Shooting’s popularity in the UK is growing. Following a significant downturn in certificate numbers after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, both gun owner numbers and gun numbers have been growing. 

There are 1.35 million licensed shotguns in the UK as at 31 March 2017; an increase of 1% compared with the previous year. With 560,000 shotgun certificate holders, that’s 2.4 shotguns per certificate holder, and around 1 shotgun owner per 64 members of the public.

There are also 560,000 firearms (covered by firearm certificates) as at 31 March 2017; an increase of 4% compared with the previous year. These are in the hands of 155,000 firearm certificate holders as at 31 March 2017; an increase of 1% compared with the previous year. That’s 3.6 rifles per certificate holder.

By comparison, in the US, 3 per cent of the population own half of the country’s 265 million guns.

Here is the original story and here is the Office for National Statistics’ press release.

Shooting sports’ popularity grows in the UK