BORIS Johnson likened the confiscation of handguns in the wake of the Dunblane massacre to “nanny confiscating toys” like model train sets and stamp collections, it has emerged.

In an article for a Canadian magazine in 1997, the future Prime Minister also compared the seizures to “one of those vast Indian programmes of compulsory vasectomy”.

He complained that an entire past-time was being “exterminated”, and said it was virtually "pointless".

The SNP said it showed he was “utterly unfit to lead the country".

Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 children and one teacher at Dunblane Primary near Stirling in March 1996 before killing himself in the deadliest mass shooting in British history.

READ MORE: Dunblane father: Boris Johnson is 'totally unsuitable' to be Prime Minister

It led to the outlawing of most private handguns.

In an article published in September 1997, Mr Johnson wrote about watching gun owners hand in their weapons to a police station in Maidenhead in Berkshire.

The article was unearthed by the pro-Labour Red Roar website.

He wrote: “The men - and they are virtually all men - come in two at a time. They have aluminium suitcases, safes, plastic bags and set expressions.

“Nanny is confiscating their toys. It is like one of those vast Indian programmes of compulsory vasectomy.

“It is as if the state had decided to round up all the model train sets or the stamp collections, an operation causing immense distress to thousands of innocent enthusiasts, and just about as pointless.

“Thanks to a sweeping ban on handguns introduced here in the wake of the Dunblane, Scotland, massacre of school children last year, law-abiding gun-owners are now handing over their weapons here at a rate of 50 to 60 a day.”

He went on: “An entire pastime will have been exterminated. Britain will be the only country in the world where it is forbidden to practise for an Olympic sport.

“The British taxpayers will have to cough up about one billion pounds in compensation; and still the shooters will receive 25 per cent less than the full value of any improvements to their weapons.”

He concluded: “It is no use the shooters protesting that this will do nothing about the myriad of illegal weapons, or legal shotguns; or that the existing law should have ensured that guns were taken away from Thomas Hamilton, the loner who killed 16 small children in a moment of madness at Dunblane last March.

“The owners of all the 160,000 handguns are penalized for the dementia of a couple of their number, and because no one, in the current climate, dare speak for them.”

There has been only one comparable mass shooting in Britain since the firearms reforms.

In 2010, Derrick Bird, a licensed firearms holder, killed 12 people and injured 11 others before killing himself in Cumbria.

Alyn Smith, the SNP candidate for Stirling, said: “The Dunblane massacre was a tragedy - and one that will never be forgotten by people in Scotland and across the world. 

“For Boris Johnson to liken that tragedy to sport is not only crass, but does huge damage to the victims and their families. 

"It's clearer than ever that Boris Johnson is utterly unfit to lead the country."

LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “We can only be thankful that the Government acted decisively to ban handguns after Dunblane.

"These comments hammer home once more that Boris Johnson is a deeply unserious politician, better suited to Trump’s Republican Party than the office of Prime Minister.”

The Scottish Tories and other parties have been asked for comment.