I received this e-mail from a shooting friend today and thought I would post it for general interest. I know most of us will not contemplate having a drink whilst out shooting but just in case the following is taken straight from the e-mail........
"You may have heard about this already but I thought I would email you all anyway as you might like to pass this warning on to shooting clients. A friend of mine was shooting in Devon last week and he and one of his fellow guns were stopped on the A361 at about 5pm and BOTH were breathalysed on the grounds that even the passenger might be committing an offence if he was shown to be over the limit in charge of shot guns. Both were clear and proceeded on their way. My friend contacted the BASC to find out what the situation would be had his passenger been over the limit. He was told by the BASC that, even if you are over the limit, if your shot guns are “secure” in a car being driven by someone else and you are not being “a danger to the public” you are not committing an offence and the police should not breathalyse a passenger without considerable cause.
My friend is in the investigations business and spoke to a police contact who looked into the incident. Apparently the police are targeting 4 x 4 vehicles throughout the country but especially in shooting areas and particularly if they are muddy and it is after lunch. You should warn your clients and friends to be particularly careful as it is not only their driving licences that are at risk. Their shot guns can be confiscated and their permits can also be revoked. Traffic police can (and are) asking if shot guns or rifles are being carried and if so, people are being asked to show their permits. If they do not have them, the shot guns can (often are) be confiscated then and there. We are under enough pressure without further ammunition (forgive the pun) being handed to the antis. Can you see the headline? DRUNK WITH A GUN. Please make sure that everyone you know is aware of what is happening and urge them to be abstemious when out shooting. Last year I had to tell the guest of a gun on my shoot that I would not let him shoot after lunch as he had climbed too far down the neck of a claret bottle - and awkward and potentially embarrassing incident but one which had to be dealt with.
I have heard of a similar story last year. You should also when travelling remove the fore end of your shotgun and or bolt of rifle and put this in a separate part of your car. That way it is obvious that it is not capable of firing. I have heard of another incident when a green policeman would not believe that a gun was not loaded in the boot of a car and called in an armed back up. As to carrying your original certificates this is a difficult one. I dislike this as they can get lost or stolen and then a miscreant will have your address and a full list of what you have in your house. Burglars paradise! Also when folded the serial numbers have a habit of getting rubbed out! I photo copy and reduce my certs to the size of a credit card and keep in my shooting jacket. If a policeman is not satisfied he can always call up on his radio for confirmation as all the data and serial numbers are available to him. I suggested this to the Firearms Consultative Committee that certificates should be in two parts – a bit like driving licenses. A credit card size with identification detail, no address and no weapons, and a full document as we have now. The latter used to acquire ammunition etc. Much safer."