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Thread: FAQ: Do I have an Open or Closed Certificate?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb FAQ: Do I have an Open or Closed Certificate?

    As this comes up quite a bit here is the difference between a 'closed' ('more restrictive') certificate and an 'open' (or 'less restrictive') certificate.

    Note that it is dependent on the conditions PER rifle. It is possible to have a certificate that is open for one rifle and closed for another.


    1) Closed Certificate

    The condition contains the text "land deemed suitable by the Chief Officer of Police" or similar. The certificate holder needs to check with the police force applicable to the ground to see if the ground is cleared and if not arrange to have the ground cleared for the calibre in question.

    An example 'closed' condition:

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    2) 'Open' or 'Less Restrictive' Certificate

    The onus is solely upon the certificate holder to check that the ground is suitable for the calibre/scenario. They do not need to check with the police force that the ground is cleared.

    An example 'open' condition:

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  2. #2
    My very first certificate was Open in the true sense of the word ie: it only had the pre-printed 4 statutory conditions and no other conditions relating to calibres, land or usage; that was a long time ago when plinking with a 0.22rf at tin cans was acceptable.
    However, at each subsequent renewal since Hungerford, this has eroded to now my certificate is practically running out of space for the additional conditions. One is that it now specifies what calibre to shoot what quarry eg: I can only use my .308 for foxes when the principal quarry is deer. Many years ago, MAFF (the forerunner to DEFRA) were requesting FAC holders to shoot infected sheep in north wales - can't do that any more!
    What has changed over time - I am more knowledgeable and experienced and the Police and Governments make oppressing law abiding citizens their rightful targets rather than dealing with the criminal use of firearms.

  3. #3
    I recently took someone out who had the condition 'the blah blah blah may be used for blah blah blah on any land suitable for the use of this class of firearm....

    Where does this fall under? less restrictive or closed? No mention of chief officer of police etc. Looks like they may just have deleted the chief officer phrase. But would like some opinions from here??.........

  4. #4
    that would open a whole can of worms as it could be interpreted in so many different ways

  5. #5
    I wish I could remember what my certificate said, it has spent so much time in the possession of Hampshire Police over the past 18 months that I have quite forgotten!

  6. #6
    Hello,
    So if you have a certificate that is closed to certain land for say .243 and you get permission from an other land owner for ie fox, deer. Do you have to re apply or just inform the flo, with evidence of permission, it seems alot of people have hassle with flo's. Any body used B.A.S.C to fight there limitations.

  7. #7
    My rimfires (.22 & 17HMR) may be used on land where I have lawful permission etc
    My C/F rifles only on land deemed suitable by a chief officer of police.

    So, half and half for me

  8. #8
    Hi
    I was just about to post a question related to this elsewhere on the forum, but I’ll put it here instead – I think what I’m asking is similar to exmarksman’s question....
    I have the ‘closed’ condition on my certificate, and when i applied for the variation for centrefire rifle I enclosed a land authority, for the ‘good reason’ etc..... Now, if a friend offers me to come and shoot with my rifle on his land, and I know it is cleared for my calibre, if not more, can I do it? Or do I have to contact the police/send off new land authorisation (form 646)?
    The condition is quite vague in this respect!
    Any help much appreciated
    Cheers
    Skinner

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    My rimfires (.22 & 17HMR) may be used on land where I have lawful permission etc
    My C/F rifles only on land deemed suitable by a chief officer of police.

    So, half and half for me
    +1 for me.
    .243 Weatherby Vanguard Synth /.223 BRNO CZ527 Synthetic
    .22LR CZ 455 Synth / 12G Stoeger 2000 / 12G U/O Bettinsoli
    12G Zoli SBS / .410 unknown Italian

  10. #10
    It might be worth making the point that although the slang use of 'open' and 'closed' conditions is convenient in general discussion among FAC-holders, what is actually going on here in terms of the application of the law really is worth reflecting on.

    The so-called 'closed' condition occurrs when the Chief Constable at his discretion and to improve the safety of the public imposes a territorial restriction on the FAC-holder's use of one or more of the firearms he holds.

    The 'open' condition is not a condition at all: it is the natural state of a FAC.

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