On This Day: Dunblane massacre

The Queen with the Princess Royal lays flowers at Dunblane School (PA)

March 13, 1996: Tragedy struck in a close-knit Scottish community when 16 children and their teacher were gunned down at a school in Dunblane.

Killer Thomas Hamilton burst into Dunblane Primary School's gym as pupils aged five and six were beginning a PE class with their teacher, Gwen Mayor.

Hamilton, 43, sprayed bullets at random around the school gym for three minutes before turning the gun on himself.

Hamilton was a local man who had once been a scout master before being sacked by the Scout Association.


The police had investigated him after they received complaints about his behaviour around young boys, but an inquiry concluded his actions on the day of the shooting could not have been predicted.

Hamilton had licences for six guns and a huge campaign was launched after Dunblane for tighter gun controls in the UK.

In 1997 the Snowdrop Campaign forced a change in the law, making it illegal to buy or possess a handgun.


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