Friday 13 November 2009

Firearms law

With my coterminous firearms and shotgun certificates coming up for renewal shortly, I've been rushing round getting 8 identical passport photos, finding 2 upstanding members of the community to vouch for me, filling in all the forms with scrupulous accuracy, etc.

I've been fighting off the temptation to think 'the law is an ass' and 'no wonder criminals don't bother with all this form filling and just get their guns on the black market'. And then this comes along. A regular member of the public, an ex-soldier no less, finds a discarded gun in the street, does the decent thing and hands it in at the police station. And his thanks? He gets a criminal record, and is now facing 5 years in jail.

There is no flexibility written into our firearms legislation. Holding a gun without a certificate? You're guilty, end of. No defence of 'in the public interest', reasonable excuse or what-have-you. Of course we have to be tough on armed crime, but this sort of thing just makes the law look stupid.

I think I'll just double-check those forms before I send them off, all the same...


Cambridgeshire Pest Controller said...

Unfortunately James, although well meaning, the UK’s Firearms laws are farcical in many areas. The story you refer to only highlights them. I understand the possession of a Firearm is an offence for which, in law, there is no mitigation......but outside of this where is the common sense..!

Have our increasingly strict firearms laws reduced gun crime...I would hazard a guess that gun crime is actually one which is increasing in nature. The legitimate shooter becomes further bogged down in red tape at every turn in the licensing system whilst criminals can still gain free access to black market weapons. On top of this I seem to recall that the huge majority of crimes involving firearms are committed with non-legally held ones.

As the quote goes the Law is an ass.............

James Marchington said...

And here's a thing. A friend who works in a local bar overheard someone bragging that they're the new FEO for the area, that they don't think anyone should have a gun unless they're police or army, and he's 'successfully' taken the guns off several people already. I could be in for a bumpy ride!

Vicky said...

Can he last person out please turn off the light.

danontherock said...

Man oh man I am Canadian and I thought we had it bad. best of luck


Cambridgeshire Pest Controller said...

Hopefully another urban legend James.

Having said that I've often heard the phrase "use it or loose it", especially in relation to FAC rather than shotguns.

As a 'field' user only i.e not a target shooter, am I a less safe shooter as I may only fire 100 rounds a week rather than 1000 a weekend at a purpose built range facility?

And as for the Police being the only ones with Firearms- they wish!