Colin Greenwood, former Chief Inspector of the West Yorkshire Constabulary and now editor of Guns Review, in his definitive study Firearms Control summarises the legal situation with regard to firearms in 1900:
The legislation of the 1960s, which gave Britain the strictest firearms control in the western world, was in Greenwood's
view the result partly of a political trade-off with the abolition of the death penalty, partly based on ignorance of facts and misinterpretation of data connected with firearms and crime.
In 1972, in the only academic study ever made of British firearms legislation and its effects, Greenwood
showed that none of the legislation had been based on proper research, and that all if it had been a complete failure in controlling the criminal use of firearms, which had increased often dramatically - after every act of firearms control.