Sporting Shooting and the Law.

The assistant chief constable of Dorset police, Adrian Whiting, who chairs the ACPO FELWG, provided the foreword to the book, in which he wrote: I am extremely keen to work jointly with the NGO and others to ensure that the complexity of law facing us all is put into practice, such that responsible shooting can continue to flourish. This updated edition of what amounts to very pragmatic guidance is a document I am very pleased to recommend to all those interested in this field.

David Frost commented: ?Mr Whiting is a shooting man and since taking over the chairmanship of the ACPO FELWG he has worked very hard to ensure that all police forces follow best practice guidelines in the issue of firearm and shotgun certificates.

Subject to meeting certain criteria, the grant of a certificate is a right, not a privilege.

The whole process is made much easier if applicants follow the guidance in this book and if firearms licensing departments have a proper understanding of the needs of the legitimate shooter and follow best practice guidance.?

The NGO is sending free copies of the book to every police firearms licensing department in the UK as well as to 50 police wildlife liaison officers who have already requested it via their National Wildlife Crime Unit.

A spokesman for the NGO commented that the book?s launch is timely as it coincides with Shooting Times? Campaign for Common Sense, which was launched on 9 September.

He added: ?The recent campaign has highlighted incidents where the failure of some police officers to know the law, and understand shooting has caused serious problems. We hope that the publication of this updated book will help police officers as well as shooters to know the law and so allow legitimate shooting to continue unhindered. That is why we are sending free copies to all police forces.?

Shooter Mark Davis, from Nottingham, who was wrongly arrested while shooting pigeon (News, 30 September), welcomed the move.

He said: ?I back the NGO?s move to educate the police in this way. This initiative is long overdue. Let?s hope that it helps prevent other shooters from going through the same ordeal that I went through. Armed police cars and helicopters are a very expensive resource and should not be deployed unless absolutely necessary. Legitimate pigeon shooters, with the correct paperwork and permissions, do not constitute a threat worthy of spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers? money.?

The book, which costs £6 including postage and packing, can be ordered from the NGO?s online shop at www. nationalgamekeepers.org.uk

What is YOUR opinion?