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Thread: Do the police have the right to make you lodge your guns?

  1. #1

    Do the police have the right to make you lodge your guns?

    I recently reapplied for my FAC .The police recieved the forms before the FAC ran out albeit only a week .I then get a snotty phone call for some cow at Devon and Cornwall police telling me that I must lodge my guns with a RFD immediately.I said that west mercia turned my last one around in less than a week .Did not go down well ! It took 3 months to get it back .The thing is can they legally make you lodge your guns when it is their fault not mine .I cost 60 to lodge them and then to add insult to injury I had to pay an extra teener because it was now classed as a new application not a renewal
    anybody else had similar experience ?

  2. #2
    Interesting question.

    I think the first thing to consider is that if you possess firearms/ammunition without a valid FAC/SGC or other permit, then the police have a right (a duty, even) both to seize the firearms and to arrest you for possessing them unlawfully.

    Working back from there, and concentrating more on responsibilities that rights (not fashionable, I know; but I suppose I'm not), I would say:
    1. FAC/SGC-holders are responsible for getting their renewal forms to the police in reasonable time
    2. The police are then responsible for getting the new FAC/SGC to the holder before the old one runs out.

    Immediately, there is a bit of room for slippage: what is a reasonable amount of time, both before expiry to get the forms in, and after receipt of the forms to get the new certs issued?

    I guess it varies from place to place. I've never had a problem here, but from memory the forms go in six to eight weeks before expiry.
    My view would be that a week is cutting it a bit (too, even) fine, and that under such circumstances one might consider apologising for the late submission and politely asking them to issue the neccessary stop-gap permit if they were to forsee not being able to process the thing within the week.

    I'm astonished that that your pointing out that they were markedly less efficient than another constabulary didn't go down very well!
    I'd have thought that most departments would see such a late presentation of renewal forms along with a comment like that as an invigorating challenge to outperform the other lot rather than an opportunity to show how busy they are and cost you a load of money into the bargain.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen2 View Post
    The police recieved the forms before the FAC ran out albeit only a week .I then get a snotty phone call for some cow at Devon and Cornwall police telling me that I must lodge my guns with a RFD immediately.

    The thing is can they legally make you lodge your guns when it is their fault not mine .I cost 60 to lodge them and then to add insult to injury I had to pay an extra teener because it was now classed as a new application not a renewal
    anybody else had similar experience ?
    Stephen, firstly have a look at the paperwork that was sent out when you got the reminder the FC was due for renewal. I am quite confident that it will make reference to a date they expect you to submit your forms by. I have a feeling my own force asks for 6 weeks. I know yours will be similar.

    The legalities that are the issue here is simply you being in possession of Sect 1 firearms without a valid and in date certificate. In theory the police could have turned up and seized them and charged you. Suggesting lodging them with a RFD is actually giving you a chance. Do you really think a week is enough time for them to process, confirm your land permission is still valid, visit your home address, check with your referees and have the Chief Constable or his deputies sign off on your certificate???

    I know in the past temporary authorisations were sometimes issued but I have no idea if this still goes on. Good going by West Mercia to have the work done in a week as you mention.

  4. #4
    There was an article in the BASC magazine a couple of months ago by Mike Eveleigh recalling a day on the phone for the firearms help team in which this issue arose.
    You should ask for a temporary firearms permit from plod, but plod maybe upset at the short notice you have given them

    To quote from this link;
    WILDFOWLING.COM - Firearms/Shotgun Certificate Forms

    If you have returned the forms in good time and are experiencing delays which may put you in possession of firearms or shotguns when your certificate expires, then ask for a Temporary Permit to be issued under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968. This allows the holder to keep and use his firearms and shotguns and also to purchase shotgun cartridges.
    Last edited by jack; 24-09-2010 at 19:57.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jack View Post
    There was an article in the BASC magazine a couple of months ago by Mike Eveleigh recalling a day on the phone for the firearms help team in which this issue arose.
    You should ask for a temporary firearms permit from plod, but plod maybe upset at the short notice you have given them

    To quote from this link;
    WILDFOWLING.COM - Firearms/Shotgun Certificate Forms

    If you have returned the forms in good time and are experiencing delays which may put you in possession of firearms or shotguns when your certificate expires, then ask for a Temporary Permit to be issued under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968. This allows the holder to keep and use his firearms and shotguns and also to purchase shotgun cartridges.
    That link is a good one, it has the letter from BASC that you should send to your doctor's practise to let them know what the police are allowed to ask for, and what not! Anyone with any medical condition should use that letter as soon as possible. I could not find the ling the other day for another post, so I sent the OP a copy of the letter i used. I am now bookmarking the link!

    ft

    Edit; I forgot to say, a section 7 temporary certificate is the way forward if they are dragging their heels, but you really did yoursef no favours with leaving it that late and sending a snotty letter. Very couragous!
    Last edited by flytie; 25-09-2010 at 08:15. Reason: Altzie
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    Stephen 2
    Are you serious 1 week ! do you expect them to drop everything and deal with your renewal ? Cmon give them a break and count yourself lucky that they send a reminder out in the first place [ assuming they do] here reminders are sent out 12 weeks prior to certificate expiry so there is realy no excuse for not returning the forms timeously.
    In the current financial climate with cuts etc it may well be that they will send someone to see you when your certificate expires without giving you the courtosy of a reminder

  7. #7
    i messed up a bit and handed mine in late. We had a discussion about putting guns into storage if the cert wasnt done in time. in the end the cert turned up with a couple of days to spare. i suspect it may not have if i had gone at this with a different attitude. my first contact was a call by me to appologise for submitting late and we took it on from there.

  8. #8
    From what i remember from my last renewal Devon and Cornwall do ask that they are submitted at least 6 weeks before renewal,having said that when i first applied for a FAC they came saw me checked my security the land and i had the certificate a week later i was duly amazed by their service.

  9. #9
    Sorry matey you only have yourself to blame, D&C police have a huge amount of registered firearms/shotgun holders, in fact the largest in the country i believe.
    They advise you get the renewal in 6 weeks before the renewal date, my runs out beginning of November and they will be meeting with me this Monday and collect the forms.
    You might get a temporary permit but i doubt it.
    Regards
    Richard

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen2 View Post
    I said that west mercia turned my last one around in less than a week
    That must have been some time ago. They are getting their act together now, but a couple of years ago they were dreadful. Not a problem I had, but some round here had some bitter experiences.

    On the subject of 'responsibilities', I thought the police weren't required to send reminders and it's down to the FAC holder to renew in good time?

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