Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage called the UK ban on handguns "knee jerk legislation"

Nigel Farage has called for the handgun ban in the UK, imposed after the 1996 Dunblane massacre, to be lifted.

Speaking on a phone-in on the radio programme LBC 97.3, he called the law "ludicrous" and said that householders should be allowed to possess handguns if the weapon is kept at home in a box.

He said: "I think the knee-jerk legislation that Blair brought in that meant that the British Olympic pistol team have to go to France to even practice, was just crackers.

"And, if you criminalise handguns then only the criminals carry the guns.

"And, it's really interesting that since Blair brought that piece of law in, gun crime doubled in the next five years in this country.

"I think we need a proper gun licensing system which to a large extent we already have and I think the ban on hand guns is ludicrous."

A UK-wide ban on owning most handguns was introduced by John Major's Conservative government after the Dunblane shooting.

The incident, which occurred in 1996, saw Thomas Hamilton killed 16 primary school children and their teacher, Gwen Mayor, before shooting himself.

When Tony Blair came into power in 1997, he extended the ban to cover all handguns. It included the ones used in Olympic competitions.

On the radio programme, Farage was questioned over the various embarrassing incidents and remarks made by Ukip recently, such as David Silvester's statement that the flooding in the UK was caused by the legalisation of gay marriage.

He was also questioned over his own comment that women were "worth less" to employers than men.

Farage insisted all of those responsible for controversial comments used to be members of the Conservative party.

He also insisted the 2010 Ukip manifesto - which he denied knowledge of despite promoting it during the general election campaign - was "drivel".

Farage said he had already acknowledged that much of the manifesto was "nonsense" and Ukip had gone back to a "blank sheet of paper" to prepare for the 2015 election.