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Thread: Wiltshire FLO judge a DD Conviction renders Priest an unfit Counter-Signatory

  1. #1
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Wiltshire FLO judge a DD Conviction renders Priest an unfit Counter-Signatory

    Title says it all.

    I asked my local priest to endorse my photo's for my SGC and be a character reference on my FAC renewal as he had done 5 years ago. Wiltshire FLO have returned my paperwork as my countersignatory is unsuitable. Can only assume this was due to his quite well publicised drink drive incident about 3 years ago.

    Considering the Chief Constable of Cumbria was exonerated in the inquiry into Derrick Bird for allowing him the grant of a Shotgun and Firearms certificate to him dispite a DD conviction, I feel thats a bit harsh on the priest.

    Surely for my Shotgun renewal held 15 years+ they just need someone they can verify exists to say this is a true likeness? If they want to verify it check the Daily Telegraph archive!

    Perhaps I can understand that they wont accept a character reference from someone who's character has been called into question but there are two referees for Firearms.

    Does an incident like this really prevent someone offering a valid opinion? Sure if I got done driving while over the limit I expect the FLO to be looking hard at my self control and judgement in respect of firearms but to endorse a photo!

    If my Doctor had a Drink Drive conviction would they still accept his medical opinion?

    Ive never heard anything like this before.
    Last edited by NorthDorset; 09-07-2012 at 15:38.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDorset View Post
    Title says it all.

    I asked my local priest to endorse my photo's for my SGC and be a character reference on my FAC renewal as he had done 5 years ago. Wiltshire FLO have returned my paperwork as my countersignatory is unsuitable. Can only assume this was due to his quite well publicised drink drive incident about 3 years ago.

    Considering the Chief Constable of Cumbria was exonerated in the inquiry into Derrick Bird for allowing him the grant of a Shotgun and Firearms certificate to him dispite a DD conviction, I feel thats a bit harsh on the priest.

    Surely for my Shotgun renewal held 15 years+ they just need someone they can verify exists to say this is a true likeness? If they want to verify it check the Daily Telegraph archive!

    Perhaps I can understand that they wont accept a character reference from someone who's character has been called into question but there are two referees for Firearms.

    Does an incident like this really prevent someone offering a valid opinion? Sure if I got done drive while over the limit I expect the FLO to be looking hard at my self control and judgement in respect of firearms but to endorse a photo!

    If my Doctor had a Drink Drive conviction would they still accept his medical opinion?

    Ive never heard anything like this before.
    Nope a Doctor usually loses his or her licence if they get that sort of conviction mate - my Doc and I had this conversation last time I was there!

    I don't think a priest is on the "person of suitable standing" list is it? - The fact that he/she's a priest isn't enough to speak for their character, and whilst I'm not suggesting this is the case with your priest we had a local priest who was simply transferred to another area for being convicted of grooming young boys on the internet... my point being that impeccible public standing is not a pre-requisite of being a preist as they will not be thrown out of the church for breaking the law in the same way as a doctor or lawyer will lose their jobs for the same offence.

    I used another FAC holder and my barber (mother of 3 and business owner) as my referees, and also got a couple of character references from my family GP and the owner of my rifle club.

    Has yours gone through ok or do you need another referee? Have you got an old manager or something you can use?

  3. #3
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    North Wales Police

    Applications for a grant or renewal of a shotgun certificate must be countersigned. Your counter signatory must complete part D of the shotgun application form.

    Your counter signatory must be a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion/Priest or a person of similar standing. It is not exhaustive and other people may satisfy the requirement. Managers, Managing Directors and Company Secretaries are not suitable countersignatories.


    West Midlands Police

    Acceptable Countersignatories

    • Members of Parliament
    • Minister of religion
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Lawyer
    • Established civil servant
    • Senior bank or building society official
    • Justice of the Peace
    • Lecturer
    • Teacher
    • Accountant
    • Senior manager
    Cheshire Constabulary

    Your countersignatory must be a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace,
    Minister of Religion/Priest or a person of similar standing. Below is a list of some
    of the occupations considered suitable by Cheshire Constabulary. It is not
    exhaustive and other people may satisfy the requirement. Managers, Managing
    Directors and Company Secretaries are not suitable Countersignatories.

    Solicitor/Lawyer  Legal Executive

    Postmaster/Mistress  Dentist

    Accountant  Fire Officer

    Nurse/Health Visitor  Engineer (qualified)

    Surveyor  Teacher

    Councillor  Bank or Building Society Official

    Established Civil Servant  Local Government Officer

    Prison Officer  Retired Police Officer

    Veterinary Surgeon  Airline Pilot

    Tax Officer  Commissioned Officer in Her
    Majesty’s Services.

    Architect  Probation Officer
    Please note – serving police officers, police employees and Registered Firearms
    Dealers cannot act as countersignature


    Lets not degrade this to more Priest knocking. The question here isnt of their suitability it is of their standing being so adversly affected by a Driving Disqualification as to not be a suitable Counter Signatory.

    I understood that if you were a Company Director it had to be of a company with 20 staff. Not sure how a Barber counted?




  4. #4
    I think you've misunderstood my point - the OP said he assumed it was due to the DD offense, my point was that this is more than reason to not count him as a suitable countersignatory as it put's into question his character. i.e. unlike most of the other people on the list priests can remain priests with this on their record; most cannot. Furthermore having said this it could be any number of offences - not just the one's we know about.

    All my FL depts guidelines say is a person of suitable standing: http://www.sussex.police.uk/media/31...form%20125.pdf

  5. #5
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Chap in question has a spotless record other than this. He was also deemed suitable 5 years ago.

    I rang Wiltshire FLO who wont comment on this individual case but acknowleged that a 3 month drink drive ban would likely render a counter signatory invalid. Obviously I could do with out the hassle but trying to take a step back I still think this is harsh. Not only must they have "impeccable public standing" but be practically blooming perfect!

    A Doctor so convicted wouldnt automatically lose their licence to practice medicine but would probably have their conduct investigated by the BMA.

    Luckily I have a number of suitable people to vouch for me so the new paperwork went back inside 3 hours and will be with them tomorrow.

  6. #6
    You have made the assumption that the unsuitability is down to the Drink Driving Offence.

    The facts are that the Licensing Dept have informed you that this person regardless of profession or social standing is unsuitable.

    I would suggest that you tell the Priest that has been the response and look at another countersignatory.

    In Strathclyde Force area, a different referee or countersignatory on renewal would "flag up" prompting a couple of phone calls to those involved as to the reason why. ( adding further to the time involved in the process)

    In your case the reason would be obvious.

    If the Priest takes umbrage at his "unsuitabilty" then he could take up the matter as to the reasons why.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDorset View Post
    North Wales Police

    Applications for a grant or renewal of a shotgun certificate must be countersigned. Your counter signatory must complete part D of the shotgun application form.

    Your counter signatory must be a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion/Priest or a person of similar standing. It is not exhaustive and other people may satisfy the requirement. Managers, Managing Directors and Company Secretaries are not suitable countersignatories.


    West Midlands Police

    Acceptable Countersignatories


    • Members of Parliament
    • Minister of religion
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Lawyer
    • Established civil servant
    • Senior bank or building society official
    • Justice of the Peace
    • Lecturer
    • Teacher
    • Accountant
    • Senior manager

    Cheshire Constabulary

    Your countersignatory must be a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace,
    Minister of Religion/Priest or a person of similar standing. Below is a list of some
    of the occupations considered suitable by Cheshire Constabulary. It is not
    exhaustive and other people may satisfy the requirement. Managers, Managing
    Directors and Company Secretaries are not suitable Countersignatories.

    Solicitor/Lawyer  Legal Executive

    Postmaster/Mistress  Dentist

    Accountant  Fire Officer

    Nurse/Health Visitor  Engineer (qualified)

    Surveyor  Teacher

    Councillor  Bank or Building Society Official

    Established Civil Servant  Local Government Officer

    Prison Officer  Retired Police Officer

    Veterinary Surgeon  Airline Pilot

    Tax Officer  Commissioned Officer in Her
    Majesty’s Services.

    Architect  Probation Officer
    Please note – serving police officers, police employees and Registered Firearms
    Dealers cannot act as countersignature


    Lets not degrade this to more Priest knocking. The question here isnt of their suitability it is of their standing being so adversly affected by a Driving Disqualification as to not be a suitable Counter Signatory.

    I understood that if you were a Company Director it had to be of a company with 20 staff. Not sure how a Barber counted?



    Do I detect something of a "white collar" bias here? atb Tim

  8. #8
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Considerable amount of "RTFP" here.

    Sorry thought this was an point worth posting.

  9. #9
    I didn't realise that a manager wasn't suitable - and obviously, neither did Humberside police!
    One of my refs was an FAC holder, and the other was my direct boss (transport manager).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDorset View Post
    Considerable amount of "RTFP" here.

    Sorry thought this was an point worth posting.

    Excuse my ignorance but what does RTFP mean?

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