Boris Johnson handgun quote is real

25 March 2021
What was claimed

Responding to new laws banning handguns in the wake of the Dunblane Massacre, Boris Johnson wrote “Nanny is confiscating their toys. It is like one of those vast Indian programmes of compulsory vasectomy.”

Our verdict

True.

A post on Facebook claims that in the wake of the Dunblane Massacre and calls for the government to ban handguns that followed, then-journalist Boris Johnson wrote: “Nanny is confiscating their toys. It is like one of those vast Indian programmes of compulsory vasectomy.”

While fake quotes attributed to the Prime Minister are popular on social media, this one is genuine. 

It’s unclear where and when exactly the article first appeared, but it was published or republished in the Canadian newspaper, the Calgary Herald in September 1997 and is credited to Boris Johnson and The Telegraph. 

On 13 March 1996, a gunman murdered 16 children and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling in Scotland, before killing himself.

Parliament subsequently passed legislation banning the private ownership of handguns in most cases, and offered payment to people who voluntarily surrendered their guns.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as true because the quote is real.

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