A reader is concerned he won't get his new licence through

I think the police were wrong to revoke my shotgun licence

I recently had a heart problem and because a lengthy period of recuperation was involved, I gave up my firearms certificate and sold my rifle. I felt this was sensible but told the police I wanted to keep my shotgun certificate as I was capable of going clay pigeon shooting.

Today my firearms officer has rung to say my licence has been revoked.

When I asked why I was told it was because they were unable to put a stipulation on my shotgun licence for clay shooting only. I told the FAO that I felt this was extremely harsh and that I would appeal the decision, but tomorrow she is coming to take my licence.

I did ring BASC (although I am not a member unfortunately) and the chap I spoke to knew immediately which firearms department we were talking about. I am not able to pay for legal advice so it would seem that I will have to appear in the Crown Court on my own (pretty daunting).

gun ownership

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The police are overcautious and too quick to revoke shotgun and firearm certificates, according to a firearms legal specialist. Earlier…

David Frost replies

This is absolutely outrageous. The police can only revoke a certificate if either you no longer have good reason for possessing a gun or if you are a danger to the public safety or peace.

Competition shooting (clay pigeons in other words) is one of the statutory good reasons for possessing a shotgun.

As far as I am aware cardiovascular problems of the sort you describe do not make you a danger to the public safety or peace. The police are therefore wholly in the wrong.

It makes sense for anyone who shoots to belong to BASC or one of the other shooting organisations. BASC has the best firearms department but help and advice are available from the other organisations too.

I feel sure BASC would have been able to sort this out had you been a member and might well have funded an appeal if dialogue were to fail.
If you take the matter to court I think your chance of success is high but doing so on your own without legal advice is both daunting and risky.

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