A reader has had a close shave recently and asks the question
Q: Imagine you are on your way to your shoot, with gun, cartridges and dog in your car, when out of nowhere someone crashes into you. Fortunately neither of you are hurt, but both vehicles are immobile. My question is should I call the police, as I can hardly hail a taxi with gun, dog and cartridges, neither can I leave them in the car. What would be your advice? I am not a member of the AA, and even if I were, would they be prepared to take me home? I ask the question as a result of a close shave recently.
A: If you have an accident causing damage or injury you must give the following to anyone with “reasonable grounds for requiring them” — an insurance company, for example:
- Your name and address
- The vehicle registration number
- You also need to give the owner’s name and address if the vehicle isn’t yours.
You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours if you don’t give your details at the time of the accident. You must also report the accident to your insurance company.
The shooting season is now well underway and so I think that a timely reminder about gun security in your car…
Tips on how to handle a gun safely and an introduction explaining why gun safety is so important
There are two very important aspects in this scenario. Firstly, the security of the gun (forget about the cartridges as there is no offence caused by simple possession of them in the UK), and secondly, the dog’s welfare. Both need addressing as a matter of urgency.
My advice would be to call the police as you did not cause the accident and the other driver may be drunk or on drugs. It is important that he is prevented from causing further damage or injury. If you explain your situation to the officers who attend that you are a certificate holder and that you have a lawfully owned gun that needs to be secured, that gives you the moral high ground.
Carry your certificate to prove lawful possession — most police control rooms should be able to verify that you are a certificate holder these days, but there is no doubt with an original certificate.