"closed certificate"

2130martin

Well-Known Member
Hello all,not sure if this is the correct forum page or indeed if the subject has been covered before,so apologies if i have got it wrong....

I have a closed certificate condition for my .308 stalking rifle(which i have had a few months) although all of my other weapons(20 years plus experience) are open conditioned.

I have recentlly passed DSC1,after which they removed my mentoring condition.

I am currently purchasing stalks here and there and some of the ground has been cleared and others havent so i have to juggle between using my own rifle and estate rifles as necessary. I have to lay down my rifle and use an unfamiliar estate rifle,is that really what the authority mean to happen?? I obviously still assess the shot myself and wouldnt rely on my guides judgement although i would take it into consideration...

I dont understand the thinking behind the condition as i dont believe there is safe or unsafe ground it is the person pulling the trigger that makes the difference not the equipment or the environment.Can anyone explain the theory of such a condition?I understand when i first had firearms,i was conditoned up to my eyes,quite rightly...but now??

I am considering applying for the condition to be removed as I feel more concerned that i could find myself in breach of a condition due to a technicality more so than an unsafe shot.

Has anyone had there condition removed,if so haow did they do it and how did it go??

Thanks

Martin
 

Paul at Fechan

Well-Known Member
ask them directly, 'what do I need to do to have the condition removed'. Ask in the context that because of your experience it in not required and unfair while being restrictive. You have DSC1 and so this with a supporting letter from and AW type confirming experience is all you should need if they required 'proof'.
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
yeah,thats what i thought.I have a visit due from my local FLO for my SGC renewal so will gather some more thoughts and tackle him/her.

Thanks
 

Si

Well-Known Member
Explain it just as you did your opening post above, with emphasis on the bit about being forced to use an unfamiliar rifle (there are obvious safety issues here) you should have no problem getting it removed.

Familiarity with a firearm of any kind is the starting point for safe gun handling proceedure. Knowing how to operate the safety seems quite trivial but in the heat of the moment with an unfamiliar rifle you can find yourself fumbling about. Also installing and removing a magazine is not the same on all rifles, as is bolt removal. Some rifles lock the bolt in place when the safety is 'on' and others don't.
A lot comes down to confidence too, I know the capabilities of both myself and my rifles, I know when the trigger is going to break.... Using an estate rifle is like pulling the trigger and praying that the person who zero'd it knew his stuff.
 

David TS

Well-Known Member
It's all complete bo**ocks.

If you've had lesser centrefires than a .308 for years, a .223 is just as capable of drilling a hole in someone at 1/2 mile as a .308.

A safe backstop is a safe backstop, and FLA's have no business putting dumb conditioning such as yours on certificates.
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
I have a closed certificate condition for my .308 stalking rifle(which i have had a few months) although all of my other weapons(20 years plus experience) are open conditioned.
Ask the FEO to justify why they are continuing to place you under restriction despite your previous experience with firearms, (you don't mention which calibres you have been shooting with though?). If they are not willing to remove it then request written details of what criteria you are expected to meet in order for them to remove it.

If you don't get a reasonable response put your request for removal in writing, along with as much supporting evidence as possible, (copy of DSC1, receipts for bookings, letters of recommendation etc.), to the FLD manager. Don't accept verbals on anything if you think it restricts you - they must justify conditions in writing.

If all else fails get a shooting org onside - SACS are excellent in dealing with individual firearms matters for members.
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
Thanks Orion
sorry,missed out the calibres,.38/.357,.32,.22 pistols and .22lr.........no centre fire rifles,does that make any difference? i dont see that should make any difference it only makes a louder bang.........safety issues are all the same,anything in the way when you pull the trigger is game over....

when i enquired about land checks on Arran for the BASC scheme,Strathclyde Police didnt know what i was talking about!!...when i spoke to D&C they said it was ok.....
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
i dont see that should make any difference it only makes a louder bang.........safety issues are all the same,anything in the way when you pull the trigger is game over....
well there's also the small issue of what's behind it as well! :D (I know you'll be covering that as well though). ;)

when i enquired about land checks on Arran for the BASC scheme,Strathclyde Police didnt know what i was talking about!!...when i spoke to D&C they said it was ok.....
In that case I'd suggest it's game, set and match in your favour. If they've already made a precedent by agreeing to you shooting over land that hadn't been cleared for the calibre by a CC, (Arran), surely a breach of your condition, then how can they possibly justify in keeping it in place?
 

adjman

Well-Known Member
From HO guidlines:
Section 10.33
Possible conditions which may be applied are listed at Appendix 3 as a guide to firearms licensing officers.
Exceptionally, chief officers of police may impose other conditions appropriate to individual circumstances.

Section 10.35
Chief officers of police are empowered to impose conditions if they think that the circumstances of the individual case mean that the condition is necessary to ensure the effective operation of the firearms controls and to minimise the risk to public safety.

It is worth politely asking them what the Exceptional Circumstances are that require the condition, and which public safety issues they are addressing by imposing these conditions on your certificate.

The example condition given in "appendix 3" as quoted above is:
"The *calibre RIFLE/COMBINATION/ SMOOTH-BORE GUN/SOUND MODERATOR and ammunition shall be used for shooting vermin and ground game/fox/deer (delete as appropriate) and for zeroing on ranges, or land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated and over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot."

Just as some quick background for you - helps if you quote the letter of the HO guidelines as it helps to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about ;)
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the responses,very positive and helpful...has anyone any experience of this actually working or is it all theoretical?...I am happy to negotiate with the FLO etc but dont want to be seen as a smart arse and become a marked man for future relations.....I had a good relationship with my previous contact who retired earlier this year....havent met his replacement yet........
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the responses,very positive and helpful...has anyone any experience of this actually working or is it all theoretical?...
Not quite sure what you mean by it 'actually working'? If you mean getting a result by getting the HO Guidance applied correctly then it's a resounding yes. See http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.uk/showthread.php?6870-A-tale-of-two-FAC-applications for details of my own experience with an FEO who had a quite different agenda to mine!

I am happy to negotiate with the FLO etc but dont want to be seen as a smart arse and become a marked man for future relations.....I had a good relationship with my previous contact who retired earlier this year....havent met his replacement yet........
Remember, they are not your friend nor your enemy - you just need to have a businesslike relationship with them. You're not asking for anything out of the ordinary so prepare your case and know the law/relevant HO Guidance sections. If you do feel that you are not receiving the service you should then there are channels to make a complaint - who knows, you might even get the kid gloves treatment thereafter if you do!
 

Sinistral

Well-Known Member
Thanks Orion
sorry,missed out the calibres,.38/.357,.32,.22 pistols and .22lr.........no centre fire rifles,does that make any difference? i dont see that should make any difference it only makes a louder bang.........safety issues are all the same,anything in the way when you pull the trigger is game over....

when i enquired about land checks on Arran for the BASC scheme,Strathclyde Police didnt know what i was talking about!!...when i spoke to D&C they said it was ok.....
The issue here for Cornwall Constabulary (where I think Kernow is?) is they've got a man who's only shot on HOAC Ranges who's applied to be let loose over land with a high-powered rifle. The previous experience isn't relevant, and DSC1 is no more than a theory course. The DSC1 does include a supervised shooting test, and weapon safety element, but all of this is under controlled conditions.

They're entitled to restrict him to land 'cleared by a Chief Constable' for a time for reasons of public safety. These aren't 'exceptional' circumstances, and the restricted Condition is routine in some force areas. As for Arran, this is FC ground of thousands of acres so it probably passes the safety test on the nod as far as D&G Police are concerned.

I'm sure that after a few outings when he's proved he's a safe stalker, and got some supporting testimony from estates or guides to give them they'll then remove this restriction.
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
The As for Arran, this is FC ground of thousands of acres so it probably passes the safety test on the nod as far as D&G Police are concerned.
Doesn't that raise it's own issues then? It's either been passed by the CC - apparently not according to the local force as per previous post - or it hasn't, and therefore he was in technical breach of the condition despite the force imposing the condition giving him the okay!

I'm sure that after a few outings when he's proved he's a safe stalker, and got some supporting testimony from estates or guides to give them they'll then remove this restriction.
Looks from the first post as if he's already been doing that quite diligently, so I don't see that he will have any problem getting it lifted if the supporting evidence is in place and he can make a case for himself.
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
The issue here for Cornwall Constabulary (where I think Kernow is?) is they've got a man who's only shot on HOAC Ranges who's applied to be let loose over land with a high-powered rifle. The previous experience isn't relevant, and DSC1 is no more than a theory course. The DSC1 does include a supervised shooting test, and weapon safety element, but all of this is under controlled conditions.

They're entitled to restrict him to land 'cleared by a Chief Constable' for a time for reasons of public safety. These aren't 'exceptional' circumstances, and the restricted Condition is routine in some force areas. As for Arran, this is FC ground of thousands of acres so it probably passes the safety test on the nod as far as D&G Police are concerned.

I'm sure that after a few outings when he's proved he's a safe stalker, and got some supporting testimony from estates or guides to give them they'll then remove this restriction.

Thanks for the reply.....whats an HOAC?.....I have never been on a range....all of my previous experience was with vermin control and slaughtering animals including a lot of call out work from the Police who incidentally never conditioned or indeed questioned my competence in dealing with the situations including rta's and loose animals in built up areas among others.....

I appreciate none of the above have been with centerfire rifles but as i said they only make a louder bang,a .357 pistol in a town centre requires just the same amount of respect in my opinion,shots either are or arent safe.....
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
Doesn't that raise it's own issues then? It's either been passed by the CC - apparently not according to the local force as per previous post - or it hasn't, and therefore he was in technical breach of the condition despite the force imposing the condition giving him the okay!

This is exactly the reason behind my concern.....I am sure that the spirit in which the condition was written was not to create technical breach issues and in the mean time,i can use an estate rifle....what difference does that make other than using an unfamiliar rifle and the potential issues surrounding that........
 

Sinistral

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply.....whats an HOAC?.....I have never been on a range....all of my previous experience was with vermin control and slaughtering animals including a lot of call out work from the Police who incidentally never conditioned or indeed questioned my competence in dealing with the situations including rta's and loose animals in built up areas among others.....

I appreciate none of the above have been with centerfire rifles but as i said they only make a louder bang,a .357 pistol in a town centre requires just the same amount of respect in my opinion,shots either are or arent safe.....
In your earlier post you listed centrefire and rimfire pistol calibres used, plus a .22LR rifle. In in the UK use of these are restricted to Home Office Approved Club (HOAC) or MOD ranges, with the possible exception of .22LR for bunny-bashing, etc. on land. Hence my assumption your experience was limited to Range Use. Now you say you've never been on a range. So with another mental leap I've concluded that at some point you've been a licensed slaughterman. You didn't mention this .... but .357 pistol work in the town centre on loose animals is beyond my imagination or patience.

This is all very vague, so save any further speculation and give us the facts please. :-|:eek:
 

2130martin

Well-Known Member
In your earlier post you listed centrefire and rimfire pistol calibres used, plus a .22LR rifle. In in the UK use of these are restricted to Home Office Approved Club (HOAC) or MOD ranges, with the possible exception of .22LR for bunny-bashing, etc. on land. Hence my assumption your experience was limited to Range Use. Now you say you've never been on a range. So with another mental leap I've concluded that at some point you've been a licensed slaughterman. You didn't mention this .... but .357 pistol work in the town centre on loose animals is beyond my imagination or patience.

This is all very vague, so save any further speculation and give us the facts please. :-|:eek:
Yes i am a licensed slaughterman....sorry for the vagueness,it was unintentional.....as for the facts,they are as outlined in my original post and to date i have had a lot of good useful feedback but i have seen no reasoning behind the necessity of the condition or the benefit in terms of public safety,i currently stalk on ground thats been checked and then when we enter a piece of ground unchecked i have to lay my rifle down and use the estate rifle,what is the reasoning behind that??.....that is my reason for considering lifting the condition....I am trusted to use my rifle on a checked/cleared piece of land,i fail to see how that makes me any safer.........but am required to use an unfamiliar estate rifle on unchecked land,surely there is an arguement for me to at least reduce any risk by using my own (familiar)rifle........

thanks again for your time in replying and input
 

muddy42

Well-Known Member
It appears I have just had similar treatment. I have just recently moved the registration of my FAC from Scotland to London (Metropolitan Police). My conditions used to include "on suitable land over which the certificate holder has authority to shoot" but this has been changed to "on land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated".

I am not sure if this is because I have added a slot for a larger rifle? But I can see this condition proving tricky as I now shoot in a variety of locations in England (and still Scotland) and will have to ensure they are all cleared. My stalking in Scotland will be particularly affected as I understand that this condition is very rare north of the border so land is less likely to have been cleared.

I had a FAC and SG for 12 years with no dramas, shooting about 15 roe and the odd stag a year and have recently done DSC1. Has anyone else successfully had this condition removed?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

MONGOOSE

Well-Known Member
It appears I have just had similar treatment. I have just recently moved the registration of my FAC from Scotland to London (Metropolitan Police). My conditions used to include "on suitable land over which the certificate holder has authority to shoot" but this has been changed to "on land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated".

I am not sure if this is because I have added a slot for a larger rifle? But I can see this condition proving tricky as I now shoot in a variety of locations in England (and still Scotland) and will have to ensure they are all cleared. My stalking in Scotland will be particularly affected as I understand that this condition is very rare north of the border so land is less likely to have been cleared.

I had a FAC and SG for 12 years with no dramas, shooting about 15 roe and the odd stag a year and have recently done DSC1. Has anyone else successfully had this condition removed?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
I've got the feo coming round tomorrow regarding an fac for a deer calibre amongst others, but I believe there is a condition which some forces use I think something like , whilst in the company of an experienced stalker which would suit most people who go paid deer stalking , now I will only be happy with that on my deer calibre not the rest of the calibres I have apllied for, i have experience of using firearms but not stalking but I'm still going to fight any condition they try and impose on me as I've been told to do so by many people as once there on there that's it there is nothing in the HO guidelines about restrictive conditions many forces make it up as they go along which is only going to get worse unless we fight these imposing conditions, I would say you have a very good case to get you condition removed mate especially the time you have had your fac plus your dsc1 get on it call basc if you don't ask you don't get mate
 
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