The potential economic cost of UK firearms bans

Recently a supporter raised the question of the economic benefits to the UK if our firearms legislation were not so draconian. It is a very good point and something I, myself have often wondered so I have decided why not try and take a rough look at what the economic impact, if any these bans have potentially had.

Now I have assumed a figure of 60,000 Self Loading Rifle Owners and Pistol owners. This may perhaps be a little high but it is to take into account the potential growth I understand both these demographics were having when they were suddenly and disgracefully banned. They of course could be higher, they could be lower

I have taken that these 60,000 people to own 3 Pistols and 3 Self-Loading Rifles, I have tried to look at US prices and where appropriate mark it up to take into account UK prices being inflated. Again some owners may own more, some less. With perhaps more of the UKs current FAC holders owning at least 1 pistol or SLR.

The Firearms I selected are:

Pistols                         Cost                 Self-Loading Rifles                  Cost
Browning Buck Mark     £300                       S+W MP15 .223                                 £800
Browning Hi Power         £900                       FN FAL .308                                      £1,000
Beretta 92                           £700                       AK47 Variant  7.62×39                    £800

Total Cost £1,900                                              Total Cost £2,600

For the annual ammunition consumption I have taken a figure of 1,000 rounds, depending on calibre this may be higher for some and lower for others so  I hope this balances out. I obtained ammunition prices from a UK supplier website

Calibre                 Cost/1000
.22 RF                    £110
9x19mm               £250
.223 Rem             £440
.308 Win              £550
7.62×39                 £550

Now If 60,000 FAC holders purchase 3 pistols and 3 Self Loading Rifles that would give the approximate figures of

£114,000,000 for pistol purchases and £156,000,000 for Self-Loading Rifle purchases. These purchases are considered one offs and is intended as an average.

Now to look at ammunition purchases

Total Rifle Ammunition Purchases: £550 + £550+ £440= £1,540 per annum per person

Total Pistol Ammunition Purchases: £250 + £110= £360 Per annum per person

Now this is where it starts to get interesting(Labour MPs and socialists please note that the lower costs of pistol shooting might have been why it was popular with the working classes you are supposed to represent)……

For 60,000 FAC holders
Total Annual Rifle Ammunition purchases= £1,540 x 60,000 = £92,400,000 Per Annum
Total Annual Pistol Ammunition Purchases = £360 x 60,000 =£21,600,000 Per Annum

Approximate Sales lost due to 30 year SLR ban = £92,400,000 x 30 = £2,772,000,000
Approximate sales lost due to 20 Year Pistol ban = £21,600,000 x 20 = £432,000,000

Taking VAT as 20%
V.A.T losses on ammunition for 30 years of SLR ban = £2,772,000,000 x.2= £554,400,000
V.A.T Losses on ammunition for 20 years of Pistol Ammo =£432,000,000x.2 £86,400,000

V.A.T Loses on one off Rifle Sales = £156,000,000 x .2 = £31,200,000
V.A.T Losses on one of pistol sales = £114,000,000 x .2 =£22,800,000

Total V.A.T revenue lost = £694,800,000!!

This would be enough to start approximately:

27,700 Police officers
30,200 Nurses
8,000 Doctors

Or build:

 7 hospitals
23 Schools

This of course does not consider sales of optics, cleaning products, accessories, repairs, or the potential for people to be employed in the firearms industry etc. Not to mention the social effect on clubs shutting down, people losing their hobby and careers, effects on local economies or the additional taxes and rates paid by businesses, imports etc.

All these benefits to the UK would have been acheived simply by having reasonable laws, at no risk to UK public safety. In fact rolling back some of our laws may actually improve public safety for several reasons, including freeing up police resources and allowing more cash into the economy to tackle real issues.

Anti-gunners amongst you might say this is a small price to keep us safe, but the simple fact is there is no evidence to show strict firearms legislation keeps you safer, in many cases it may actually have the opposite effect. After the UK handgun ban, handgun crime and homicide doubled and has never reached zero. The rare spree killings in the UK were the result of police forces failing to enforce the law at the time. There have been periods when the UK has had very little gun control and we never had issues with gun violence. Violence in the UK appears to have increased despite tougher regulations for people that obey laws.

Gun violence, violent crime and terrorism have their root causes in other areas, areas that are not tackled by politicians because they are difficult and instead exploit public fear and ignorance and go after legal gun owners to be seen to be doing something about crime.

Please note this is a very rough outline of what potentially has been lost. I encourage debate of my figures and alternative opinions. There may be variables I have not considered and I welcome scrutiny to further improve the accuracy of our discussion.

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