The aim of this petition is to gather support for the adoption of clear stated policies in favour of armed self-defence and lawful firearm ownership to be integrated into the UK Independence Party manifesto.
It is apparent that UKIP wishes to present itself as representing those concerned with increasing restrictions on freedom, modelling itself as a libertarian alternative to the other Big Government parties. One of the most onerous restrictions in the UK is the overly restrictive legislation regarding legal ownership of weapons and their lawful use in defence of one's self and property. What good is the right to defend yourself when you have no effective means to do so with?
In the UK, carrying anything for the purpose of self-defence will result in arrest and prosecution as the item in question, even if not itself designed so, becomes an 'offensive weapon'. Currently the law abiding majority have no means to defend themselves against violent criminals who by their very nature will always arm themselves despite what new laws are put into place. The majority of European countries allow at least some types of personal defence weapon to carried for self defence. only 7 out of 27 EU states prohibit pepper spray, a popular means of self-defence for those at a physical disadvantage. Some countries employ a permit system to allow acquisition upon completion of a criminal background check and in some cases training classes while others simply require the individual to be over the age of 18 to purchase. The suggestions below are open to any means of prohibiting access by criminals and ensuring lawful use only. The aim is to give the vast law-abiding and currently defenceless majority a legal option to have the ability to defend themselves, as is present in almost every other country.
Below are some recommended suggestions for inclusion into party policy:
- Removal of non-lethal self-defence aids such as defensive pepper sprays, stun guns and pistols designed to fire rubber 'traumatic' projectiles and tear gas cartridges from current firearm legislation or transfered from their current status as 'prohibited weapons' to a new catagory allowing a means of lawful acquistion for the purpose of self-defence.
- Repeal the 1997 pistol ban. The UK is one of the only countries in the world to have a practical prohibition, forcing our Olympic pistol team to practice outside their home country. This draconian restriction has not affected gun crime, which rose dramatically in the years following.
- Add 'home defence' as a reason for obtaining a firearm certificate, as was the case 50 years ago. Burglars need to know that should they choose to break into another's home, there is a significant risk that the home owner may lawfully and effectively defend themselves and their property.
- Remove licence requirements for all muzzleloading firearms such as flintlock muskets. The majority of European countries treat these no different from other obsolete weapons such as crossbows. These are completely ignored by 21st century criminals despite their availability in most countries. Licensing them simply costs resources and puts needless bureaucratic hurdles in the way of those perusing valuable cultural & historical preservation activities such as living history and reenactments.
- Restore sentencing power to the courts. The current mandatory minimum 5 year sentence for illegal firearm possession has resulted in people who have innocently come into possession of antiques and souvenirs receiving harsher punishments than violent career criminals. Common sense and proportion should be the main focus of the UK's justice system.
Please show your support for the right of armed self-defence by signing and spreading this petition.