A reader is puzzled

Q: I have just been granted 
my shotgun certificate. 
When the firearms enquiry officer 
(FEO) interviewed me he took a photograph of my gun locker and 
its location. He did not say why he did this. Was he entitled to do so? Surely it is a breach of my security.

A: I agree with you that this was peculiar, because the FEO’s report would include a brief description of your security anyway. I can’t see any point in taking a photograph because you have no statutory duty to tell the police if you change your cabinet or its location. You may wish to upgrade it for a bigger one or move it to a new location, rendering any photograph obsolete.

It would have been common courtesy on the FEO’s part to ascertain whether you were comfortable to have photographs of your home taken and the reason for this. You have the right to refuse — this cannot have any contribution towards a refusal of your application. The law requires you to afford “elementary co-operation” to the police. It does not allow an FEO to behave as he pleases. After all, he has no right of entry. My advice is not to allow this to happen, particularly if no credible explanation is offered. Saying that “it’s just routine” will not wash.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Stop and search powers
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