I had an interesting experience last year. I had arranged for a boar hunt in the Forest of Dean and wanted to use my .270.
As my FAC was coming up for renewal I took the opportunity to apply for moderators for my two rifles and a variation to use the .270 for boar as well as an increase in .270 ammunition to allow for holding some heavier rounds for boar.
I wanted the moderators because I often stalk near houses and feel a bit self conscious about letting a shot off at 4 a.m. and seeing all the lights go on. More than once this has been followed by the arrival of the boys in blue - never a problem as I have all the paperwork and permission to shoot but nonetheless a bit annoying for all concerned. I was told by a local firearms dealer that I would not get the moderators if I put that as the reason and he advised using the ear protection line as the police would be afraid to refuse for fear of subsequent litigation if my hearing was damaged. This worked and that variation was granted.
I was also granted the increase in .270 ammo but strangely the variation for boar was refused and I telephoned the local Firearms Office to find out why and I was told that North Wales Constabulary had decided that would not give this variation to anyone. I asked for a meeting to discuss it further as I could see no reason why this was should be so as I had provided evidence of the booking and all I needed was the addition of the three words "and wild boar" on the conditions for an existing rifle which, according to the guidelines on the issue of FACs, was suitable for the purpose.
I was met by an adminstrative assistant who told me first that there were no wild boar in the UK and then, when had I shown her evidence from the DEFRA website, changed to saying that boar were rare and so did not need to be shot and they were not going to allow the variation. She seemed to have no sympathy for any farmers whose ground was being damaged. There was more than a touch of the "anti" about her demeanour and I told her that under Home Office guidelines there was no reason to refuse the variation and that I wanted to see the Manager.
What then followed was an hour long argument with the civilian Firearms Dept manager. His reasons for refusal were roughly
1) Boar are all in enclosures (it was a bit of a worry that he also thought that all deer stalking took place behind fences!!!!)
2) There were no boar in North Wales
3) His Chief Constable did not want to be a "ground breaker" on this
I pointed out that my request was completely in line with the Home Office guidelines, this he refuted. I sent him away to get a copy and on his return I was able to show him specific references to wild boar which a) proved that as far as the Home Office was concerned there were boar in locations where they could be legally shot, b) I had paid for an outing in such a location and c) as my weapon was a .270 it was compliant with the minimum recommended calibre in the guidelines.
He then started to say that my evidence of a booking was not good enough despite showing him a receipt for the payment with contact phone numbers.
He eventually agreed to give the variation later at no extra charge if I could give him details of the landowner and local police force so that he could check that a) the ground had boar on it, b) stalking was allowed, and c) the local police had approved it as such. As it happened the stalker did not want to do this as he felt that if the landowner started to be hassled by police dealing with variation requests he could lose the stalking. I ended up using the "estate" rifles one of which being a .458 gave me quite a sense of security.
As I was waiting for my certificate to arrive for him to sign off we had an off the record chat and I asked him about something that has always struck me as stupid. My .243 has a permitted use for foxes as well as deer stalking whereas my .270 is for deer only. I said that it was stupid that if I saw a fox whilst out with one rifle I could shoot it and with the other I could not and asked what would happen if I shot a fox with the .270 and they found out.
His reply was that they would probably never find out and they had better things to do than to chase minor infringements and, as all I would be doing was breaking was a Chief Constable's condition rather than the law, any prosecution would be very unlikely to succeed and the CPS would not pursue it. I said that this was fine but would it not affect any susbsequent renewal request and this he would not answer.
The final twist to this tale was that this guy was arrested and suspended not long afterwards for being in possession of illegal firearms and possibly dealing in them. How ironic is that?
PS: Just read in the Shooting Times that he pleased guilty to possessing 40 rounds of illegal ammo and was given a 12 month conditional discharge.