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Thread: Borrowing a rifle

  1. #1

    Borrowing a rifle

    I currently have an open cert with a 17hmr but occasionally accompany a keeper friend to do a bit of deer stalking. He has offered me the chance to use his rifle for some solo stalking but just wondered what the procedure was to borrow a rifle. Do I need to get his rifle on my certificate with some form of variation to allow me to transport the rifle and store it overnight?

    Thanks in advance for any advice


  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    If you want to go stalking solo (and "transport the rifle and store it overnight") then you will need to get a variation and have his rifle added to your FAC. If you don't have it already, you will also need your FAC to state that you can use said rifle on deer/AOLQ and that you can possess (and purchase) expanding ammunition.

    If instead you want to go deer stalking accompanied by your keeper friend, then you can utilise the estate rifle clause (see shooting rifle without fac .).

    As ever, I am not a lawyer and may have missed something so do not presume that what I've stated is 100% correct. I strongly recommend you speak with the firearms team at BASC or another suitable organisation who can give you the full details.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    If you would be using the rifle without the keeper being present, then you would need to have the rifle on your own certificate as a 'borrow from time to time'.

  4. #4
    If its under the estate rifle scheme then you can use the keepers rifle, as long as he is with you. To use it any other way would be breaking the law.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to


  5. #5
    Established Poster
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    Jun 2013
    Staffordshire moorlands
    Both my son and I have all our rifles shared on our certificates one as keeper and the other as a borrower.
    this means if we go shooting then one of us has to go to work or out the other can take the rifle home and store it.
    just makes life easier.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Old melv View Post
    Both my son and I have all our rifles shared on our certificates one as keeper and the other as a borrower.
    this means if we go shooting then one of us has to go to work or out the other can take the rifle home and store it.
    just makes life easier.
    My father and I have his three rifles on both our certificates.

    What i'm not understanding is this business of having 'borrow from time to time' (as described by Uncle Norm) and having one as 'keeper' and the other as 'borrower' as you've described.

    Surely these things are just unneccesary complications on the FAC? Your FAC either allows you to possess and use specific firearms and their ammuntion, or it doesn't.
    My father's FAC and mine make no reference to 'from time to time' or 'borrowing' nor to who actually owns the shared rifles - and I'm sure that avoids any potential and unnessary complications which might arise from the authorities deciding to put time-limits on what is meant by 'borrowing', or how often 'from time to time' might mean.

  7. #7
    The simplest thing I should think is, as has been said, is to have 'em on both certificates, it's more useful and you don't have to use the estate rifle business, which is really meant for a visiting shooter rather than a regular thing.

    As for making things unnecessarily complicated, you don't want to do that, firearms legislation has that all sewn up!

  8. #8
    Here is the wording from the 2013 Home Office Firearms Guidance on Firearms Law:

    Borrowed rifles on private premises

    Section 16(1) of the 1988 Act enables a person over the age of seventeen to borrow a riflefrom the occupier of private premises and to use it on those premises in the presence ofeither the occupier or their servant without holding a firearm certificate in respect of thatrifle. It should be noted that this gives slightly more flexibility in the use of a borrowed riflethan is permissible with the use of a shotgun as described in paragraph 6.18, in that theborrowed rifle can also be used in the presence of the servant of the occupier.


    The occupier and/or their servant must hold a firearm certificate in respect of the firearmbeing used, and the borrower, who must be accompanied by the certificate holder(whether it is the occupier or their servant), must comply with the conditions of thecertificate. These may include a safekeeping requirement and, in some cases, territorialrestrictions. It is also a requirement where the borrower is seventeen that the occupieror servant is eighteen or over – this was inserted by SI 2010/1759. Section 57(4) of the1968 Act defines "premises" as including any land. The effect of the provision is to allow aperson visiting a private land to borrow and use a rifle without a certificate. The exemptiondoes not extend to persons under the age of seventeen or to other types of firearm. Thereis no notification required on the loan of a firearm under these circumstances. A borrowedrifle should not be specifically identified as such on a "keeper’s" or "landowner’s" firearmcertificate. The term "in the presence of" is not defined in law but is generally interpreted asbeing within sight or earshot.


    Section 16(2) of the 1988 Act provides for a person borrowing a rifle in accordance withsection 16(1) of the 1988 Act to purchase or acquire ammunition for use in the rifle, and tohave it in their possession during the period for which the rifle is borrowed, without holdinga certificate. The borrower’s possession of the ammunition must comply with the conditionson the certificate of the person in whose presence they are and the amount of ammunitionborrowed must not exceed that which the certificate holder is authorised to have in theirpossession at that time. It should be noted that the borrower may only take possessionof the ammunition during the period of the loan of the rifle at which time they will be in thepresence of the certificate holder. If the persons selling or handing over the ammunitionare not certificate holders, it may be necessary for them to see the certificate to satisfythemselves that the terms of this section have been met and that the amount of ammunitionthe borrower wishes to acquire is no greater than that which the certificate holder isauthorised to possess. The details of the transaction need not be recorded on the certificate.

  9. #9
    David you are basically quoting the "estate rifle rule" which as others have already mentioned wouldn't be appropriate in the circumstances mentioned above.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  10. #10
    He needs to be within earshot I believe to qualify for ER

    just take him with you, he can carry the deer

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