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Thread: Variation Problem. Beware!

  1. #1

    Variation Problem. Beware!

    I applied for a variation to my FAC for a 308 and whilst waiting for the process to unfold I saw what I was looking for advertised in SD.
    I spoke to the seller and told him I was waiting for my variation and we both agreed that I could make the purchase and have the rifle sent to my local RFD whilst I waited for my variation. I contacted two local RFD's and they confirmed that it would be fine for them to accept delivery of the rifle and hold it while the variation was dealt with. Another call to my chosen RFD again said OK to what I was doing and we agreed prices etc, he also told me that my FEO had changed and gave me a phone number for him.

    I paid for the rifle and went abroad for 6 weeks working, my variation sent with a covering letter saying can you visit on my return?

    Next thing is my wife gets a call from the RFD saying he can't accept the rifle as I do not have a slot for a 308 on my licience and I shouldn't have bought it, the police are clamping down on this etc etc......

    A phone call to him from me ( from USA!) and I reminded him that we had spoken about this and he had agreed it was OK to do, he calmed down and accepted the rifle but said that there may be issues.

    I return home and the next day my FEO turns up and we have a pleasant chat about the type of rifle I had requested and that one of the farms I wanted to shoot was only cleared to .22 rimfire and the other only to .243. I said I wanted the 308 as I was doing a paid stalk at Thetford Forest and they only use .308 and I was planning Stalking in Scotland where the .308 seems to be the choice which he agreed.

    He then commented that I had bought a .308 already so he understood that the .243 ground would need to be cleared for .308. There then was a lengthy conversation about the fact that I had broken the law by purchasing the .308 even though it was held by a RFD. He is of course correct if you read your firearm certificate, so I had to eat humble pie and plead mitigating circumstances and poor advice which I believe he was OK with but he said that his boss, the Chief Police officer who signs the FC had clamped down on this happening in this area so ultimately its up to the man who signs my certificate.

    For my part I believe that its the RFD's who are at fault as the RFD's in this area had been warned about it before and should have passed that on to their customers.

    Next time I will phone up BASC for advice rather than listen to well intentioned advice of others.

    In the mean time I hope this will not turn out the wrong way, I will keep you posted but in the mean time be warned.

    Lets be safe out there
    ​Bertie
    "First impressions are as good as any others" Albert Pierrepoint 1905 - 1992

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertie Leblanc View Post
    I applied for a variation to my FAC for a 308 and whilst waiting for the process to unfold I saw what I was looking for advertised in SD.
    I spoke to the seller and told him I was waiting for my variation and we both agreed that I could make the purchase and have the rifle sent to my local RFD whilst I waited for my variation. I contacted two local RFD's and they confirmed that it would be fine for them to accept delivery of the rifle and hold it while the variation was dealt with. Another call to my chosen RFD again said OK to what I was doing and we agreed prices etc, he also told me that my FEO had changed and gave me a phone number for him.

    I paid for the rifle and went abroad for 6 weeks working, my variation sent with a covering letter saying can you visit on my return?

    Next thing is my wife gets a call from the RFD saying he can't accept the rifle as I do not have a slot for a 308 on my licience and I shouldn't have bought it, the police are clamping down on this etc etc......

    A phone call to him from me ( from USA!) and I reminded him that we had spoken about this and he had agreed it was OK to do, he calmed down and accepted the rifle but said that there may be issues.

    I return home and the next day my FEO turns up and we have a pleasant chat about the type of rifle I had requested and that one of the farms I wanted to shoot was only cleared to .22 rimfire and the other only to .243. I said I wanted the 308 as I was doing a paid stalk at Thetford Forest and they only use .308 and I was planning Stalking in Scotland where the .308 seems to be the choice which he agreed.

    He then commented that I had bought a .308 already so he understood that the .243 ground would need to be cleared for .308. There then was a lengthy conversation about the fact that I had broken the law by purchasing the .308 even though it was held by a RFD. He is of course correct if you read your firearm certificate, so I had to eat humble pie and plead mitigating circumstances and poor advice which I believe he was OK with but he said that his boss, the Chief Police officer who signs the FC had clamped down on this happening in this area so ultimately its up to the man who signs my certificate.

    For my part I believe that its the RFD's who are at fault as the RFD's in this area had been warned about it before and should have passed that on to their customers.

    Next time I will phone up BASC for advice rather than listen to well intentioned advice of others.

    In the mean time I hope this will not turn out the wrong way, I will keep you posted but in the mean time be warned.

    Lets be safe out there
    ​Bertie
    Much confusion / lack of knowledge on the law, exists both in the trade, and that in some licensing offices.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  3. #3
    From what you have said I think it's a little unfair to blame the RFD because technically it is you that broke the law when you paid for the rifle, though in actual fact you have done something that is not unusual. Yes the RFD has buckled under pressure from the police and accepting the rifle and entering it on to his register shouldn't have caused a problem so I can't really see what he has to moan about.

    The main problem you have is this nonsence from the firearms department about clearing land for one deer legal calibre and not another. A .243 is no safer or no more dangerous than a .308win. What an absolute load of of old cobblers they are talking.

    Get the police to put their objections in writing and argue your case. Speak to and keep informed the firearms department of your shooting organisation as I am sure they will take up the case if necessary.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  4. #4
    The lesson here is assume nothing. A nominal deposit should surely have secured the rifle? I had permission on some land that was only cleared for .243, spoke to my FEO, said I'd found a rifle, he said it wouldn't be a problem getting the variation and suggested I put a nominal deposit to secure the rifle. The RFD who was selling it was fine with that, 5 days later licence with variation arrived and the deal was completed and the RFD to RFD transfer. Maybe you were a bit hasty?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    The lesson here is assume nothing. A nominal deposit should surely have secured the rifle? I had permission on some land that was only cleared for .243, spoke to my FEO, said I'd found a rifle, he said it wouldn't be a problem getting the variation and suggested I put a nominal deposit to secure the rifle. The RFD who was selling it was fine with that, 5 days later licence with variation arrived and the deal was completed and the RFD to RFD transfer. Maybe you were a bit hasty?
    I quite agree I was the one at fault, It states on the Firearms Cert "permission to purchase" so I should have read that properly. Apparently they have had someone applying for a .17HMR and being refused (twice) and who then complained that he had bought the rifle anyway and it was with the RFD, this sent the Chief Police Officer into orbit understandably.

    Two things to remember here is that free advice is sometimes worth what you pay for it (SD Forum excepted of course) and if you don't learn something new everyday then you are not paying attention.

    Going back to the Naughty Step now!

    ​Bertie
    "First impressions are as good as any others" Albert Pierrepoint 1905 - 1992

  6. #6
    I paid a nominal deposit once, ... & got the same treatment, "Illegal".
    (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 finnbear270 View Post
    I paid a nominal deposit once, ... & got the same treatment, "Illegal".
    It was my FEO who suggested I pay a deposit of £100 (against a rifle that was £1,395) to secure whilst the variation was going through, the RFD was OK with that. It would come down to Contract Law regards who had the title to that firearm - with it sat in the RFD in Warwickshire and £100 in their bank before being dispatched to my local RFD in Aberdeenshire, title to the goods had not transfered and nothing linked my £100 to that particular firearm. There was also no paper trail linking me or my £100 with that firearm.

  8. #8
    After the fiasco with Litt's I am reluctant to put a deposit on any gun regardless of legality.

    I don't think that contract law would really come into it Virbius because you couldn't claim title because that would be admitting an offence, but until such time as that is tested in the courts we can only speculate.

    I don't know about other forces but the force I come under puts a condition on your certificate advising about buying or agreeing to purchase without first obtaining the necessary authority. They do stress though that this is only advice and not mandatory.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  9. #9
    Surely you have only 'purchased' the rifle 'conditionally' - ie you have paid him for it but full ownership and title does not pass to you until you have taken possession of the rifle, under the understanding that this would only take place when your firearm certificate has been varied accordingly.

    In effect, you've 'paid him for it', but you haven't actually 'purchased' it until its complete - that was obviously the agreement from the start, although it may have remained an unspoken assumption, but the seller knew you were waiting for your FAC to be varied, and was happy to ship it to the RFD to be held pending completion of the deal.

    Edit - in fact, legally, any firearm transfer can ONLY take place face to face, this being the function of the RFD so the purchase of the rifle is not completed until it is handed over, purchase=transfer of ownership - you can't have purchased it yet, as it would be illegal to do so, the purchase can only be legally completed with a face to face transfer:

    1997 firearms act:

    32Transfers of firearms etc. to be in person.

    (1)
    This section applies where, in Great Britain—

    (a)
    a firearm or ammunition to which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies is sold, let on hire, lent or given by any person, or

    (b)
    a shot gun is sold, let on hire or given, or lent for a period of more than 72 hours by any person,

    to another person who is neither a registered firearms dealer nor a person who is entitled to purchase or acquire the firearm or ammunition without holding a firearm or shot gun certificate or a visitor’s firearm or shot gun permit.
    (2)
    Where a transfer to which this section applies takes place—

    (a)
    the transferee must produce to the transferor the certificate or permit entitling him to purchase or acquire the firearm or ammunition being transferred;

    (b)
    the transferor must comply with any instructions contained in the certificate or permit produced by the transferee;

    (c)
    the transferor must hand the firearm or ammunition to the transferee, and the transferee must receive it, in person.

    (3)
    A failure by the transferor or transferee to comply with subsection (2) above shall be an offence.




    There you are - transfer of ownership only takes place when you present your certificate at the RFD and he hands it over, and it has to be face to face by law, so you can't have 'purchased' it yet!


    Last edited by Labrat; 07-06-2013 at 18:58.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Labrat View Post
    Surely you have only 'purchased' the rifle 'conditionally' - ie you have paid him for it but full ownership and title does not pass to you until you have taken possession of the rifle, under the understanding that this would only take place when your firearm certificate has been varied accordingly.

    In effect, you've 'paid him for it', but you haven't actually 'purchased' it until its complete - that was obviously the agreement from the start, although it may have remained an unspoken assumption, but the seller knew you were waiting for your FAC to be varied, and was happy to ship it to the RFD to be held pending completion of the deal.

    Edit - in fact, legally, any firearm transfer can ONLY take place face to face, this being the function of the RFD so the purchase of the rifle is not completed until it is handed over, purchase=transfer of ownership - you can't have purchased it yet, as it would be illegal to do so, the purchase can only be legally completed with a face to face transfer:

    1997 firearms act:

    32Transfers of firearms etc. to be in person.

    (1)
    This section applies where, in Great Britainó

    (a)
    a firearm or ammunition to which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies is sold, let on hire, lent or given by any person, or

    (b)
    a shot gun is sold, let on hire or given, or lent for a period of more than 72 hours by any person,

    to another person who is neither a registered firearms dealer nor a person who is entitled to purchase or acquire the firearm or ammunition without holding a firearm or shot gun certificate or a visitorís firearm or shot gun permit.
    (2)
    Where a transfer to which this section applies takes placeó

    (a)
    the transferee must produce to the transferor the certificate or permit entitling him to purchase or acquire the firearm or ammunition being transferred;

    (b)
    the transferor must comply with any instructions contained in the certificate or permit produced by the transferee;

    (c)
    the transferor must hand the firearm or ammunition to the transferee, and the transferee must receive it, in person.

    (3)
    A failure by the transferor or transferee to comply with subsection (2) above shall be an offence.




    There you are - transfer of ownership only takes place when you present your certificate at the RFD and he hands it over, and it has to be face to face by law, so you can't have 'purchased' it yet!



    +1 on the above.

    In fact, when you pick up your new rifle from the rfd, it will be entered on your ticket as having been purchased from him, on the day that you actually collect it. Technically it's been "owned" by him between when he recieved it from the transferors rfd and when he hands it over to you.
    The actual monetary transaction is only part of the purchasing process, not all of it.

    (At least, that's the way I understand it, and have in the past bought a rifle in just the same way as the OP, and then applied for a variation for it.)

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