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Thread: Police 'spot' checks

  1. #1

    Police 'spot' checks

    Hi,

    apologies if this subject has been covered previously.
    However, met a gentleman last week who had recently received a visit from West Yorkshire Police. They turned up at his home, with no notice, to check his firearms and premises. He wasn't home. His mother showed them his cabinets and they then rang him to request his presence so that they could have them opened. On his return they did a comprehensive check, from ammunition count to cabinet fixing and found nothing amiss. The police said they were then off to carry out the same exercise on another FAC holder. So am assuming not a one off.
    Is this now normal practise?
    Understand that it is perfectly legal but I thought that the police had enough problems with staffing to fit in the one check every 5 years?
    Your comments please.

  2. #2
    That does not sound right to me. I hope he checked with his Firearms department to confirm it was correct and pointed out that inpromptu visits are not convenient and that notice will be required in future.
    What would happen had you been out of the country, would they have marked you down as uncooperative ?

  3. #3
    I am afraid without an appointment and reason for the check I would be inclined to see them on their way.

    the police don't just have the right to come in and have a look round because the feel like it.
    If there is suspicion of some FAC transgression then they are required to go through the usual process to confirm said transgression.

  4. #4
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    No this is not right!! My wife is under strict instructions that should the police come (and I see no reason they will ) that she is not to let them in unless they have a warrant. The police have no right to enter your house unless they believe a crime has been commited. If they believe a crime has been commited then they can easily get a warrant. This is yet another example of police thinkng they can do whatever they please when it comes to law abiding gun owners.
    If it were me I'd tell the to get off my land and come back with a warrant. They can write what they like on my file I'll just request a copy and sue there asses off if there's anything incorrect.
    I don't live in a police state and if you let them walk all over you it'll soon be one. Love to see them try that one at a Lords residence.

  5. #5
    I'm with EMcC on this one. Any inspection should be made at a time convenient with the FAC holder. It would have been perfectly correct for him to request them to make an appointment rather than having return home himself.

    Certainly a call/email to the FLD requesting such, obtaining ID of officers that would be carrying out the inspection, and asking why it was felt needed in the first place might be in order.

    This smacks of a 'fishing trip' by the police attempting to catch unwary FAC holders out.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by teyhan1 View Post
    No this is not right!! My wife is under strict instructions that should the police come (and I see no reason they will ) that she is not to let them in unless they have a warrant. The police have no right to enter your house unless they believe a crime has been commited. If they believe a crime has been commited then they can easily get a warrant. This is yet another example of police thinkng they can do whatever they please when it comes to law abiding gun owners.
    If it were me I'd tell the to get off my land and come back with a warrant. They can write what they like on my file I'll just request a copy and sue there asses off if there's anything incorrect.
    I don't live in a police state and if you let them walk all over you it'll soon be one. Love to see them try that one at a Lords residence.
    Im with you on this 1. My family have been told the same.

    Nutty

  7. #7
    You may find that under certain legislation (probably explosives regulations) the FEO has a permanent warrant to enter premises. While it may not be convenient to have a spot check it is probably quite legal. It's a simple matter to ask politely to see his authority or warrant if he can't produce it then he probably hasn't got the necessary authority to enter the premise without an invitation. My guess is that the licensing department is required to carry out a number of unannounced spot checks each year.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  8. #8
    a. job justification
    b. protect your backside in case something 'bad' happens
    c. show your boss some stats that you're helping reduce gun ownership rather than constantly see it increasing

    FAC holders - ensure you don't have over-limits or non-authorised ammo or items laying about that should be in the cabinet..not worth it as undoubtedly it would result in a loss of FAC/SGC.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post

    Certainly a call/email to the FLD requesting such, obtaining ID of officers that would be carrying out the inspection, and asking why it was felt needed in the first place might be in order.
    A good point, I would certainly wish to verify independently from the FLD that these were Police Officers and not criminals impersonating them.atb Tim

  10. #10
    8x57 - I think you might be mistaken in that.

    The police have no right of entry to private premises unless invited, with a warrant, or in immediate pursuit or when suspecting certain offences (usually indictable) are being committed.

    With regard to the OPs situation, and for the information of all of us who might be uncertain where the limits of their powers lie, BASC have produced a handy Fact Sheet that should help - linked from here: http://www.basc.org.uk/en/utilities/...CD99909754D50E
    Last edited by Orion; 17-09-2012 at 11:12.

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