Your legal questions answered by shooting’s top legal experts

 

Where should I keep my gun cabinet keys safely?

On Sunday August 10 1997 a police officer called at the house of Mr Mark Farrer. He wanted to inspect his firearms security. Mr Farrer was not at home. His mother, then in her 80s, who did not hold a certificate, fetched the officer the key and allowed him access to the gun cabinet. The Chief Constable then declined…

firearms certificate moving house

Moving house and your gun certificates – what you need to know

It is a criminal offence not to obey the conditions on your firearm or shotgun certificate. One of which particularly concerns moving house. Condition 3 on every firearm and shotgun certificate says: “The holder of this certificate must, without undue delay, inform the chief officer of police by whom the…

Animal rights activists

Can threatening saboteurs still wear masks?

Q: My wife, who hunts with a local pack of foxhounds, recently found herself being abused by two hunt saboteurs, both of whom were wearing masks to hide their identity. Police were called and the saboteurs eventually dispersed. I thought some legislation had been brought in to force these thugs…

gun cartridges on a plane legal

Can I take cartridges on a plane?

Can I take gun cartridges on a plane? Q: I have been invited to 
shoot in Northern Ireland and I will be travelling by air. What are the rules about taking gun cartridges with me? A: The International Air 
Transport Association (IATA) sets standards for airline safety and security, including…

shooting tweeds

When you need written authority for gun loans

Q: I have noted with pleasure recent changes in the law over borrowing shotguns. I allow a local pigeon shooter to shoot over my farm, and he would like to bring his 16-year-old son with him and lend him his gun for use under supervision. I am quite happy with…

gun lending rules

Gun lending rules

Q: When a person lends a shotgun to a non-certificate holder on 
a private shoot, must the gun be 
on their certificate? Loans of shotguns and gun lending on private premises is now regulated by 
the Policing and Crime Act 2017. Section 130 of the act merely states: “A person…

Destroy a shotgun

Can you legally destroy a shotgun?

Q: I have inherited some shotguns from my late father. These include a badly pitted Belgian .410 single barrel that is not suitable for modern smokeless cartridges. Can I legally destroy a shotgun myself? Or do I have to 
get a dealer to do it for me? Our legal expert Bill…

Moving gun cabinets

How many guns can you store in a gun cabinet?

Q: When I got my shotgun licence three years ago I bought a four-gun cabinet. I’ve just bought my fifth shotgun and have been told by my firearms enquiry officer (FEO) that I am only allowed to own four because that is all my cabinet was intended for. Do 
I…

Pigeon cartridges

What’s the law on transporting shotgun cartridges?

Q: I am new to shooting, having gained my shotgun certificate in May last year. I am now the proud owner of a Beretta 12-bore and a Browning 20-bore. I am shooting clays at the moment to get used to the guns and improve my accuracy, but may go on…

Banned from shooting for life?

Q: I am currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for manslaughter (there was no element of violence in this offence and the court accepted that there was no intention to cause harm to anyone). I have been a keen shooter for around 15 years but have been told that because…

pest species in garden

Can I shoot pest species in my inner-city garden?

A: Always be very circumspect about shooting pests in your own back garden. You do not want armed police attending because some nosy neighbour has called to report that there is someone firing a gun out of the window. In most gardens, it is only safe to use an air rifle. However, larger gardens may be suitable for…

shotgun certificate

Can I do anything to speed up getting my shotgun certificate?

Q: In light of the huge delays in processing shotgun certificate renewals in some counties (Lincolnshire for example) what is your advice to help speed up the process of receiving my shotgun certificate? I call and call but just get fobbed off… A: This is a widespread problem. Whilst some forces are excellent others are woefully inefficient. Lincolnshire in particular has…

Vintage luggage

8 key things you need to know before you take a gun abroad

A: Firstly congratulations. It’s on my bucket list. I very much like the idea of enjoying a little early sunshine, shooting and eating a little jamon Ibérico washed down with some manzanilla. Let us know how you get on. If you are going with a sporting agent they will normally make all the necessary arrangements to take a gun…

gun cabinets

7 legal things about gun cabinets you need to know

1.  Do you need to heat your gun cabinets in winter? If the temperature is plummeting outside will your guns suffer if the cabinet is in an unheated room that’s a bit damp? Is there a danger of the cabinet rusting? Our expert Mike George gives you the low down…

shotgun in car

Can I keep a shotgun in my mum’s house?

David says: You need to raise the matter with your licensing department. Somehow I don’t think they’d be happy with such an arrangement. Personally I wouldn’t be too worried about transporting your gun to and from Devon provided you take the standard precautions when the gun is in the car. Another possibility would be for your Mum to get…

gunsafes

Cohabiting? What’s the law on shotgun licences and gunsafes?

A: It always makes practical sense for cohabitees to have each other’s shotguns listed on both their individual certificates. If that is done, there never can be any question about either party having access to the other’s shotguns. The same holds true for Section 1 Firearms but then both parties will have to satisfy the “good reason” test…