Just reading some of the posts on FAC applicants and the issues that arise, it occurred to me that one of the best bits of advice to someone considering applying is to treat the process like a marathon, not a sprint.

By that I donít mean the length of time that some forces deal with the actual application, which in some cases could be improved, but what the applicant does before they submit the package.

Having been a shotgun and air rifle user for many years, I took my DSC1 in November 2009 with the intention of eventually taking up stalking. I then took some guided stalks using the estate rifle, went on hunting trips when on business in the USA, found some land to shoot on and booked some more stalking. I made my application in late May and received my FAC in September - bearing in mind I moved from Norfolk to Grampian during that time, I think that's pretty good. During the process I regularly spoke to each licensing authority and with a few extra questions to support my application it could not have been smoother.

I actually saw the process of 'interrogation' as a very positive process in the approval of an FAC as it aims to weed out those applicants who shouldn't be granted an FAC!

My point is, there seem to be some who wake up one morning thinking 'I'm going to apply for my FAC today', start the process and are then surprised to be asked some 'awkward', 'challenging' or 'unreasonable' questions.