Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

UK Judges Revive Right to Self-Defense

Friday, September 28, 2012

When British couple Andy and Tracey Ferrie were arrested in early September on "suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm," after using a registered shotgun to fight off a pair of home invaders, self-defense proponents in the U.S. and across the pond feared the worst. After all, in the U.K. the right to self-defense has been degraded into near non-existence; made apparent by the infamous case of farmer Tony Martin and incidents like that of British TV personality Myleene Klass. However, in a rare bout of sanity, U.K. officials have dropped all charges against the Ferries and sent a warning to would-be criminals, in what will hopefully serve as a blueprint for how such cases are handled in the future.

The incident took place in the early morning at the Ferries' secluded cottage, after the couple was awakened by the sound of breaking glass. To defend themselves, Mr. Ferrie retrieved his wife's clay shotgun, while Mrs. Ferrie picked up a nearby crowbar. When the Ferries encountered intruders Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell, Mr. Ferrie fired, wounding both criminals. It was at least the fourth time burglars have broken into the Ferrie residence. Records reveal O'Gorman to have 16 previous criminal convictions, while Mansell has eight, including a conviction for wounding with intent that landed him a six-year sentence.

Following their arrest, the couple spent 66 hours in police custody. Mr. Ferrie told the media that police threatened him with an attempted murder charge, adding, "I just crumpled. I saw myself being sent to prison for a long, long time. I was offered food but didn't eat for the whole 66 hours we were held." Mrs. Ferrie described the scene around her home as "something out of CSI." And Mrs. Ferrie's mother summed up the ordeal by stating, "They put Tracey and Andrew through hell." The couple was finally released without charges after mounting public outcry that included a defense from the couple's Member of Parliament, Alan Duncan.

Further vindication came September 26, when the wounded home invaders pleaded guilty to burglary and were sentenced to four years in prison. Presiding over the case was Judge Michael Pert QC, who rejected attempts by O'Gorman's attorney to obtain leniency for his client by citing O'Gorman's "near-death experience." Judge Pert remarked, "If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it," adding, "Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma."

The comments were followed by those of the head of the English judiciary, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, who made clear, "If your home is burgled and you're in there, you have the right to get rid of the burglar." The Lord Chief Justice added, "The householder is entitled to use reasonable force to get rid of the burglar… In measuring whether the force is reasonable or not, you're not doing a paper exercise six months later… You've got to put yourself in the position of the man or woman who has reacted to the presence of a burglar and has reacted with fury, with anxiety, with fear and with all the various different emotions which have been generated and has no time for calm reflection." And in a nod to England's classical liberal past, the Lord Chief Justice cited Sir Edward Coke, stating, "A predecessor of mine 400 years ago... said, 'Your home is your castle.'"

Unfortunately, this rediscovery of English values hasn't spread across the whole of society. Two weeks before the Lord Chief Justice's statements, Judge Peter Bowers made headlines after he remarked "It takes a huge amount of courage as far as I can see for someone to burgle somebody's house," before letting a convicted burglar go free. And Gill Marshall-Andrews of the Gun Control Network criticized the Lord Chief Justice, lamenting that his comments would "encourage people to use their guns for self defense which wasn't the purpose for which licenses are granted."

Marshall-Andrews has a point. Now that the Lord Chief Justice has made clear U.K. citizens have a right to self-defense, the U.K. should allow them easier access to the means to exercise that right. Such a change might seem like common sense to Americans, but we should welcome any minor step towards sanity by U.K. officials.

IN THIS ARTICLE
U.K. Self Defense
TRENDING NOW
Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

The NRA has received copies of what are reported to be draft ordinances being considered by the Pittsburgh City Council to enact sweeping gun control measures within the city.

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

In a November 30 tweet, Tom Arnold, famous for being married to Roseanne Barr and making a few really bad movies, has proven that he knows nothing about guns, gun owners or firearm misuse.

Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

In a recent piece for the Bangor Daily News ironically titled, “Why banning handguns makes sense,” Associate University of Maine Electrical Engineering Professor George Elliott struggled to argue why the tools of self-defense have no ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

While the New Mexico Legislature will not convene for its 60-day Regular Session until January 15, lawmakers can start prefiling bills on December 17. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.