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?
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.