I have held my FAC for 3 years. Ive done a plenty of rimfire vermin control during that time. I would guess at 700 rabbits, 20 foxes and numerous corvids and other vermin.
I have decided to take to step up to centrefire as I am coming across more and more foxes and Im not happy with using the 17 HMR at anything over 60 yards as its not the right tool for the job. I also have Deer on a couple of my shoots and having been stalking with a friend a couple of times last year I would really like to get into stalking.
I spoke to my FEO today after reading the 2002 Home Office firearms gude. I asked if she had any issues with the addition of a .243 for fox and deer to my fac. To some up her response was-
- No to .243 if its main use was fox (The HO guide states its a suitable calibre)
- Yes to .243 for deer and occasional fox when stalking but WITH A MENTORING CONDITIION
She did however say I could have a .223 or .22-250 for fox and Muntjac with no mentoring condition
To me this seems ridiculous. I would very much like to be given an example of a shot that is safe with a .223 but dangerous with a .243. Surely if I am considered a safe shot and granted a .223 I would also be a safe shot with a .243. Also why is it deemed that I would need mentoring to shoot a Roe with a .243 when my FEO would grant me a .223 to shoot Muntjac with no conditions?
I see no reason why I should have to purchase a .223 and a .243 that would be subject to mentoring when the Home office guidelines clearly state that .243 is a suitable calibre for both fox and deer. I know of many shooters who possess a .243 just for fox, several of which were granted at first application with no previous experience! How can a Dorset FEO say that I am safe to shoot Deer with a .223 but not a .243?
Surely once someone has been deemed fit to possess a Firearm, as long as the ground is suitable and the quarry available then the calibre does not decide what is safe or not, the person pulling the trigger does.
If I was a member of BASC I would ask them for advice but I am with the Countryside Alliance who dont seem to get involved in licencing issues.
Am I going to just have to agree to this or is it worth persuing?