Britons have a lot of red tape and restrictions when it comes to owning firearms...
In Canada many of our gun laws are arbitrary, unnecessary and/or flat out illogical. However, compared to the UK and Australia, Canadian laws are quite liberal. There are no restrictions on how many firearms one can own nor does it matter the cartridges one owns. We can shoot (non-restricted weapons) on any crown land provided we are far enough away from a roadway.
We had for a few years what was called the long gun registry. However, our government had enough sense a few years back to recognize that this measure was costing tax payers billions (yes, billions) of dollars and (surprise surprise) it had no effect on violent crime committed with firearms. The law was punishing law-abiding citizens, and so the government scrapped the program.
The government is now working to pass a new bill called the "Commonsense Firearms Licensing Act" which reduces much of the red tape involved in owning and shooting non-resricted firearms (pistols and certain non-sporitng platforms) as well as removing the arbitrary and subjective power of the local CFO (Chief Firearms Officer). Since the RCMP are not the government, they've found themselves in hot water lately arbitrarily changing the status of certain firearms reclassifying them and and making criminals of their owners overnight. All in all, it seems over the last 5-6 years the government has made positive steps towards making it easier for law-abiding citizens to own and shoot firearms and the most recent oversteps by the RCMP have backed them into a corner.
We still have to pass a safety test and be licensed (which also means passing a screening process).
There are still laws regarding proper storage and transport safety.
What more do you need to prevent licensing criminals and/or having your firearms fall into the hands of criminals or young, educated individuals?
I just wanted to comment that I am proud of my UK friends that you all are working to change your situation. Don't give up. Canada is a great example of a country that has openly acknowledged that restrictive gun laws do not work when they are applied to legally purchased firearms by law abiding citizens. Every shred of data when properly analyzed substantiates this fact. When unelected officials started changing our laws we pushed back and it worked. Our country is moving in the right direction when it comes to firearms law. I'm all for reasonable measures, but reason and politicians are like hot oil and water.
Organize organize organize! This is the best way to make yourself heard. We have a National Firearms Association that has been instrumental in having these laws changed.
If you do have a proper organization that represents shooters in the UK please forward me the link as I would like to make a donation. I want my UK brothers and sisters to have the freedom I am afforded, which they are entitled to. It's not perfect in Canada, by any stretch of the imagination, but progress is progress no matter how small the step.