Well done BASC! They've told Leicestershire police to go back to the drawing board with their ludicrous plan for shooters to 'voluntarily' call in every time they're going shooting.
The police are suggesting that the scheme will reduce the number of false alarms when armed police response units have to check ‘sightings’ of people with guns.
BASC's John Swift said: “This is a half-baked idea that must be given much greater consideration."
I'd go further. This is a plain stupid idea which should be given no
further consideration. It would set a dangerous precedent, encouraging police to believe that we are shooting by their leave. It would also encourage them to turn out the full terrorist response to any shooter with the temerity to pot a rabbit without
asking their permission
notifying them first.
Do the cops actually have the first idea just how many people go out shooting, often unplanned and on the spur of the moment, every day (miraculously not causing murder, mayhem and terrorist incidents while they're at it)? Do they seriously want everyone to call in at 9am each day to say "I might spot a rabbit eating my cabbages at some point during the day, in which case I shall be sneaking out the back door with my air rifle, so don't send the helicopter after me"?
Shooting is a normal, legal, everyday activity in the countryside, carried out by responsible, law-abiding people. I don't see why I should have to call the plod and ask permission, any more than I should ask them if it's ok to drive my car down the road (cars are used by organised criminals and terrorists you know), dig a hole in the ground (could be burying a murder victim), make a phone call... you get the picture.
Innocent until proved guilty - remember?
In any case, it seems that calling the Leicestershire plod and warning them about your plans is pointless anyway. Val Worthington phoned to tell them about her cowboy-themed party in Castle Donington in February - and still got raided by a helicopter and four police cars! Story here...
A 'police spokesman' trotted out the tired old line: "We have a duty to treat all reports of firearms as genuine." Indeed you do, and you have a duty to maintain a sense of proportion, and not wet your pants every time you hear the word 'gun'.