Unlawful restrictions on FAC?

HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#1
I've recently put in for a variation on my licence for stalking as it was initially issued for target use only.
My FEO has now granted me Stalking on my licence but stated that I was restricted to the use of my rifle/s STRICTLY on the nominated land on my ticket. So I can only shoot my rifle on the one farm I have. Now I have a freind in Hampshire which I try to get out with whenever I can. He has an estate and two farms. I asked the FEO if I could now shoot my own rifle on his shooting permissions as his guest. He stated NO !!! I am restricted to the land on my ticket and not allowed to use my own rifle. I would still have to borrow my friends rifle if I wanted to shoot on his permission. I am NOT allowed to use my own.
Doubting this I downloaded the Home Office guidelines and it appears he's wrong.
My interpretation of the home office paper is that once he grants me Stalking on my FAC then I'm entitled to shoot on any land to which I have permission to shoot, even if that's merely verbal or otherwise.The only restriction on that is that the land has to be pre approved for the calibre I'm shooting by the chief officer. The difference being an 'open' ticket doesn't need the pre approved land and is left to the shooters discretion. So in effect I'm on a closed ticket but not to the restrictions he's just invented.

Source

Page 106,107 and Appendix 3 page 233 of the Home Office Guide to Firearms Licencing.

I thought I'd fire it out to you guys and get your take on it before I speak to him.

Thanks in advance
 

N1mr0d

Well-Known Member
#2
I always think it is worth going through your shooting organisation for anything like this. They often know who to talk to and can oftentimes sort things out with a phone call.

The exact wording on your certificate would also be handy for those folks on here that know the law better than I to determine the exact restriction

Geoff
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
#3
I disagree
no reason why you should involve a third party especially one that involves a lawyer

you are correct, the restriction is unnecessary possibly unlawful

put it in writing, explain the Ho guidance, detail why this is unnecessary and does nothing to restrict risk or increase safety (which is their only concern after security).

explain that you do not wish to take this further and would welcome the chance to discuss this.
code for "change it or else"
 

HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#5
A person wishing to shoot over land should nominate in their application a specific area ofland over which they intend to or have permission to shoot (this does not restrict their ability toshoot elsewhere where permission is also given)

straight lift from the HO paper.
 

HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#6
This is what the wording that should be on my FAC (which is still with the FEO since June) according to the HO paper:

The *calibre RIFLE/COMBINATION/SMOOTH-BORE GUN/SOUND MODERATOR andammunition shall be used for shooting vermin including fox, and ground game/ deer (delete asappropriate) and any other lawful quarry, and for zeroing-practice on ranges, on land deemedsuitable by the chief officer of police for the area where the land is situated and over which theholder has lawful authority to shoot.
(The words underlined may be omitted once the certificate holder has demonstrated competence.There is No set time for this and each case should be considered on its individual merits).

He also tells me I have to wait 5 years to get an open ticket. Just make up your own rules !!
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
#7
HO guidelines are not law, they are as the title suggests, guidelines, until tested in law they are just recommendations. I'd wait and see what your licence comes back with in terms of wording, the whole licensing process is about you justifying your suitability to do what you want, if you can justify something, they have to give a good reason why you shouldn't, if they put overly restrictive conditions on, you can challenge them, but you'll need to justify your challenge, not just quote HO guidelines. A well structured email/letter outlining all the reasons for why you deem your situation necessary should be all that's required. If after all that then the likes of BASC or SACS etc will fight your corner.
 

Ray7756

Well-Known Member
#8
I disagree
no reason why you should involve a third party especially one that involves a lawyer

you are correct, the restriction is unnecessary possibly unlawful

put it in writing, explain the Ho guidance, detail why this is unnecessary and does nothing to restrict risk or increase safety (which is their only concern after security).

explain that you do not wish to take this further and would welcome the chance to discuss this.
code for "change it or else"
We are obliged to follow the law, and we accept that for the privelege of having our shooting, but when certain police forces decide to ignore home office guidance and try to make up their own laws it gets really annoying, but we have to follow their rules to keep our firearms , definately agree with bewsher500 dont just accept it,personally I would send an email as described by bewsher, but would also inform your FEO that a copy of said email has been sent to the home office department responsible for firearms licencing, or tell them that if you do not get a reply within days you will send said email to the home office dept
luckily my area , police scotland, perth and kinross, has a great attitude toward shooters and it annoys me when I see posts like this, good luck and hope this gets resolved quickly and ammicably
Cheers
Ray
 

HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#9
You are right .308 they are recommendations written for forces to follow so there is continuity in licencing and individuals are not discriminated against. They are not written in statute. I will have to do some more research but that's also a double edge sword any restrictions put in my licence which which are not a part of statute law and not following HO guidlines ..what makes them lawful?? It's an intresting one....I feel a stated case is in the making.
Yes I will wait until I see the wording, but I'm just going from what he tells me at the moment.
 

Whitebeard

Well-Known Member
#10
First things first, have you actually got your fac with the wording restricting your use to named land?
Secondly FEOs do not have the authority to condition or restrict your fac that is the licencing managers job
I'm with Northants and you will probably find that if you do not already have your fac it will come back with the very wording you stated in a previous post.
Some of the Northants FEOs like to flex a bit of muscle but remember they can only advise the firearms licencing manager

Ian
 

Shootist

Well-Known Member
#11
A couple of questions. Are you making enquiries of a Force Enquiry Officer or the Force Licensing Officer? The FEOs are usually the ones that come and visit, the Licensing Officer is generally where the buck stops and you will not normally meet him. A small but significant percentage of Firearms Enquiry Officers are woefully ignorant of firearms law but would rather stick needles in their eyes than admit they are wrong. On such important issues as this, do not ask anyone anything over the phone, but do it in writing or by email, and to the Force Licensing Officer.

It's not clear what exactly is said on your licence. It is that what governs what you can and cannot do, not an FEO who can't understand it.
 

HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#12
Thanks for the replies guys it's good to get a rounded view from the wider shooting community before doing anything.
I'm hoping you're right Whitebeard and the wording will be as below. And the fact you're from my force area gives me hope that this is my FEO's incorrect interpretation of a restricted FAC. Rather than a specific restriction stating I can only shoot on my permission with my rifle.
The communication between us has been a mixture of emails and telephone conversations with my FEO. I'll ring the main office today and try to speak with the manager.
Don't get me wrong my FEO is a genuinely nice guy, with a strong background in policing and firearms. And he's not doing this to be spiteful, perhaps more of an incorrect interpretation of "On land deemed suitable by the cheif officer of police for the area where the land is situated and over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot".
It might be that he thinks the"Lawful authority to shoot" part needs to be granted by the Licencing office. My take on that wording is if a farmer / shooting rights holder gives me written/verbal permission to shoot on their land that's "lawful authority to shoot". Anyone disagree?
 
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#13
Simple short & to the point letter (recorded) to: The Chief Officer of (County), Administration officer (His or Her's P.A.) stating the problem, very shortly it will be rectified. As long as you are polite, they should be the same. You could also copy in your Police & Crime Commissioner.
 

Gunner1985

Well-Known Member
#14
From my experience with the licensing department they can put whatever restrictions on your certificate they want to, for example a friend of mine that has had firearms for years sent his certificate in for renewal when he got it back they had forgotten to put deer back on it which he had on it before the renewal.
He gave the licensing department a call to explain there mistake, to which they apologised for and asked him to send it back in so they could correct it.

Anyway he did all this and got it back with deer on it BUT he was now restricted to shoot deer only from a high seat!!!!!
After a few choice words with them and several emails he got it back to how it was prior the renewal.


Also it seems to me like there is no consistency in the licensing departments from one County to another.
 
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HeavySako

Well-Known Member
#15
You're right Gunner. There's even significant variations between FEO's in the same force area.

Forces must ensure that where additional conditions are applied to certificates that they arekept to a minimum and are only applied where they are both proportionate and necessary.



 

FGYT

Well-Known Member
#16
Basically what does it actually say on your licence if its the std words then you can shoot on any land (police cleared for caliber if necessary)

for you to be legally restricted to just your one piece of land it must specifically say that on your FAC

for example
the FEO says you cannot shoot deer unless wearing Blue underpants and red socks you can ignore as it has no basis in any law

if they put on your FAC as a condition that you must wear Blue underpants and Red socks then you have to do this as Breaching conditions on your FAC is illegal
you would need the condition removed before you can ignore it
 

FGYT

Well-Known Member
#17
Thanks for the replies guys it's good to get a rounded view from the wider shooting community before doing anything.
I'm hoping you're right Whitebeard and the wording will be as below. And the fact you're from my force area gives me hope that this is my FEO's incorrect interpretation of a restricted FAC. Rather than a specific restriction stating I can only shoot on my permission with my rifle.
The communication between us has been a mixture of emails and telephone conversations with my FEO. I'll ring the main office today and try to speak with the manager.
Don't get me wrong my FEO is a genuinely nice guy, with a strong background in policing and firearms. And he's not doing this to be spiteful, perhaps more of an incorrect interpretation of "On land deemed suitable by the cheif officer of police for the area where the land is situated and over which the holder has lawful authority to shoot".
It might be that he thinks the"Lawful authority to shoot" part needs to be granted by the Licencing office. My take on that wording is if a farmer / shooting rights holder gives me written/verbal permission to shoot on their land that's "lawful authority to shoot". Anyone disagree?

correct lawful authority is from teh holder of the Sporting rights not the police they only affect the "Deemed suitable by the Chief officer of Police"

if the land is not in your own county you dont even need to ask your FEO/ FLO or inform them in any way etc you need to ask the FLO in the county the land is in if its cleared for your calibre if they say yes and you have permission you can shoot it

If not cleared you need to request your own FEO to ask their FEO to clear it .

not being funny but if he has a Strong background in Police fire arms he would know this so he is either being spitefull or is just incompetent in Fire arms law
 

JTO

Well-Known Member
#18
How many of us did not have the territorial restriction on our first sporting FAC?
My first one restricted me to a Home Office prison farm near South Molton, nearly 2 hours from home.
Later, with Dorset Wildfowlers club intervention, I was allowed to use the weapon 'on land where the owner or occupier already uses a weapon of similar or larger calibre'.
I was also allowed to use it at sea, but Shag permits are no longer available.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
#19
The best way to solve this would be to write a short and clear and polite letter to Firearms Licensing Manager of your Force, by recorded delivery, asking them to look into this again as you believe you are entitled to use your rifle on any land where you have permission and which is cleared. You'll find that most people you'll deal with in the Firearms Licensing dept. are perfectly reasonable and will correct the error forthwith.
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
#20
:lol:

The OP hasn't even received his FAC back with the presumed condition on it and he's already being advised to write in and challenge it!
 

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