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On the Road to Permissiveness?Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe$
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Christoph Knill, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743989.001.0001

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on target for authority?

(p.183) 10 Handguns
On the Road to Permissiveness?

Steffen Hurka

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares the changing styles of regulating handguns in nineteen European countries between 1960 and 2010. The past decades have been characterized by a remarkably homogeneous cross-national development towards more restrictive firearm regulation for handgun owners and, to a lesser extent, more severe sanctions for illegal handgun possession. While some of those gun policy developments were the result of international harmonization efforts within the EU, many other movements towards authority in gun control were motivated by sudden and disruptive moral shocks in the wake of rampage shootings. While states have often responded to such shocks by transmitting public pressure towards more authoritarian styles of regulating handguns, a few others have managed to completely absorb their shocks. In order to learn more about the factors that drive both types of reactions, the chapter analyses the political processing of rampage shootings in Great Britain (Dunblane), Germany (Erfurt), and Switzerland (Zug).

Keywords:   gun control, gun policy, firearm regulation, handguns, rampage shooting

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