Q: At a shoot lunch we generally tend to take our guns into the pub with us. However I have spoken to a firearms offer who says it's best to leave them hidden in our cars. What's best, do you think?

A:
It is one of the shortcomings of the firearms legislation that there is no simple answer to this question. The law requires guns to be stored securely so as to prevent, as far as is reasonably practical, unauthorised access.

Unfortunately there is no definition of ‘stored securely’ or ‘reasonably practical’.

If a gun is left unattended it is essential that a key component such as the bolt or fore-end is removed and kept in your pocket. Never let yourself get into the dangerous position of allowing an intact gun to be stolen from a car. If that happens, you can expect little sympathy from the police.

However, if you have taken reasonable precautions to protect your gun and store it securely, you will be in a strong position if any attempt is make to revoke your shotgun certificate.

If the police are being unreasonable, a good barrister will argue your case effectively.

Nowdays most Guns take their shotguns into the pub where they can keep a close eye on them. If you don’t do that, take the above advice, remove the bolt or fore-end and keep it about your person, then lock the gun out of sight in your car.

  • Matt

    This is one of the befits also of a semi auto or pump shotgun as many you are able to remove the trigger assembly quite easily. Myself i remove the trigger assembly and futrther to that have a trigger lock to put in it should it be stollen from a jacket pocket this cost me all of £5 with 2 keys and for another £5 i bought a plastic coated steel security cable that attach to the anchor point in the boot of the car or seatbelt anchors and thread trogh the action and pad lock or down the barrel and pad lock. If you wanted to go the whole hog you could also remove the bolt assembly containing the firing pin. obviously this isnt possible on game shoots where a semi auto / pump might not be welocme. How ever fore end removed and the security cable through the barrel would certainaly be quick easy and suitable !

  • Mike

    The Home Office/ACPO/BSSC publication “Firearms Security Handbook” has lots of advice – and if you stick to that it is very unlikely that you would ever be convicted – or even prosecuted.

    You can find it on the BASC website at
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100408114924/http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/operational-policing/firearms-handbook.html