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Police heavy-handedness

Avon and Somerset police employed road blocks, 18 armed police officers, a helicopter and a forensic specialist to arrest a 66-year old baronet at his ancestral home, near Bridgwater, Somerset, for being in breach of firearms licensing laws.

Taunton Magistrates? Court heard that Sir Benjamin Slade, whose ancestors fought in the Crimean War and had links to Horatio Nelson, had legally acquired a Fabarm semi-auto before 1987 but had neglected to put it on his certificate. Slade claimed he had spoken to his police firearms officer about it and had thought it was on his certificate.

He was also found guilty of leaving an AYA shotgun outside his gun cabinet in a locked room. In a statement to the court he said the gun had been taken out in the morning to deal with a fox that was eating his geese.

Peter Glenser, defending, said: ?For more than half a century he has held and used shotguns and firearms legitimately and without incident. Now he is unlikely to get his guns back.?

The rest of this article appears in the 6th June issue of Shooting Times.

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