The Snowdrop Campaign was founded after the Dunblane Massacre in Stirling, Scotland in March 1996 to call for a total ban on the private ownership and use of handguns in the United Kingdom. Founded by friends of the bereaved families and so called because March is snowdrop time in Scotland, according to the Daily Mirror it gained over 50,000 signatures to a petition in 6 weeks, however 750,000 signatures were gathered in reality..
The ownership of full bore (over .22 rimfire calibre) pistols was banned by the existing conservative government under John Major.
New ban proposal
Following presentation of the petition and a speech by one of the founders, Ann Pearston, to the 1996 Labour Party conference, the new Labour government of Tony Blair introduced the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, which further banned the private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns, regardless of calibre, including private ownership of .22 rimfire handguns.