A Shooting Times reader was concerned about sharing his shotgun certificate with his new shoot. Graham Downing was able to give some helpful advice.

Q: I am looking forward to joining a small walk-and-stand game shoot this coming season. However, the shoot has just asked me to send a copy of my shotgun certificate. Surely this is confidential information? I am not happy about sending a copy and wonder if there is any legal requirement for me to comply with this request?

Shooting consultant and sporting author, Graham Downing had this advice: Many game shoots, shooting clubs and venues wish to verify that those joining them as members, or indeed as guests, are holders of a valid certificate and are thus authorised to possess shotguns. This is both common practice and a reasonable and responsible action on the part of those running a shoot or a shooting club. Such shoots or clubs may not, however, keep or retain a copy of a certificate unless they are registered for the purposes of the Data Protection Act.

Certainly, there is no legal requirement for you to show your certificate, in the way that there is a requirement to show it to a police officer on demand or to a dealer when you are buying ammunition, but equally there is no legal requirement for the shoot to accept you as a member if you decline to show it.

My advice would be for you to show your certificate to the shoot captain, secretary or other responsible officer and allow them to make a note of, say, the expiry date, but not to allow a copy to be kept.