:-
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/freelife/flhtm/fl26bots.htm           

 

The Camp Of The Saints 
Tells us why we need weapons of our own.

 

Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

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Updated  on Saturday, 18 February 2017 18:18:18