When was the last mass school shooting in the UK? Everything to know as gunman kills 17 in Florida, US

The US is once again reeling after yet another mass shooting at one of its schools.

A total of 17 people have been confirmed dead after a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Wednesday.

Teachers and pupils faced over an hour of chaos as the gunman – now named as Nicholas Cruz, 19 – was loose on the premises on Valentine’s Day.

Celebrities and politicians have shared their shock and condolences at the tragedy, including president Donald Trump.

The billionaire businessman tweeted:  “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

Trump’s words only sparked a volatile reaction from the public, with many calling on him to implement new gun laws following yet another mass shooting.

There have been a total of eight shootings in schools across the US since January. This figure is opposed to zero in the UK in the last 20 years.

But when was the last mass school shooting in the UK? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Dunblane massacre

The last mass shooting in a UK school took place in the town of Dunblane, Scotland in 1996.

A total of 16 young children and their teacher sadly lost their lives when gunman Thomas Hamilton strolled on to the premises of Dunblane Primary School on the morning of March 13.

Hamilton was carrying four handguns and 743 rounds of ammunition when he opened fired during a P.E. class in the school gym.

After claiming 16 lives and injuring a further 17, Hamilton turned a gun on himself before the authorities could arrive.

No motive was ever confirmed, though it’s believed that Hamilton held a grudge against the community after being sacked as a leader of the Boy Scouts.

There were also reports that he had been rejected for a volunteer role at the school.


The massacre is notable for being the driving force behind the UK’s super strict modern day gun laws.

An anti-gun movement – called the Snowdrop Campaign – gathered huge momentum in the months that followed, with a petition gathering over 750,000 signatures.

The public outcry led to the government banning all cartridge ammunition handguns with the exception of .22 calibre single-shot weapons in England, Scotland and Wales under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997.

Later that year the act was amended to include the remaining .22 cartridge handguns as well.

Upon rising to fame, tennis star Andy Murray would reveal that he and his brother Jamie were in the school at the time of the attack. 

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