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Thread: Right to own?

  1. #1

    Right to own?

    Reading shooting times this week and a letter piqued my interest.

    It's about shooters' rights and principally the right to own a firearm.

    It included a flyer from Greater Manchester Police worded thus: A REMINDER FROM YOUR FIREARMS LICENSING UNIT IN CONJUNCTION WITH GMP FORCE INTELLIGENCE BUREAU. IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO OWN A FIREARM NOT A RIGHT. We will work together so you do not lose that privilege.

    There's an awful lot to that statement, however my question is this: Are any of you aware of any definitive ruling in this country that defines ownership of a firearm as either a right or a privilege?

    I presume our shooting organisations will respond to the letter in next weeks ST but I'd be interested to hear any informed views prior to that edition.

    Thanks

    G

  2. #2
    Shotgun ownership is a right

    Firearms ownership is not.

  3. #3
    A shotgun is also a firearm if you read the definition.

  4. #4
    For a rifle you have to prove good reason to have one, for a shotgun the licensing authroity have to prove good reason to refuse you one.

    Ian.

  5. #5
    I consider being allowed access to land for the purpose of deer stalking a privilage... but not the actual ownership of a rifle
    "It's halfway down the hill, directly below that tree next to a rock that looks like a bell-end"

    Good deals with ~ deako ~ sakowsm ~ dryan ~ 2734neil ~ mo ~ riggers ~ mmbeatle ~ seanct ~ an du ru fox

  6. #6
    Isn't this idea about firearms ownership being a privilege not a right something newly introduced with the new HO guidance?

  7. #7
    The English Bill of Rights, from which the US Second Amendment was drawn states; "That the Subjects that are Protestants, may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Condition, and as allowed by Law".
    I understand we do not own firearms for defence and the governments have gradually eroded the Bill of Rights, however it appears to office some legal framework ensuring arms cannot be totally banned. Maybe...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
    For a rifle you have to prove good reason to have one, for a shotgun the licensing authority have to prove good reason to refuse you one.

    Ian.
    Following a face to face conversation with a firearms officer , word for word, this is what I was told. I take from that it is my right to own a shotgun.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by timbrayford View Post
    Isn't this idea about firearms ownership being a privilege not a right something newly introduced with the new HO guidance?
    The GMP flyer has raised a few eyebrows, but the bit about firearms ownership being a priviledge seems to have been lifted from Damian Green's preamble to the June 2014 Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law.

    The Firearms Act says:

    27. - (1) A firearm certificate shall be granted where the chief officer of
    police is satisfied-
    (a ) that the applicant is fit to be entrusted with a firearm to
    which section 1 of this Act applies and is not person
    prohibited by this Act from possessing such a firearm;
    (b ) that he has good reason for having in his possession, or for
    purchasing or acquiring, the firearm or ammunition in respect
    of which the application is made; and
    (c ) that in all the circumstances the applicant can be permitted to
    have the firearm or ammunition in his possession without
    danger to the public safety or to the peace.


    Note shall be granted as long as the conditions are met. This does not look to me like a priviledge!

    It is interesting also to note that SGC and FAC are not licences, which would be needed to permit something otherwise prohibited (such as driving a motor on the public highway): but rather they are certificates, which attest to the holders' suitability under the Firearms Act to excercise the common law right to possess firearms.

    There is not any right to drive a motor on the public highway - you have to pass the test and get a licence.
    There is a right to possess firearms, but the Chief Constable may prevent your excercising it by witholding certification under S27 of the Act.

    That's my understanding (informed or otherwise) of it, anyway.

    The British Shooting Sports Council submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Firearms Control included this:

    Gill Marshall-Andrews is not correct when she states that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. Whilst it is reasonable to assert that the right to have arms which existed prior to 1920 has been circumscribed, elements of that right remain in current legislation, viz. Section 27(1) "A firearm certificate shall be granted where the chief officer of police is satisfied…" and Section 28(1), "…a shot gun certificate shall be granted…" Whilst the conditions that follow are stringent, the term "shall" is used rather than "may". This is not accidental and arises from recommendations of the Blackwell Committee of 1919.


    BASC's included this:

    5.3) BASC does not agree with the proposition that the ownership of firearms
    for legitimate purposes by suitable persons is a privilege. We assert that it is a
    right, albeit one which is conditional upon certain legally defined criteria
    being satisfied. The language at Section 27(1) of the 1968 Act sustains this; “A
    firearm certificate shall be granted where the chief officer of police is
    satisfied...” and Section 28(1), “...a shot gun certificate shall be granted...” The
    term ‘shall’ is used rather than ‘may’, as is the case in Northern Ireland where
    the Chief Officer has absolute discretion. The use of the mandatory word
    “shall” is no historical accident and comes from recommendations of the
    Blackwell Committee of 1919.




    This might be a misquotation, of course, but here http://www.yorkshire...itals-1-6802017 it seems that BASC might have adopted a view more in line with Mr Damian Green's.
    Last edited by Dalua; 15-09-2014 at 20:46.

  10. #10
    I knew that it was a Govt Minister somewhere, thanks for the info. I'm surprised at BASC, I will be in touch with them!

    atb Tim

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