FIREARMS CERTIFICATE MENTOR

David Frost

I would advise anyone considering acting as a mentor to think very carefully about the responsibility involved.

You will, no doubt, be asked to provide a written report at some stage to the effect that your friend can use the rifle in a safe manner and is not likely to be a threat to public safety or the peace.

No doubt your friend is a reliable and sensible individual as most of us are.

However, picture what might happen if things subsequently go wrong as they have sadly done in recent years in such cases as Bird, Hope and Atherton.

There will be an inquest and the first thing the coroner will wish to know is why a certificate was granted. You will have been part of that grant process by virtue of declaring your friend a suitable person to shoot unescorted.

You would likely have to appear in court to give evidence and the police may well use your original letter as justification for heaping at least part of the blame on you.

They’ll certainly be keen to ensure as little as possible sticks to them.

Mentoring is not a legal requirement, there is no evidence to show it increases public safety, it is not recommended by the Home Office or ACPO nor is it supported by the main shooting organisations.