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Is there any way I can get my shotgun licence?

I was sentenced to three years for GBH in 1987. I was told that I can’t even have an air rifle.

Apparently because my sentence was three years I’m banned for life. However if my sentence had been for less than three years I would have been banned for only five years.

Five years to life seems an extreme step. You can see my predicament. Can you clarify whether a three-year sentence for GBH actually means a lifetime ban or not?

If so what chance would I stand of getting my prohibition removed? Is there any chance the court would allow me to use a shotgun under supervision whilst clay pigeon/rough shooting if I wasn’t allowed a shotgun certificate?

Also would I be allowed an air rifle? Any help you could offer would be appreciated.

You are correct in that any sentence of three or more years means a lifetime prohibition on possessing a firearm, shotgun, air gun or ammunition and that includes borrowing one or using one under supervision.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply in these circumstances but the Firearms Act does make provision for an appeal to the Crown Court to have the prohibition removed.

In coming to a decision the Court would take into account the circumstances of your original conviction and your character since then.

If you’ve had a squeaky clean record since 1987 then I think you may have a reasonable chance of success, but if you’ve got into other mischief in the meantime your chance will be slim.

The Court has to make a black or white decision – either you are now a fit person to be entrusted with a firearm or you are not.

It is my understanding there is no halfway house which would enable the Court to permit you to possess a firearm subject to certain conditions.

If you wish to appeal you will need to contact a solicitor who is familiar with firearms law.

However all is not lost.

Typically on a shoot day there will be eight Guns and a couple of dozen beaters and pickers up.

They get as much pleasure out of their day as the Guns do, so why not go down that route if you want to be part of the shooting scene?

If you need further information I suggest you obtain a copy of Sporting Shooting and the Law which is available for £6 including postage from the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, PO Box 107, Bishop Auckland, DL14 9YW (Tel 01388 665899). Cheques should be made payable to Keeping the Balance Ltd.

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