Has anyone actually be prosecuted....?

We often read and hear things about shooting animals that aren't listed on our certificates.

On this forum there is a thread about someone not being given permission by their constabulary to have foxes on their ticket, even though they have deer.

I know of many times when stalkers (with the permission of the landowner) have shot foxes and other vermin, not on their ticket. Would the police seriously act if they found that a stalker had shot a fox but technically weren't allowed to do so?

I can't believe they would, but it's a strange and mixed up world!!!!


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shooting fox

I don't know about that. I have known people get warnings for failing to comply with thier conditions. You could be prosecuted for it. Of course you could always vary your certificate so that you can shoot fix and panthers.



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Its a long time ago now but after some quite long lasting disagreements with the Firearms Dept I had the police 'waiting' for me or following me and stopping me on various occasions and specifically on a few occasions as I left a particular field after dark from sitting in a hide waiting for deer. They were most concerned that I brought a couple of hares off the field since it must have both been shot after dark (which of course is illegal) and with my deer rifle but they ultimately agreed the body heat left must have meant death took place before dark and that Pest Control did indeed cover Hares even if wanted for the pot.

Common sense always prevailed but I felt that prosecution could well have been the ultimate outcome for something if my circumstances had been only slightly different considering the 'aggressive' manner taken.

I am pleased to say that nowadays my relationship with the present Firearms Department could not be better with respect and understanding on both sides.


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As I understand it, conditions put on a FAC by the police are not backed by any law passed by parliament, so long as you have not broken any other law while breaking any condition put by the chief constable there is no case that the crown prosecution could bring before a court of law. However I recon with good justification the FLO would pull your ticket, after all if you can not be trusted to obey your FAC conditions you would likely have that cavalier attitude to Law in general.



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As far as I am aware they not only constitute part of the legal document that allows you facility to shoot but Conditions also have no redress.

There is no appeal procedure against conditions so whatever the Chief constable chooses to add to your FAC IS binding even if it were to say you must stand on one leg and fire over your shoulder.


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Hi 325wsm

While the conditions are part of a legal binding document, braking them is not a criminal offence, if it were a law to reflect this would have to be passed in parliament. If you shot a fox with your 308 without it being passed for shooting foxes while stalking you would not end up with a criminal conviction for doing so.

Not that I advocate anybody breaking the conditions on your FAC, if the conditions are unduly restrictive make a constructive request to your FLO to have them changed, only if you are trying to bullsh1t him will you have trouble getting them lifted.



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I must say I am surprised at your assumption.

The first condition on your certificate is that you sign it. If you do not do that you will, as I now understand it, be prosecuted as per the Home Office instruction to all Constabularies. It will be the same if you do not notify the Police of change of address within the required time span.

I see the conditions on my certificate as part of the requirements that I must legally adhere to so that I am not in contrevention of the Firearms Acts.

To shoot quarry for which you have no authority would be no different in law to using your rifles for any other illegal purpose. It is not difficult to obtain permissions to shoot wahtever you want so why not deal with nthings correctly. Just becuse it doesnt state I cannot shoot something it doesnt give me the right to do so unless clearly defined within the conditions. It doesnt state on my FAC that I must not shoot people but by ommision it doesnt give me that right.

I shall adhere to my conditions implicitly both for the future of my own shooting and to ensure I do nothing that may make life difficult for all other shooters and I can only hope that you will do the same.


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Anybody who does not adhere to their firearms conditions as imposed by there Chief Constable can have no course for complaint when the FLO pulls their ticket.

Read my posts again. I quote myself as follows:-

“with good justification the FLO would pull your ticket, after all if you can not be trusted to obey your FAC conditions you would likely have that cavalier attitude to Law in general.”

“Not that I advocate anybody breaking the conditions on your FAC, if the conditions are unduly restrictive make a constructive request to your FLO to have them changed, only if you are trying to bullsh1t him will you have trouble getting them lifted.”

I expected better from you to start questioning my own integrity, :( and to suggesting that I would break the conditions on my own FAC is what I might expect of others but not yourself.

I though this was a theoretical discussion?

I would be interested to see in writing and what the penalties would be for shooting a Fox with a deer rifle for example, or a case that was brought to court and the firearms user was fined or sent to prison for doing so.

For the record I have permission to shoot Deer or vermin with any of my centre fire rifles, it is also a “open ticket” so for me this is a theoretical discussion.



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At present I am negotiating to have my moderated 308 for deer and fox seperatly so I can go lamping. My argument is that I can shoot fox until 1 hour after sunset then it becomes illegal until one hour before sunrise. At present I can shoot fox while deerstalking with my 7mm, 308 and 375 H+H.

Possibly the calibre becomes too lethal and possessed by evil demons once the last rays of sunlight cease to shine on shine on it. Return of the wererifle.
I wonder what happens if I shoot silver bullets through it??? :evil: :evil: :evil:



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I am sorry if you feel my wording questioned your integrity. It certainly wasn't intended - I could equally as well have said "I expect" as "I hope".

Without the facility of an edit button whatever we write on this forum cannot be altered should we on re reading it feel the point could have been better made. I shall try to ensure my wording is not so ambiguous in future as to give cause for offence.

In respect of the subject matter of your post.............

I consider the 'Conditions' as an extension of the Firearms Acts and therefore a requirement in law. Since there is no facility to appeal against Conditions they will stand unless as you suggest they can be altered by agreement. Further if the certificate is revoked because of a breach of conditions there is again no appeal procedures against the decision and your FAC is lost forever. One just could not afford the consequences of shooting a Fox with your Deer Rifle if the conditions did not allow it.

In respect of species coverage one needs to be careful that the wording isn't 'localized or generalized in a way that can give rise to unexpected exclusions. For instance i do not consider Fox as Vermin. In law they are 'small mammals' and rabbit too are not vermin but 'Ground Game'.

These anomalies around the country as to what is and what isn't covered by Vermin will hopefully gradually disappear as more Constabularies use the new Computer and the wording that the software includes being specifically Ground Game and Fox.


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I have had various problems ensuring whatever I wish to shoot at whatever point in time is covered by the wording on my certificate. In the end rather than having to add a couple more pages specifying each and every species and when and where they may be shot I simply had Pest Control and Sporting Purposes added for all rifles.

There are other aspects such as humane dispatch and a covering letter ensuring that both the Police and I understand the implications and the coverage afforded by that wording.

I feel whatever you have in the conditions it may be advisable to write to your Firearms Dept and specify exactly what you sphere you feel the conditions provide and ask for confirmation of your understanding in writing. This avoids problems with the 'local copper' when outside your own county borders where a slightly different set of rules may be in force.


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Explanation accepted WSM (edit button top right mate). ;)

I see were you are coming from that by breaking a condition set by the Chief Constable your are by de-facto breaking the firearms act. But following this logically the consequence would be that you are allowing the Chief Constable to make the law, as he sees fit for each individual county. Now parliament are not going to allow that are they? :???:



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Yes I am afraid they do allow it. In fact the 'law' in effect changes from person to person throughout one county let alone across county borders. It is of course not the only blatant example - Speed camera 'margins' are decided in county by the chief Constable. In my county there was a time when 84 would not flash a camera on a dual carriageway (15mph margin) but across the border 75mph would get you a ticket.

Constabularies are extremely parochial. We had our car broken into in the neighbouring county and were unable to find a free line to report same by mobilephone before we arrived home so i rang the local nick. I was told it was nothing to do with them as it was out of their area. I asked then what are the circumstances if I hold up at gun point a Building Society in the neighbouring county. Am I home and free if I can get across the county border? They put the phone down on me.


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I have JUST had an edit button - honest there wasn't one a minute ago.

It just said at the bottom of the page I couldn't edit posts on this forum.
So Thanks to whoever sorted it out for me.


Site Staff
I think you will find 325wsm is right. Any chief constable can apply the law as he sees fit. It is becoming the same here in Kent. Most new FA applicants that I know of that require to stalk are not allowed a large bore rifle if they have not got Level 1 or what the police consider to be enough experiance.

Although slightly different to the present subject, I was asked by the Kent Police about 2 years ago why I had not visited the local range club within the last year, and that I would need to relinquish the permission on my ticket if I did not visit the range within the next 6 months.

Now having an open licence gives me the right to take all of my weapons were ever I need to go. I wrote the FA unit a letter pointing out to them that they were welcome to take this condition off my licence, but as it was an open ticket I could go to any range where I was invited or had paid, ie such as Bisley. Therefore I saw little sense in their demands. I was told it was Government guidelines and the chief constable. I have not been for over a year and have heard nothing more from them.

My ticket states on each calibre, that is all 6 of them "and for zeroing on ranges , or land over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot"


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A friend of mine is part of a Scottish Deer Syndicate and doesn't have to attend ranges at all! I come under the very same firearms officer, but he has told me that if I don't attend a range that I am a member of at least six times a year, I will loose my ticket!
And get this, after getting permission to use my 243 for Fox and being finally allowed to have a 308, I was told that some of my rifles will be on a open ticket and others I will still have to comply with the licence conditions.
I was at work and rather busy when I got the phone call, so said. 'Whatever, can I have my ticket back please'!
What next? :(