Why do people worry when my gun is safely in its slip?
Two readers, two different questions
Q: I am a pigeon shooter and live in a block of flats with a shared entrance foyer, which I need to walk through with my gun to get to my car. I have noticed people giving me some funny looks even though my gun is in a slip. I have now been told that a firearms enquiry officer (FEO) will visit me because other residents have complained that they feel threatened when I do this. Have I broken any law?
A: Absolutely not. The shared foyer is not public in law as access is controlled and is not a place where the public is admitted either by right or upon payment. Even if it were, no offence is committed because you would have “reasonable excuse” to carry your lawfully owned gun from your home to your car and then drive to a place where you have permission to use it.
I’m a student living in the centre of Cambridge and quite regularly cycle to shoot on land on the outskirts…
The way to tackle this is to break your gun down into barrels and stock and put them in an ordinary holdall as you carry them out to the car. That way nobody will know what you are carrying. It may be marginally inconvenient, but if it solves the problem of someone else’s paranoid perception then it is worth doing.
Tell the FEO that is what you intend to do in future and be assertive that you have done nothing wrong.