Saturday 6 October 2007

Back door law

We've mentioned in the magazine that police forces seem to be trying to tighten the law on firearms by the back door.

Basically, if you apply for a new FAC, or a variation for a new calibre rifle, you may find a new condition appearing on your certificate - requiring you to be "supervised" by an experienced shooter.

That condition was never intended by parliament, and it's not even in the Home Office guidelines, but if we don't watch out it will become standard practice - putting another obstacle in the way of people taking up the sport.

Here's a letter we received recently from a reader:

Having spent most of my adult life serving in the army I was trained to do many things including qualifying to be a Skill At Arms Instructor, (the guy who teaches soldiers how to safely and effectively use many types of weapons). Imagine my surprise when the local police support office explained that because I'd only got a rimfired.22 Brno on my certificate that I would need to be supervised when shooting my new Steyr Mannlicher 308 (NATO 7.62), a round I'd fired for more than two thirds of my career.

Having asked around one of my mates offered to help out having shot locally for a good few years, the plastic copper was more than happy to have a 22 year old teach me how to handle "Such a powerful weapon."

The point is I now have to bug him every time I get a problem with deer stripping the tops off my newly planted woodland, taking him away from important work he's trying to do on his own land, just to satisfy some pen pushers whim.
All I can say is thank God for good mates in the shooting fraternity.


P Andrews

If you find your local force are trying to impose a similar condition on you, contact BASC for advice (assuming you're a member - and if you're not you should be!).

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