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Thread: A tale of two FAC applications

  1. #1

    A tale of two FAC applications

    I'll add to this topic as the story progresses - it might turn out to be quite an interesting and enlightening experience.

    Application no.1

    Me, I'm a returnee to shooting and deer. Here's the biog:

    I've been rough shooting, small/fullbore rifle & pistol since 1976 and stalking from 1987. Several certificates in small/fullbore rifle and pistol safety and use, BDS National Stalker's Cert, Advanced Stalker Cert & Range Conducting Officer Cert. Worked for a period of about 11 years in a full-time professional deer mangement/stalking capacity until 2001.

    Also completed the BDFA certification in field slaughter and have held various English Nature and Home Office licences to 'take wild deer alive' by S.5 tranquilising rifle/dart etc. Was a S.5 RFD until 2001. Since then until now I have not held an FAC etc.

    I have now applied for a new FAC & SGC - .22, 22-250, 6.5x57, .308, usual ammo + 12 gauge slug - requesting open certificate with no conditions attached to where or on what the firearms are used. Should cover the usual vermin, fox and deer, plus boar, goats and any other culling - similar to my last open FAC. I have land signed up etc.

    Application no.2

    My brother-in-law, (let's call him Nimrod), with no previous experience but will be instructed by myself.

    Applying to the same force for FAC & SGC - .22, 22-250, .308 for use on vermin, fox & deer where appropriate. He is in a civilian professional occupation with high level security clearance and can hold his own in discussions of a legal nature.

    He has his own smallholding and has had problems with foxes and rabbits. Deer are present from time to time.

    Both applications are being made to the same constabulary so it might be interesting to see how we are handled - I'm advising him regarding the nuances of the application process.

  2. #2
    I can't wait to see this!

  3. #3
    i have just sat down and written a letter for the supervision order to be
    removed from my sons certificate who is 17 old
    should all be ok keep you posted
    pete .

  4. #4
    Which force out of interest?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 75
    Which force out of interest?
    Are you directing the question at me or to Roedinator?

    I'm not going to reveal the identity of the Firearms Licensing Department for a little while yet, just in case it prejudices my bro-in-laws application. I've personally had good dealings with them in the past although they did get a bit self-contradictory with some conditions that were going to be put on regarding darting in public places, culling of exotic species etc., but we arrived at a workable solution in the end.

    We'll see if things have changed!

  6. #6
    cant remember if its A /S
    or S and M but thats another story
    must admit ive had no problems in the past with them
    and my F E O is one of the best .
    fingers crossed pete .

  7. #7
    Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

    Well, the FEO came a calling and after getting the nuts'n bolts of the security inspection out of the way and declaring that I have no mental health and alcohol problems, we settled down to the nitty gritty.

    First the good news: because I have previously held an FAC for CF rifles I do not need to be mentored, which is normally a requirement apparently - wooo hooo - but that's the end of the good news!

    I was informed I should plan to take DSC1 'soon', (I have BDS NSCC & Advanced Certs plus a few other things), but when is soon? Next up, the land I have 'nominated' is currently only cleared for .243 so it would need a re-inspection. I queried whether the re-inspection would be needed as I was applying for an 'open' FAC, (as the FEO referred to it). Yes, because it must be done. But why?. Because that is what happens and anyway I would be very unlikely to obtain an open FAC until the first renewal. I was also informed that apparently, even if the land is cleared, I would be restricted to only shooting over that named piece of land - but with the outside possibility that I might be allowed to shoot elsewhere but only if I submitted details on the standard form and had it cleared beforehand.

    The first major point of contention was the number of rifles and my choice of calibres. It was suggested that instead of a 22-250 for fox, (no vermin with that you know!), and a 6.5x57 for 'small deer only' ( ), I should instead have a .243 which would be suitable for both. After patiently explaining that I wanted the sweet recoiling 6.5x57 in a light Stutzen for woodland stalking and the .308 for more open terrain etc., (plus the odd bit of range work), I thought I was getting somewhere - then bang! Did I realise of course that the .308 would be conditioned only for Red deer and the 6.5x57 for 'small deer', (I should have picked up on that 'small deer' phrase earlier!).

    Okay, so realising that this was likely to be a bit of a long haul. I innocently questioned why any calibre that satisfied the requirements of the Deer Act (.240/1700ft/lb) should be conditioned for some species of deer but not others? Apparently, dear reader, and hopefully you will now be as enlightened as I am, it's because that's the way it is here! After asking for the reasoning behind it and getting nowhere, and finally agreeing to disagree, I requested that my application remain as requested and be dealt with on that basis.

    Next up was that old chestnut of fox with a stalking rifle. Apparently it's a no-no, although I couldn't quite understand the reasoning behind the 'fact' that apparently it's because they make too much of a mess of Charlie! I half-heartedly tried to get to the bottom of the thinking behind it, but gave up when I couldn't get beyond the 'overkill' and 'because they are not suitable' replies after a couple of attempts. Again I requested that my application go forward as it stood.

    Ammo was an interesting subject and at least I seemed to get somewhere with it. (Hooray) 500x.22RF presented no problems but I could see my 500 of each CF calibre had already been 'X'd on the form. Apparently half the amount would be allowed. Hmmm..... so how do I list the 200 or more expanding heads I'll need to order in because I handload? Oh, you handload do you? Some internal head scratching later and we appeared to reach some kind of agreement that the amount would stand, as it would be inclusive of heads and rounds. Apparently, if I want to justify a renewal in 5 years I will have to have some ammo entered on the cert, otherwise how will they know I have been using any? I tactfully suggested that as I wouldn't be 'selling' the complete rounds to myself I didn't have to enter them on the FAC - and obviously I didn't want to fall into the implied nonsense of informing the FA Dept when I did so - it seemed to meet with approval provided I retained 'some' receipts for heads purchased. I fully expect this one to come back again once it hasn't been explained to the 'office'.

    At about this time the penny started to drop that despite listing my last FAC and SGC on the application, the FEO had absolutely no idea of my previous experience and qualifications in firearms and wildlife/deer, (and hadn't asked or established anything!). Some innocent questioning elicted the information that all Force FA Dept records were computerised a couple of years ago, and although my previous hardcopy FAC information and personal file would be archived 'somewhere', it would probably be too difficult to retrieve easily - my file was about 3" thick last time I saw it!

    Hmmmmmm.......... time to produce copies of all my certificates, licences and previous S5 RFD cert, FAC & SGC, which I did whilst resisting the urge to make a modest flourish with them. Bearing in mind our previous 'discussions' regarding calibres and suitablility here's an extract from my last fully open cert, (any species, anytime, anywhere - sounds like a vintage Cinzano advert), so you get the idea:

    .22RF + mod
    22-250 + mod
    3 x .308 + mod
    16/7mm Drilling
    9mm pistol
    S.5: 1x pistol, 2 x rifle, 3 x barrels, 1 x blowpipe

    .22 Pistol
    S5: 4x additional barrel

    After digesting the info presented and getting the rundown on my recent professional involvement with firearms and wildlife, I detected a slight softening of attitude but no change in what had already been said, (and not agreed!). I did however manage to get an understanding that everything I had presented would be pushed up the chain of command for further consideration.

    After this first venture into the parallel universe of current FA administration, where logic and reasoning appear to have been reversed, I'll await the next 'phone call with unbaited breath.

    Next chapter soon!

  8. #8
    Did you indicate to the numpty that you would not be wanting to eat your fox?, had some thing similar with merseyside flo for a mates ticket with .223 for geese, while cheshire just rolled over when I mentioned central science laboratory's recommendations.

  9. #9
    Yes I did - but it just went over the head and the 'overkill' and 'because they are not suitable' mantra resumed.

    I'm quite relaxed about it all at the moment as I want them to put it all in writing if they persist with this rubbish. 8)

    BTW: I've all the ACPO FELWG meeting minutes downloaded and can trace the path, from conception to implimentation, of the latest recommendation regarding the calibre/quarry condition that was issued to constabularies in June of this year.

    Here's the detail courtesy of one of our shooting organisations:

    The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working Group (FELWG) has issued advice that supports Chapter 13.14 & 13.22 of the Home Office guidance. It advised police forces to allow larger calibre rifles to be used to take lesser species i.e. where the primary reason for possession e.g. deer stalking was established, all lesser species such as foxes and pests could then be shot.

    This practice has been commonplace in Scotland for some time, and has not endangered public safety in any way. In June 2009 ACPO FELWG again advised forces of a new condition that can be used in place of the standard condition in Appendix 3 of the Home Office guidance. -

    The (rifle/sound moderator/firearms/ammunition) shall be used for shooting (Named Principal Quarry Species) and any other lawful quarry, on land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated, and for zeroing on ranges, over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot. (Delete italics where appropriate)

    This identifies the primary reason for use e.g. deer/fox control, then allows “other lawful quarry”. Certificate holders are invited to apply for this condition from their local licensing departments.

    Sounds pretty self-explanatory to me, but then again, I don't live in Firearms Department Bizarro World!

  10. #10
    Let battle commence!

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