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Gun security in your car – your responsibilities

As a responsible shooter, you need to do your bit to prevent crime. Which means taking every precaution for gun security in your car. Bill Harriman advises

gun security in your car

Do not leave your firearm in plain sight in your car and don't make the boot of your car easily accessible

The shooting season is now well underway and so I think that a timely reminder about gun security in your car would not go amiss. I’m told by my colleague, Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton of the National Ballistic Intelligence Service, that there have been targeted thefts of shotguns in the North West. Certificate holders are responsible people and gun thefts from cars are very rare, but we must not become complacent.

Shotgun certificate holders have a duty of care

Every shotgun certificate carries a statutory condition that imposes a duty on the holder to look after the shotguns to which it relates. It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with a condition on a certificate. The penalties are draconian: up to six months in clink, a fine of up to £5,000 — or both.

Condition 4(b) on your certificate says: “When a shotgun to which this certificate relates is in use or the holder of the certificate has the shotgun with him for the purpose of cleaning, repairing, or testing it or for some other purpose connected with its use, transfer or sale, or the shotgun is in transit to or from a place in connection with its use or any such purpose, reasonable precautions must be taken for the safe custody of the shotgun.”

The most important words in this are “reasonable precautions”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines reasonable as: “Not greatly less or more than might be thought appropriate.”