Firearms licensing – still waiting for a certificate

I read with particular interest David Frost’s article about the terrible state of the UK firearms licensing process. I am unfortunate enough to fall under the catchment of the Essex firearms team, despite being a stone’s throw from Suffolk (which appears to be delivering reasonable standards). You may find it interesting to know that service standards have further deteriorated.…

EJ Churchill

Shooting ground wins rural sporting business award

The Rural Business Awards aims to give recognition to businesses operating right across the rural sector with the Sporting Business Award celebrating a company that is successful not only in terms of the contribution it makes to the rural economy and people, but one that is also entrenched in the rural way…

Firearm Certificate

Countryside Alliance welcomes improvements to Firearms Act

The Countryside Alliance (CA) has welcomed two amendments to the Firearms Act, describing them as “significant improvements”. The changes to firearms licensing, which the CA called for in March, have now been tabled as Government amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill. The CA has joined partnership organisations in welcoming…

Man with gun and shot rabbit

Knee-jerk legislation dropped from EU Firearms Directive

A revised set of amendments to the EU Firearms Directive has been drafted, removing some of those proposals that had been criticised as unnecessary restrictions on lawful gun owners. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris last year, the European Commission brought forward plans to tighten gun laws, including a ban on semi-automatic .22 rimfires and new age limitations, despite a…

Vicky Ford MEP

Open letter from Vicky Ford MEP on the Firearms Directive

  “Following last week’s vote in the European Parliament IMCO committee I thought it would be helpful to provide further clarification as I appreciate there are remaining concerns amongst the law abiding shooting community. The EU Commission’s initial proposal to change the EU firearms directive was extremely badly worded and…

10 year shotgun firearms certificates drive

BASC: The case for ten year shotgun and firearms certificates

The renewal process can be one of the most frustrating times in a certificate holder’s life. All too often we hear of delays, temporary permits being issued, guns having to be lodged and – even worse – people being left in illegal possession of firearms. That is one reason BASC, in September last year, published a White Paper calling…

airgun

A year of change for laws on licensing firearms

First, in September 2015, came the report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for England and Wales into the efficiency of the licensing system. It will come as no surprise to readers who have the misfortune to live in Essex, Gloucestershire, Thames Valley or Hampshire that HMIC found much to be desired in the way the police…

patient at GP surgery

Shooting groups welcome tagging of medical records

A new “encoded reminder” system will make it easier for GPs to inform the police if they believe a firearms or shotgun certificate holder should not be in possession of a gun, following a change in legislation this month. As of 1 April, the application and renewal forms for firearms…

New medical monitoring for firearms and shotgun licence holders

The new system, led by the Home Office, will make it much more straightforward for GPs to alert police licensing departments if a medical condition is going to affect the certificate holder’s suitability to possess firearms. The condition can also be flagged up during the period the certificate is valid.…

police car on land

Conditions on firearms certificates

I’m the one with the sharpened pencil who gets called in when victims of the licensing system can’t get any sense out of their local lot. That should not happen, but I’m afraid that all too often it does, despite agreed conditions, despite circulars from the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working…

Field & Country Fair

This year’s Field & Country Fair

The CLA Game Fair may be no more, but Time Inc (UK), publisher of leading country magazines Shooting Times, Shooting Gazette, Sporting Gun, The Field, Country Life and Horse & Hound, is launching the Field & Country Fair at Cornbury Park, in Oxfordshire, over three days this year from 10 to…

Fosseway Game

Fosseway Game: Partridge shooting at Sutton shoot, Warks

How can I start to tell you about 39-year-old Joe Smith, the current leaseholder of the Sutton shoot and owner of Fosseway Game on Manor Farm in the North Cotswolds? If I just described him as a father, a husband, a shoot manager or a game farmer, you might think…

Deer calls

Police arrests in Devon for poaching and wildlife crime

Business and residential properties were searched to investigate alleged offences for poaching and the illegal supply of meat. Two men aged 37 and 42 were arrested for poaching offences and a further two men aged 19 and 57, and a 53 year old woman arrested in connection with firearms offences.…

floods in north

Flooding hits shoots up north

Shooting estates have faced dangerous conditions and outright cancellations this season, following sustained poor, wet weather and heavy flooding across the UK. This latest period of bad weather in the north of England follows heavy rain during summer last year, which led to a lack of wild broods on some shoots. Chris…

UK police officers

Firearms licensing 2015: the saints and sinners

In May 2013 the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC, but then called ACPO) asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to undertake an inspection of firearms licensing in English and Welsh police forces. Given the timing of the request, there is little doubt it was heavily influenced by a series of…

history firearms

Firearms from 1400 through to the present day

    If you were a shooter in 1400, you’re likely to have come across the Serpentine Lock Arquebus. Fast forward to 1866 and it might have been the Winchester Model 1866. This informative illustrative poster, “A visual history of firearms” shows the technologically groundbreaking firearms of all time and…

shooter with pheasants

European firearms legislation changes “could damage shooting” in Britain

Countryside organisations have warned that revisions to EU firearms legislation could lead to shooting being hamstrung by those opposed to the sport. The European Council earlier this month recommended that the European Commission revise the 1991 Firearms Directive to combat the illegal movement of firearms, and it is thought that…