UK Gangs In "Arms Race" Despite Gun Control Laws

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

The UK has some tough gun control laws. They’re among the toughest in the world, in fact.

Here in the US, many people think we would do well to mimic the UK’s laws. After all, these anti-Second Amendment types argue, the UK is a much safer nation than we are.

Of course, that ignores differences in crime reporting and even profound cultural differences between the two nations.

It also ignores that the UK ain’t as safe as some would like for you to believe.

A former undercover cop who snared members of the Burger Bar Boys has warned violent gangs are in an “arms race” to control the West Midlands’ illegal drugs trade.

Neil Woods, now a campaigner to legalise recreational drugs for rehabilitation benefits, said criminals are willing to use “extreme violence” to gain an upper hand on their competitors.

That includes “importing” illegal firearms from places like the “Balkans” region of south eastern Europe onto the streets of the West Midlands, ready for combat.

And he warned violence could spill out into rural towns like Shrewsbury and Hereford, where ‘gangs from Birmingham and Liverpool are battling it out for territory in county lines dealing’.

It comes as an FOI by Birmingham Live revealed West Midlands Police seized machine guns and sawn off shotguns from criminals in the past two years, including those in the Black Country.

Mr Woods said the sole reason criminals are arming themselves is to control the drugs black market – as he called on the Government to legalise recreational drugs, branding addiction a “health issue”.

He told Birmingham Live: “Competition in illicit drug markets are the driver for gun ownership and gun violence. There’s isn’t anything else driving it.

But here I thought that the UK’s gun laws were so strict that there wasn’t any chance of this happening?

More seriously, let’s remember that the UK has every advantage when it comes to enforcing gun control in the first place. They’re an island nation, which means many goods are imported via ship or plane. Those aren’t really great ways to smuggle in a lot of illicit goods like guns.

Road travel is possible, but really only via one route, which reduces the amount of illicit cargo that can be transported into the nation without detection.

And yet, guns are supposedly coming in from the Balkans. Not just the semi-autos that might otherwise be legal–you know, the kind American criminals content themselves with in the vast majority of instances–but actual machine guns.

It seems that when criminals can’t get guns domestically, they reach out and get guns from elsewhere…and those guns might be a fair bit nastier than what they would have otherwise ended up with. The Law of Unintended Consequences is a thing, folks, and it’s something people would do well to remember.

They’d also do well to remember that criminal groups don’t obey laws. As such, they have no qualms about importing illegal weapons into the country so they can have the firepower to deal with their enemies. If they can’t get guns domestically, they’ll get even bigger guns from elsewhere and they won’t lose a moment’s sleep about breaking those laws.