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Thread: Estate Rifles

  1. #1

    Estate Rifles

    I was having a discussion the other day with a pal of mine about the use of Estate Rifles:- (Not that I have used one recently)

    To that end, my understanding is that anyone can use another firearm certificate holders rifle as long as they are either in the company of the licence holder or have the same rifle entered on the shooters own certificate.

    Has this changed now?


    The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 Section 16
    16.—(1) A person of or over the age of seventeen may, without holding a firearm certificate, borrow a rifle from the occupier of private premises and use it on those premises in the presence either of the occupier or of a servant of the occupier if—

    (a) the occupier or servant in whose presence it is used holds a firearm certificate in respect of that rifle; and

    (b) the borrower’s possession and use of it complies with any conditions as to those matters specified in the certificate.

    (2) A person who by virtue of subsection (1) above is entitled without holding a firearm certificate to borrow and use a rifle in another person’s presence may also, without holding such a certificate, purchase or acquire ammunition for use in the rifle and have it in his possession during the period for which the rifle is borrowed if—

    (a) the firearm certificate held by that other person authorises the holder to have in his possession at that time ammunition for the rifle of a quantity not less than that purchased or acquired by, and in the possession of, the borrower; and

    (b) the borrower’s possession and use of the ammunition complies with any conditions as to those matters specified in the certificate.

    Stalker (A) works for an estate taking stalkers out who do not have their own FAC, Stalker (A) allows them to use his rifle whilst accompanied.

    Stalker (B) has shooting rights and takes stalkers out onto land where the shooting rights have been given to Stalker (B).

    Am I correct in the belief that both are perfectly legal?

  2. #2
    I dont think you are right with B.
    I have shooting rights but I need insurance and DSC1 and if I took another person stalking on that ground it would be illegal

  3. #3
    A is perfectly legal, that's his job, therefore, a servant of the occupier.
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  4. #4
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    I have shooting rights but I need insurance and DSC1 and if I took another person stalking on that ground it would be illegal
    Eh? I don't understand why not having insurance nor DSC 1 would if you have the EXCLUSIVE shooting rights...in law you are thus the "occupier"...would make you taking a guest of yourself illegal. Please explain your reasoning.

    An occupier in law has exclusive enjoyment of the premises that he or she occupies. Thus the holder of a stalking lease is for legal purposes "the occupier" of the land over which he or she holds that lease. That lease may be for twenty years, two years, one year or and the law makes no distinction for even just one week or one day providing it is by a lease (which is exclusive) and not by a licence (which is not exclusive).

    Now in strict terms, as I read it, the rifle must be the "property" of the occupier and not the property of the servant. So a stalker could take a guest rifle out on the hill with a rifle owned by the estate (of which the stalker may be the person who possesses it on their FAC) but the stalker could not take a guest rifle out on the hill using the stalker's personal rifle.

    So Stalker A cannot take a guest out using his own personal longarm but ONLY that owned by the occupier of the estate and yes, Stalker B is also perfectly legal if he or she is the "occupier" of the land by virtue of he or she having the sporting rights.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 12-06-2014 at 19:18.

  5. #5
    If stalker B has the right to take deer on private premises, would he not generally by convention be recognised as 'the occupier' under 16(1)?

    Quote Originally Posted by hogey View Post
    I have shooting rights but I need insurance and DSC1 and if I took another person stalking on that ground it would be illegal
    I wonder, then, if you actually have 'the shooting rights', or rather a restricted personal permission to shoot on that ground?

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    An occupier in law has exclusive enjoyment of the premises that he or she occupies. Thus the holder of a stalking lease is for legal purposes "the occupier" of the land over which he or she holds that lease. That lease may be for twenty years, two years, one year or and the law makes no distinction for even just one week or one day providing it is by a lease (which is exclusive) and not by a licence (which is not exclusive).

    Now in strict terms, as I read it, the rifle must be the "property" of the occupier and not the property of the servant. So a stalker could take a guest rifle out on the hill with a rifle owned by the estate (of which the stalker may be the person who possesses it on their FAC) but the stalker could not take a guest rifle out on the hill using the stalker's personal rifle.

    So Stalker A cannot take a guest out using his own personal longarm but ONLY that owned by the occupier of the estate and yes, Stalker B is also perfectly legal if he or she is the "occupier" of the land by virtue of he or she having the sporting rights.
    I am not quite sure you're 100% correct there.

    See: http://basc.org.uk/wp-content/plugin...load.php?id=38

    Section 16 (1) Firearms Amendment Act 1988 allows a non certificate holder to borrow a rifle and use it in the presence of either the occupier of private premises or their servant without holding a firearm certificate. The following criteria must be met;
    • The borrower must be aged 17 years or older.
    • NEW - The occupier or his servant (the lender) must be aged 18 years of age or older whenever they are lending to the 17 year old age group. For borrowers aged 18 or older the lending certificate holder may be of any age.
    • The lender must be the “occupier” of private land or “a servant of the occupier”. The occupier and/or their servant must hold a firearm certificate in respect of the firearm being used.
    • The rifle must be borrowed and only used on land occupied by the person lending the rifle.
    • The rifle must always remain in the presence of the lender (The term “in the presence of” is not defined in law but is generally interpreted as being within sight and earshot.)
    • The borrower must comply with the conditions on the lenders’ FAC e.g. the quarry species.

    The bold underline is mine, but note that the certificate can be held by the occupier or their servant. I can think of examples where the occupier may not hold a FAC, but his servant have one. For example, someone who holds the sporting lease to an estate (and is thus the occupier) but who employs a stalker/keeper to manage the deer.

    So far as the definition of the occupier:

    The term “occupier” is not defined in the Firearms Acts, nor has a Court clarified its meaning. However, the Firearms Consultative Committee in their 5th Annual report recommended that the provisions of section 27 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 be adopted. This states that ‘“occupier” in relation to any land, other than the foreshore, includes any person having any right of hunting, shooting, fishing or taking game or fish’.
    Note that there is no requirement to have the exclusive rights, merely any right.

    So in both the examples given by the OP the person holding the stalking rights is either the occupier or the servant of the occupier. Why, then, could he not take someone out perfectly legally using the estate rifle clause?



    willie_gunn
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 12-06-2014 at 20:47.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Hi Willie_gunn

    I asked BASC, the reply as follows

    BORROWING RIFLES ON PRIVATE PREMISES. Note: The law has recently changed due to “The Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010” – this document.

    borrowing rifles | The British Association for Shooting and Conservation


    I quoted s16 from the statute books. It requires a genuine and substantial right to shoot on the land and depending upon the permission, also a right to lend guns to guests. The borrower must be 17 although the lender must be 18 in specific circumstances as of 2010. Please search our website for our fact sheet "borrowing rifles" for full details. Lastly the borrower must comply with the conditions of the certificate as if the certificate where his own.


    Key points to remember;


    1. Its not about estates. The title in the act is "Borrowed Rifles on Private Premises". Therefore any land is covered. Any certificate holder may lend their rifles so long as their lease, permission etc allows them to lend to guests and they adhere to the terms of the exemption.


    2. Borrowing rifles in any other circumstance requires a certificate unless its covered under s15 which relates to Home Office approved clubs. Two other exemptions relate to miniature rifle ranges and cadet corps.


    3. The s16 exemption only extends to rifles, not pistols, s1 shotguns or long barrelled handguns.
    Last edited by Morgy; 12-06-2014 at 20:43.

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Morgy

    Thanks, that's an interesting reply, in that it clarifies that:

    1. Any land is covered
    2. Any certificate holder may lend their rifle (subject to the conditions of the lease)
    3. It requires a genuine and substantial (though not exclusive) right to shoot on the land

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

  9. #9
    Just goes to show the need to keep up with any changes

  10. #10
    We must not confuse shooting rights with leases and permission to shoot.
    Shooting rights are a tangible asset and can be sold, leased or disposed of in any way the owner so chooses.
    A right is set out in law, and as such the holder of the right is classed as an occupier.

    I have, in the past, given people written authority to stalk on my land, this stalking authority in no way confers any right and therefore would not be able to make use of the estate rifle exemption as they are not an occupier.

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