Carrying rifles on public footpaths

big ears

Well-Known Member
Hi just got a permission and looking at the best way to access it is along a pubic bridle way due to the nature of the prevailing wind. Is it legal for me to approach the permission along the bridle way so long as the rifle is in a case and not loaded?

BE
 

Apache

Well-Known Member
In the eyes of the law it doesn't matter whether the gun is loaded or not. If it's a quiet path I would tend to go with it slung over my shoulder, mag in but nothing up the spout. I often walk out of my frint door this way.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
In the eyes of the law it doesn't matter whether the gun is loaded or not. If it's a quiet path I would tend to go with it slung over my shoulder, mag in but nothing up the spout. I often walk out of my frint door this way.
AFAIK this is entirely correct: I've walked down public highways with an uncovered rifle (or gun) in places where this would not raise eyebrows.

That's the key things, though: depending on circumstances, it isn't so much what the law says but what good sense and discretion suggest - so if a covered rifle seems a better option, cover it!
:)
 

tozzybum

Well-Known Member
too true .out piggin shooting ,nearest road 2 miles away mr tart reported nasty terrorist me to the police as i was shooting at planes coming out of east mids with my hatstand escort ff sake.luckily leicestershire police arnt retards unlike the dog walking t,,, who phoned in.i heard my name called and popped out my hide to see 2 police in uniform ,so i unloaded n went over to them .perm checked ,owner phoned he came out and said yes he,s fine.whilst the police are checking me out mr pillock rings the police and we listen as he rants at the policewoman about arresting the dangerous scum<me >when he was told i was legit well he was well peed orf .no appogalog from said tit .though the police did .doesnt matter how far from the eejitts u are and how private the land theres always a right to roam ar.eb.nd.t trespassing where they shouldnt be .rant over stay safe and keep ramblers away from the countryside
 

badbob

Well-Known Member
Section 19 of the 1968 Act makes it an offence to have in a public place without lawful
authority or reasonable excuse (the proof of which lies on the accused) a loaded shotgun,
an air weapon (whether loaded or not), any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together
with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm,
or an imitation firearm.
22.16 Section 57(6) of the 1968 Act includes a definition of “loaded” in relation to shotguns

use a bit of common sense depending on where you are.
theres always some anti ready to make the dreaded 999 "rampaging gunman phone call"
 

Yoda

Account Suspended
Section 19 of the 1968 Act makes it an offence to have in a public place without lawful
authority or reasonable excuse (the proof of which lies on the accused) a loaded shotgun,
an air weapon (whether loaded or not), any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together
with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm,
or an imitation firearm.
22.16 Section 57(6) of the 1968 Act includes a definition of “loaded” in relation to shotguns

use a bit of common sense depending on where you are.
theres always some anti ready to make the dreaded 999 "rampaging gunman phone call"
All very true
 

tozzybum

Well-Known Member
as i said it was a private not public place2 miles from any road and no pubic footpath.i was agreeing with dalua,s post that your not even safe when you are totally within the law.dog walking/rambling donuts sont get/accept private land.they can go where the please because it doesnt apply to them.common sense would say 2 miles from the road and on private land im fine BUT no.its not you or the police its the incomers who have no understanding of what happens in the countryside .a man with a gun is soo wrong to them either a terrorist or a nasty killer of fluffy bunnys .after all meat comes from asda its nothing to do with them big lumpy things in the fields is it ?????
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
I agree 100% with the above post. There is no right to roam in England. Neither is there one in Scotland. There is however a right to responsible access. The police should have informed the interfering prat that he was trespassing, it might have muzzled him a bit.

Re roads,paths, bridleways and common land etc....
Some shooters seem keen to point out that it isn't strictly legaly necessary to have a gun covered while in a public place (this has come up before).
As said above,use a bit of common, go the extra distance re safety and politeness and it will stand you in good stead.
 
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big ears

Well-Known Member
Spoke to FEO this morning and they stated as said above. We can use public byways to access permissions, make sure you keep firearms covered, unloaded and behave politely if you encounter a member of the public.
Good to have it from the horses mouth as it were.

BE
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Hi just got a permission and looking at the best way to access it is along a pubic bridle way due to the nature of the prevailing wind. Is it legal for me to approach the permission along the bridle way so long as the rifle is in a case and not loaded?

BE
Yes.

In fact, it is legal to carry a loaded rifle out of the slip and walk on a footpath adjacent to your boundary and shoot deer from that footpath that is on land where you have permission.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Spoke to FEO this morning and they stated as said above. We can use public byways to access permissions, make sure you keep firearms covered, unloaded and behave politely if you encounter a member of the public.
Good to have it from the horses mouth as it were.

BE
the lightweight German style slip where you continue to use the rifle sling etc seems just the job for this sort of situation.
 

DaveK

Well-Known Member
Also bear in mind that the footpath/bridleway actually belongs to the landowner and the public only have the right of passage on said path (and only on the path) to get from one end to the other.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Also bear in mind that the footpath/bridleway actually belongs to the landowner and the public only have the right of passage on said path (and only on the path) to get from one end to the other.
And, plus, from when I did my law (so it may have changed) to use it TO GET FROM A TO B ONLY. That is to say there is no right when using a footpath to stop and linger (such as having a picnic or a "brew up" on a primus stove, nor by extension to stand whilst throwing a stick or a ball to a dog to fetch a retrieve.

In essence YOU ARE MEANT TO KEEP MOVING....THINK OF IT AS "MOTORWAY REGULATIONS APPLY" AS ON THE M1.
 

matt_hooks

Well-Known Member
A public footpath or bridleway confers the right for a member of the public to pass and repass within the bounds of the right of way. No right to use the land surrounding (so dog walkers allowing their dogs onto the fields might be guilty of an offence) and no right to stop. That said, stopping for a second or two to throw a ball, catch your breath or just admire the scenery are extremely unlikely to give rise to an offence. Anything that interferes with lawful activity going on on or around the footpath is almost certainly an offence (listen up "hunt sabs")

As for the OP, if there is a chance that there will be GP around, and the bridleway isn't on the land over which you have permission to shoot, then it is sensible policy to carry the gun unloaded and slipped until you reach the land you have permission to shoot over. Might not be legally necessary (though it might be, the legislation is hardly clear on what constitutes good reason or lawful excuse), but it helps to prevent a visit from the firearms guys and having a loaded MP5 pointed at your brainbox is likely to put a dent in your day!
 

Labrat

Well-Known Member
And, plus, from when I did my law (so it may have changed) to use it TO GET FROM A TO B ONLY. That is to say there is no right when using a footpath to stop and linger (such as having a picnic or a "brew up" on a primus stove, nor by extension to stand whilst throwing a stick or a ball to a dog to fetch a retrieve.

In essence YOU ARE MEANT TO KEEP MOVING....THINK OF IT AS "MOTORWAY REGULATIONS APPLY" AS ON THE M1.
not quite, this is quite an outdated concept that was much repeated from some old case law examples. The correct rule is that anyone has the right to do whatever is 'reasonable' on a public right of way, so long as they do not interfere with the primary right to pass and repass or create a public or private nuisance. This was set out in DPP vs Jones 1990 at the highest level, case law referring to protesters as it happens, however it was pretty clear that the 'reasonableness test' was a common sense and language test that would be viewed in context, so what might be reasonable on a byway or road would not necessarily be reasonable on a countryside public footpath.
 
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