The Corner

Re: All Restrictions Are Reasonable

That view of gun rights is, of course, the British one. The Declaration of Right 1688 (which cannot be repealed by Parliament) said quite clearly,

That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

(James II had restricted the right of Protestants, but not Catholics, to bear arms — hence the Protestant wording, before anyone quibbles). Beginning in 1920, however, out of fear of an armed Bolshevik uprising, Parliament began to impose restrictions defining “as allowed by law,” such that now it is virtually impossible for a British subject to own arms for the purpose of “their defence.” Judicial activism played its part too, such that the distinction between offensive and defensive weapon ceased to exist. Joyce Lee Malcolm has catalogued this process. All perfectly legal and above board, however.

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