The Dunblane school massacre occurred at Dunblane Primary School in the Scottish town of Dunblane on 13 March 1996. The gunman, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton (b. 10 May 1952), entered the school armed with four handguns, shooting and killing sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide. Along with the 1987 Hungerford massacre and the 2010 Cumbria shootings, it remains one of the deadliest criminal acts involving firearms in the history of the United Kingdom.
Public debate subsequent to these events centred on gun control laws, including public petitions calling for a ban on private ownership of handguns and an official enquiry, the Cullen Report. In response to this debate, the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 were enacted, which effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom.
On 13 March 1996, unemployed former shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton (born Thomas Watt, Jr. 10 May 1952) walked into Dunblane Primary School armed with two 9 mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolvers, all legally held. He was carrying 743 cartridges, and fired his weapons 109 times. The subsequent police investigation revealed that Hamilton had loaded the magazines for his Browning with an alternating combination of full-metal-jacket and hollow-point ammunition.