Are they qualified
We see loads of posts on here complaining of restrictions of use of certain calibres that are being imposed on applicant saying we will only allow this and that calibre on the land.
What I want to know who is making those impositions and are they qualified to address such an issue.
It certainly cant be the FEO on his visit to a proposed applicant most i have come across have very limited firearm experience.
You hear of tales of only that calibre is approved on that land etc , and has any trained hunter ever challenged these conditions on land thats had them imposed.
My view is its up to the trained person to make a call if a shot is safe or not and what difference would it make in respect to say a 270 as opposed to a 22-250 or are they trying to say the energy of a 22-250 falls away more considerably than a 308 or 270 and that a larger cal is more dangerous, surely a trained person would make sure of any safety issues before discharging a shot so in my view it matters not ,the criteria comes down to the applicant not the calibre of firearm
Last edited by Mannlicher_Stu; 19-07-2010 at 09:37.
Reason: Spellings going worse
Well i have helped quite a few get FAC.s and what surprises me is how stupid some fao are. I gave Baldy (syss ) a bit of ground 650acre and the FO said that in real turms thats not a lot of ground and did i know this chap wants a 6.5. I explained what size 650 acre coverd and told him that i had been shooting a 30.06 for two season,s on it . A few other situations i cant mention on here bt to say the knowlage level is low would be an understatment.
I certainly agree that that a lot of FEO's seem to have quite limited knowledge on what is a very important issue.
I have no idea of official training procedures or requirements but talking to other FAC holders there is a very wide gap between forces. Personal experience with my FEO's has always very been good and they do know what they are talking about. I put much of this down to them being from military backgrounds prior to joining the police force and have experience in the field on which they are making / recommending decisions.
A stalking friend in another area was visited at renewal time by an officer who didn't know one end of a rifle from the other, and admitted that he really knew nothing about shooting / stalking. My friend spent a fair bit of time with him detailing calibres, their different uses, ranges etc. He even offered to let him try a few different rifles to give at least some basic experience of shooting and safety procedures. The chap spoke to his senior officer who told him he could not do this is as it would cause a conflict of interest!
Are they qualified? Almost certainly not.
Do they have any experience of the field use of any firearms? A very, very small minority of them do and you are very lucky if you get one.
Is the whole land inspection process flawed? Extremely so.
Should negative inspections be challenged? Certainly, if justified.
Are they used as yet another method to attempt to restrict and control one of the most law abiding sections of society? I think we all know the answer to that one.
I dont have any issue's with my FEO, and from conversations we have had his hands are tied by people higher up... I was suprised to find out he has even done the DSC1, ok it doesnt make him an ace stalker but at least he has the basic understanding
I think it depends upon the police forces attitude towards firearms licensing and who they hire to fulfill the role of FEO. Unfortunately there are too many examples of ex-police being hired because of their knowledge of the police system rather than any firearms related knowledge.
When living in Essex i never had a problem with the FEOs. There were 2 covering my area and both were active shooters themselves. One in particular, G. Mitchell even helped me to gain membership in a wildfowling club, some stalking and advised me on my first stalking rifle.
Now my current licensing dept has a whole different attitude and as a result the FEOs appear to lack what we would consider basic knowledge. Their attitude is one of control and restrictions rather than help and advice.
FEO's are simply the face of the firearms dept, like with any 'customer' facing employee (waitresses etc), the individuals attitude can make or break the whole operation. A team of Chefs working their balls off in the kitchen and earning between £25,000 and £40,000 are represented by a 17 year old student earning £5/hr. If you get an FEO whose attitude is that it is his job to be obstructive (regardless of whether this is his own opinion or that of his bosses) then you are stuffed. My only advice is to conduct as much of your FEO business as possible by email, it is much harder for them to type flippant comments than to speak them. If they are at all obstructive then play that old favourite email game of 'cc'ing their boss. Don't be drawn into having them round to your house for tea and medals (unless they are doing a security check) volunteer to attend a meeting at a Police station or your place of work. If they are late for meetings, don't wait, email them and tell them to rearrange. Openly make your own notes in any meeting and always ask for any negative comments to be put in writing. The reverse side of the coin is, don't take the piss, you don't need a 375 for charging muntjac so don't ask for one! JC
I was told that .375 was too big to shoot deer under any circumstances even up North on Reds/Sika and there was nobody in our region had one on an open ticket. He didn't like it when it was pointed out the the chap I intended to buy the rifle from in our region actually did have an open ticket that he had ok'd.
He had previously also told me that the home office guidance said the rifle was too big for use in the UK which again was rubbish and the guidance said no such thing and although there is minimum standards there is no upper limits on energy and calibre. As a matter of fact it specifically says that larger calibre rifles ie .375 should be allowed for lesser species once the good reason has been satisfied for the rifle in the same way I can shoot vermin with my .308 having it granted primarily for deer stalking.
Good advice in the last but one post from JC275.
The other thing is to make sure you have all your facts sorted and you are confident in what you are asking for - you might actually even know more about the subject than the FEO!
'Knowledge is Power' - Sir Francis Bacon 1597
Funny you should mention the 375, Paul.
I was offered a lovely example for a steal and as such contacted my licencing office for advice (foolishly assuming they'd be as helpful as my last office - Essex). I was told very politely but firmly that i wouldn't get it for deer here in the UK, i'd have to request it for hunting abroad and that there's no way i could get boar on my ticket as they don't recognise them as a valid species. Any boar i saw in the wild was obviously a pig that had recently escaped!