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Thread: Open Certificates

  1. #1

    Open Certificates

    Just started the survey and I think there is a lot of mis-understanding as to what an "Open" certificate is.
    My very first certificate was Open in that it had no conditions other that the four pre-printed conditions. In other words you could use any calibre rifle for any purpose anywhere.

    Certificates nowadays are restricive - some more/less than others.
    If the certificate has a condition that states .... 0.243 calibre rifle for deer stalking .... or .... on land over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot ... then it is a conditioned certificate and not truely open.

    The whole business of conditioning certificates has done nothing to improve safety or reduce crime. As another member writes, Colin Greenwood (ex Police Officer and Editor of Guns Review) was a great Counsel in these matters.

    I think the whole matter should be taken out of Police Control and given back to the Post Offices or other third party which deals with it on an independent but fair and equal basis without the "interpretation" of individual Police Forces which, in many cases, don't have a clue.

  2. #2
    adpierce,

    Welcome to the forum but before jumping in you might want to post an introduction as per the protocol at: http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...on-new-members

    What 'survey' are you referring to? I believe that most references to an 'open certificate' nowadays are generally understood to actually be a 'less restrictive certificate' in that the holder can make decisions on where he may shoot, (subject to lawful authority), and what quarry species may be taken with a certain firearm - 'any other lawful quarry' as a covering condition would be an example.

    I'd certainly agree with you that the perceived need to control otherwise experienced shooters by the police has got out of hand in some areas - although some forces do still adopt a sensible attitude to them, (my own issuing force D&C would be an example of the latter). If you have a look at the posts on this section of the forum you can see how varied it is throughout the country.

    How has it got to this situation? I suspect largely because the FLDs are not challenged when they deviate from the HO Guidance to Police, which may be flawed but it's the best we have at the moment - if only they would stick to it!

    IMHO administration of firearms licensing would be better taken away from the police and taken on by a government department with nationwide responsibility, maybe with the police carrying out the local legwork and security checks. Unfortunately too many officers have a guns = crime mentality which spills over into their dealings with legitimate firearms users and, as you say, putting their own 'interpretation' on the legislation.

    As to whether the Post Office would be a suitable body to take on the mantle of licensing, I suspect that would be the last body I'd want to take control given their cost cutting and privatisation threats!

  3. #3
    Orion,
    Thanks for the reminder to update the intro page.
    The survey was "Comparison of Firearms Licensing Policy by Police Force" from which I noticed a number referring to "Open " certificates but which had conditions.
    The problem is that we are being "conditioned" (sic) to accept these restrictions as being normal when in fact they never used to be. An open certificate was exactly that - no conditions.
    The question is "why do we need conditions". Land is neither safe nor unsafe. Calibres are neither appropriate nor inappropriate.
    These conditions do nothing to improve safety or reduce crime - they are nothing more than a bureaucratic and administrative impediment.
    When my first FAC was conditioned, I complained - in fact I issued 23 formal complaints against the CC and subsequently went for a judicial review. The FAC was issued prior to the hearing - rather loosely conditioned though with a "general purposes" condition which I now know to be the thin edge of the wedge!

    My reference to the PO refers to the old days and really not the current organisation. But I still believe that it should be taken out of the responsibilities of the police who are there to prevent crime and disorder - not cause hassle for law abiding members of the public. It needs an impartial, common sense approach and there needs to be a uniform application not subject to interpretation by individuals.

    But I agree, the Guidance, with all its flaws (and there are many), is probably the best we can get (even though FLDs don't follow ACPOs guidance). As mentioned in another post, I feel privileged to have possessed guns under less onerous systems.

    Tony

  4. #4
    May be a silly question but when did the PO deal with firearms licensing. Yes they did isue shotgun licenses but I can never remember them issuing firearms licenses. Since a boy mine has always been issued by the police and that is a great number of years ago.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    How has it got to this situation? I suspect largely because the FLDs are not challenged when they deviate from the HO Guidance to Police, which may be flawed but it's the best we have at the moment - if only they would stick to it!
    Quote Originally Posted by adpierce View Post
    When my first FAC was conditioned, I complained - in fact I issued 23 formal complaints against the CC and subsequently went for a judicial review. The FAC was issued prior to the hearing - rather loosely conditioned though with a "general purposes" condition which I now know to be the thin edge of the wedge!
    A perfect example? or did you push the issue and go through with the hearing?
    Its easy to see how it has come to this...

  6. #6
    They are just empire builders, reams of it on here, by different force areas, some adhere to / follow ACPO / Home office guidance, some follow their own little agendas, or in some cases ignorance.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieT View Post
    May be a silly question but when did the PO deal with firearms licensing. Yes they did isue shotgun licenses but I can never remember them issuing firearms licenses. Since a boy mine has always been issued by the police and that is a great number of years ago.
    Never !
    I got my FAC from Cumbria Constabulary on August 6th 1951 and have always found them helpful and hassle free.
    It was renewed again before expiry date and I am now covered until 2016 but with only half of one eyeball left it is just a question of time before I give up shooting.
    My old shotgun cert. came from the Post Office but with the co-terminous facility now it is easier.

    HWH.

  8. #8
    the thing that galls me is that in any other department within a police force, should they deviate from HO guidance the bobbies get jumped on from a great height, and get told to do it as the HO have advised.... Firearms departments seem to get away with not following the HO guidance....

    it does need something doing and i think a nationwide approach should be adopted for consistency

    Browning A-Bolt Medalion .243 Doctor Optics 8x56 T4 Mod
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    Baikal 12g single ejector

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stag1933 View Post
    Never !.......
    HWH.
    Err no!

    The 1870 Gun Licence act allowed the purchase of a gun licence from the post office!
    This allowed people to have a gun on land other than their own.

    The 1903 Pistol act was the first real control as it was needed before the purchase of a Pistol (other than for specific cases) - again available from the post office.

    It is only following the 1920 act that control of firearms was passed to the police.

    So not never! - although I hope there are none shooting who bought a pistol licence pre 1920!

    Any spritely 109 year olds out there?

    Julie

  10. #10
    I was refering to the shotgun licence and not a firearms certificate for a rifle.

    HWH.

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