Gun crime has almost doubled since Labour came to power as a culture of extreme gang violence has taken hold.
The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year – a rise of 89 per cent.
In some parts of the country, the number of offences has increased more than five-fold.
In eighteen police areas, gun crime at least doubled.
The statistic will fuel fears that the police are struggling to contain gang-related violence, in which the carrying of a firearm has become increasingly common place.
Meanwhile, in the United States where gun ownership and concealed carry are extremely common, violent crime rates are falling.