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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78748 Find in a Library
Title: Firearms Use in Crime
Journal: Criminal Law Review  Dated:(December 1979)  Pages:765-774
Author(s): R Harding
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines how far the arguments and assumptions of the Green Paper, a document which sets the parameters of the firearms debate in Great Britain, were justified and whether they remain valid.
Abstract: The Green Paper was developed by the Home Office in 1973. It argued that the extent of firearms use in crime is growing, that the extent of shotgun use in crime is increasing, that legal controls should be imposed to make firearms acquisition difficult, and that all citizens should be subject to regulation and restriction concerning firearms ownership and use. Analysis of crime statistics, however, reveals that the basic arguments of the Green Paper are now questionable. At the present time, the use of firearms in serious crime in England should not be regarded as excessive or alarming. Insofar as firearms use in crime can be said to be increasing, it is doing so only as a function of the reasonably slow increase in serious crimes of violence. There does appear to be some shift towards the use of shotguns rather than other firearms. The passage and attempted enforcement of laws prohibiting or further curtailing the private ownership either of firearms generally or of any particular kind of firearm would be unlikely to affect the use of guns in crime. It is hoped that the use of firearms in crime can be held in check; nevertheless, the facts do not justify overreaction to the problem. The article includes 32 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Firearms; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Law reform; Violent crimes; Weapons violations
Note: This article was originally presented at a public seminar at the University of Oxford, Centre for Criminological Research.
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