Thumbs up for Sussex Firearms Licensing Dept

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
Latest variation just went through in just over 8 weeks - I was told it could take up to 12 weeks, so am thoroughly chuffed!

I just wanted to comment that Sussex FLD were thoroughly helpful and professional - I've had my licence a while and have always made the effort to be polite and patient. I have also provided clear reasoning and research for any variation I've requested (in the form of a cover letter and any supporting documentation/permissions/etc). This has come back to me tenfold in the way they respond.

On my application I requested that I retain my licence whilst the paperwork was being processed (as I shoot very regularly and needed my licence to purchase ammo etc), and that I will send it in by next day delivery when the paperwork reaches the top of the pile - they accepted this and I received a phone call from a polite lady asking me for my licence when she was processing my variation... this meant I was only actually without my licence for a week (during which time I carried a photocopy).
On this subject, what is everyone's interpretation of this law? - mine is that you are not breaking the law by not having the paper part with you (as you would be with a driving licence) - the law states you must have a licence to be in possession of a firearm. i.e. it means you cant buy one without one, or allow it to expire if you still have your firearms.

I'm not a fan of BASC as they generally seem to encourage confrontation between licensing depts and FAC holders/requests, I've also had some pretty shocking advice and comments from them... but I digress...

Thank you Sussex FLD, and I hope that everyone out there on both sides (licensing depts and FAC holders) can take something out of this.
 

mperring

Well-Known Member
8 weeks is good in the overall scheme of the delays at present but it should take far less. Sussex are very good at licensing but they have a bad rep around deer stalking apps. And on the subject of BASC and confrontation where's your evidence or do you work for Sussex police?
 

wannabecanuck

Well-Known Member
On this subject, what is everyone's interpretation of this law? - mine is that you are not breaking the law by not having the paper part with you (as you would be with a driving licence) - the law states you must have a licence to be in possession of a firearm. i.e. it means you cant buy one without one, or allow it to expire if you still have your firearms.

My understanding was that when the law says "possess an fac" it does not mean you physically have to have it in your hand. They mean "have been granted" - so you do not technically even have to even carry a photocopy with you when out shooting. But if you get stopped by a copper unfamiliar with the law then you may end up wasting a lot of your time proving him wrong!
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
Bunnydoom if you mean confrontation, you mean asking the police to carry out there job on time and in the correct manner then the more BASC do the better, 8 weeks for what, you already have a licence for a centre fire rifle, changing the calibre you want, should just be printing a ticket with it on, there are no checks required. So do I think this is good service NO.
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
Bunnydoom if you mean confrontation, you mean asking the police to carry out there job on time and in the correct manner then the more BASC do the better, 8 weeks for what, you already have a licence for a centre fire rifle, changing the calibre you want, should just be printing a ticket with it on, there are no checks required. So do I think this is good service NO.

I would agree with your reply Taff. BD why bring up basc in your op??? It seems strange you start by praising your force then ask a question then seemingly try and open a door for a basc bash!!


Nutty
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
Mr Perring - no I don't work for the police. Sussex did indeed have some funny ideas in previous years, but my understanding is they recently had a member of their team attend a DSC1 with Jelen in order to see what we're all about. Can't beat that in terms of proactive attitude. As for attitude, the "BASC fights police over..." are surely indicative of the relationship between the two authorities? I will spend some time researching advice I've received personally, as well as element of your website and attributed articles and come back to you.

Hi Taff - although I agree with you in principle, the reality is these departments are seriously under resourced so unfortunately i think this results in an element of "getting to the top of the pile". The depts themselves can't be blamed completely for this element - some are awful from what you guys say, but I feel Sussex do very well with what is a very poor system.
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
I would agree with your reply Taff. BD why bring up basc in your op??? It seems strange you start by praising your force then ask a question then seemingly try and open a door for a basc bash!!


Nutty

Hi Nutty, still smarting from a comment they made to be honest - so yes I concede it was churlish to mention them in this post...

Happy to let sleeping dogs lie on the BASC front, and will post the info discussed in a relevant thread.
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
Hi Nutty, still smarting from a comment they made to be honest - so yes I concede it was churlish to mention them in this post...

Happy to let sleeping dogs lie on the BASC front, and will post the info discussed in a relevant thread.

Ok Bd to be honest thats what I kind of thought.

Back on topic. You have stated in you post prior to the post Ive quoted. "getting to the top" I also believe that is the way. However a variation or a 1 4 1 should be turned round quicker than 8 weeks. Could the fire-arms dept's be slowing things down on purpose???? Here in central scotland it will be at least 8 weeks before the FLO even calls to arrange a visit for a new application!!!! The 1st time I applied for my own ticket it took about 8 weeks start to finnish that would be about 7 years ago.


Nutty
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
When I got my first ticket ( when men were men and sheep were frightened) it took less than a month and there were a lot more licence holders then, BD I have not forgot about getting you out on some stalks, I have been earning browny points on some new ground by hauling corn and doing cultivation work on my days off, it's got high seats for does later on.
 

mperring

Well-Known Member
Mr Perring - no I don't work for the police. Sussex did indeed have some funny ideas in previous years, but my understanding is they recently had a member of their team attend a DSC1 with Jelen.

In BASC's opinion police staff doing dsc1 is only for one thing ie to use it against applicants and catch novices out on things like carcass handling, nasal botfly infestation and other matters which have nothing to do with the licensing requirement.


If anybody thinks Sussex are sane in requiring all cert holders to shoot deer from high seats but not foxes using the same calibre then They might as well join the misguided animal welfare brigade and ask government for compulsory testing legislation which BASC is fundamentally apposed to. Safe handling is what's its about and stalking ethics are the preserve of the private sector not licensing departments.
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
Mperring I think I am warming to you, you say what you think, a man after my own heart, but I still think your forte may not be PR :D, but if I ever I need help you may be the man I would want in my corner.
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
In BASC's opinion police staff doing dsc1 is only for one thing ie to use it against applicants and catch novices out on things like carcass handling, nasal botfly infestation and other matters which have nothing to do with the licensing requirement.


If anybody thinks Sussex are sane in requiring all cert holders to shoot deer from high seats but not foxes using the same calibre then They might as well join the misguided animal welfare brigade and ask government for compulsory testing legislation which BASC is fundamentally apposed to. Safe handling is what's its about and stalking ethics are the preserve of the private sector not licensing departments.

I'm not sure that's a fair comment, I've found Sussex very fair and haven't been subjected to the sort of questioning you mention. Nor have I heard of anyone being questioned in this manner...?
The HO guidelines aren't much help with regards to conditions, it just seems obvious to us because we all shoot. So personally I applaud this effort on their part - yes there look to have been issues in the past but at least they're trying to see our point.

Sussex gave me a "paid/accompanied stalk only" to start. They removed it shortly after when I had my next variation as I explained I had my own shoots. They weren't funny about calibre choice at all, in fact it was Surrey who wouldn't let me shoot fox with my .243!
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
When I got my first ticket ( when men were men and sheep were frightened) it took less than a month and there were a lot more licence holders then, BD I have not forgot about getting you out on some stalks, I have been earning browny points on some new ground by hauling corn and doing cultivation work on my days off, it's got high seats for does later on.

Taff you're a gent :)
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
The HO guidelines aren't much help with regards to conditions, it just seems obvious to us because we all shoot. So personally I applaud this effort on their part - yes there look to have been issues in the past but at least they're trying to see our point.

Which part of the HO Guidelines isn't clear about conditions? Last time I looked all the advised ones that might be placed on an FAC were listed at the rear in Appendix 3. Any subsequent ACPO FELWG ones, (AOLQ and 'Accompanied'), are on advisories direct to the police. But if you mean ones that the FLD choose to make up themselves, then I'd agree that they are not in the HO Guidance. ;)
 

mperring

Well-Known Member
Section 27(2) f the 1968 act says "A firearm certificate shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify the conditions (if any) subject to which it is held....." [my highlighting]

So they do not need conditions and they have simply been proliferated to the point the police add them as standard and often make lawful activities unlawful by preclusion. They ignore Section 13.14 and 13.22 which says once initial good reason has been shown, other species can be listed. If you go back to the 1969 guidance it said;

“No condition restricting the use of a firearm should be necessary in the case of an applicant whom the chief officer considers to be trustworthy, and concerning whom he has no serious reservations about the grant of a certificate."

In a Home Office letter to police dated 9[SUP]th[/SUP] December 2002 ref: TDD-0372 it says;

“Guidance says that allowance should be made for ‘reasonable eventuality’ of game being present on the land (see paragraph 13.14). Whilst this appears to sometimes be contrary to the table in Chapter 13, it should be remembered that the table is there to establish the ‘good reason’ for the possession of the gun in the first place and should not necessarily be used to impose overly restrictive conditions.”


In an email to a BASC member from Richard Worth (Home Office) dated 18th August 2000 he says;

“I should make clear, firstly that the guidance is just that, and is not intended to set the absolute limits of acceptable practice. Rather, the police would expect a special case to be made out by the applicant to reflect their particular circumstances.

Secondly, the guidance was intended to deal mainly with the ‘good reason’ to acquire weapons rather than their use as such. While we would suggest that a person who wants to own a rifle purely for fox control may not have good reason to acquire a .243, this may not extend to a deer stalker who is allowed to use a .243 for deer stalking also being allowed to use it for fox control. We would certainly not wish to force shooters to acquire more guns than they need or to leave guns unattended because they are obliged to carry a selection.”

 

Archer

Well-Known Member
Yes resurrection of an old thread.
I ain't impressed with them
In 2008 a piece of land was checked and approved by them and I was granted an FAC on the basis of that report.
Now at time of renewal I'm told there is no trace on the computer of that land being cleared, so ,I have go through it all over again to prove "Good reason" - even though a copy of the email approving the land is held by my FEO (Different force)
For me, Sussex FLD 0/10
 
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mathieson

Well-Known Member
maybe I got lucky but thames valley have just done my recent variation in just 2 weeks th flo was realy helpful well done tv keep it up
 

Tikka 260

Well-Known Member
Hmmm, FWIW - Sussex FLD renewed my coterminous Certs last year in less than 3 weeks, and that was very reasonable service IMHO. Having said that , I've just put a 1 for 1 variation into the system, so watch this space for progress.

... and the result is that the variation arrived this morning.... 5 days door to door ! Best ever, and a big thankyou to Sussex FLD!!
 
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Archer

Well-Known Member
Yes resurrection of an old thread.
I ain't impressed with them
In 2008 a piece of land was checked and approved by them and I was granted an FAC on the basis of that report.
Now at time of renewal I'm told there is no trace on the computer of that land being cleared, so ,I have go through it all over again to prove "Good reason" - even though a copy of the email approving the land is held by my FEO (Different force)
For me, Sussex FLD 0/10


and they remain 0/10
.
2 hour trip to the wood,10 min on site that included a walk down a track with an FEO, a quick chat then the parting comment "It'll be on the computer tomorrow" followed by a 2 hour drive back home.

For heavens sake,
The FEO who passed it in 2008 is still in post, there is an email copy of the approval available and still an FEO was required to carry out an enquiry.

A waste of time and money that could have been avoided by some joined up thinking
 

Irish Bob

Well-Known Member
Bunnydoom if you mean confrontation, you mean asking the police to carry out there job on time and in the correct manner then the more BASC do the better, 8 weeks for what, you already have a licence for a centre fire rifle, changing the calibre you want, should just be printing a ticket with it on, there are no checks required. So do I think this is good service NO.

I agree. Stockholm syndrome going on here.
 

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