Young People using firearms.

DJR95

Well-Known Member
What is the law surrounding a certificate holder over 21 supervising under the age of 18? Is it legal for them to use a rifle if accompanied? e.g if a father was to take his son out stalking to get experience before applying for his firearm.
 
In a nutshell no unless the young person holds a certificate. Lending of firearms is prohibited unless under the Estate Rifle use rules which are unlikely to apply to the majority of certificate holders.
 
I think a person of under 18 isn’t allowed to discharge a fac rifle unless they have an FAC themselves or they are using it at a home office approved facility ie a cadets training ground?
 
Search “Borrowed rifle on private premises” to take you to the relevant link on the BASC website
 
17 is the minimum age for a non FAC person to use a firearm whilst under the immediate supervision of the FAC holder.
Immediate supervision is loosely defined as within eyesight and earshot.
 
Short answer - anyone borrowing a rifle must be 17 or over. Contrary to the argument some people raised last time we had this discussion, that DOES NOT MEAN 18.
There is an exemption for members of cadet corps.
The only way a person under 17 can legally use a rifle is if they have a certificate for that rifle.

See here. If you search the page for "age" you can easily find every reference to what people of various ages can and cannot legally do with firearms 👍🏻

 
Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law November 2022 Chapter 7
Authorised lending and possession of firearms for hunting etc
7.6 Chapter 6 explains that section 11A of the 1968 Act allows a non-certificate holder(‘the borrower’) to borrow and possess a rifle or a shotgun from another person (‘the lender’) on private premises for either hunting animals or shooting game or vermin, and/or for shooting at artificial targets, but only if they meet a number of conditions:
i. in the case of a rifle, the borrower is aged 17 or over;
ii. the lender is aged 18 or over and holds a certificate for the borrowed firearm; and,
iii. the lender either has the legal right to allow others to enter the premises for hunting animals or shooting game or vermin; or,
iv. has written authorisation from such a person to lend the rifle or shotgun on the premises.
7.7 When lending a rifle or shot gun, the borrower’s possession and use of the rifle or shotgun must comply with the conditions placed on the lender’s certificate.
7.8 The lender must be present during the period during which the rifle or shot gun is borrowed.
Alternatively, the borrower must be in the presence of another person who is aged 18 or over as described under either subsection 11A(5)(a) or (b) of the1968 Act, provided that they hold a certificate in respect of the borrowed rifle or shotgun.
The term “in the presence of” is not defined in law but is generally interpreted as being within sight or earshot.
 
The minimum age that a young person can hold their own FAC is 14, with which they can use a firearm unsupervised and can possess the relevant ammunition, although they cannot purchase it.
It is kind of ridiculous that prior to gaining their own FAC they cannot gain any experience of firearms whilst under the guidance of an older experienced mentor.
Meanwhile there is NO lower age limit for an SGC, I believe the youngest person in the UK to be granted one was just 5, but you cannot use a shotgun unsupervised until you are 15.

The whole of the UK firearms act needs rewriting from the ground up to take out numerous contradictions.
 
It is kind of ridiculous that prior to gaining their own FAC they cannot gain any experience of firearms whilst under the guidance of an older experienced mentor.
Not entirely right to say that they can't gain any experience of firearms. There is always the option of gaining experience via a school or cadet force, a home office approved club, or a miniature rifle club.
 

And to save you clicking on the above

Young people and firearms
Section 1 firearms – including rifles, muzzle-loading pistols/handguns and certain types of shotguns

Incorporating amendments from the Policing and Crime Act 2017

Under 14 years of age
No one under the age of 14 may use a Section 1 firearm, except for target shooting as a member of a Home Office approved rifle club, or at a shooting gallery where no rifles larger than .23 inch calibre are used (eg. at fairs).

14-17 years of age
At the age of 14 a person may hold a firearm certificate and may then be given firearms and ammunition within the conditions on the certificate.

The law does not set a minimum age at which the holder of a firearm certificate may shoot without adult supervision. That is left to the discretion of the parent or guardian.

18 years and over
On reaching the age of 18, the holder of a firearm certificate may hire or purchase firearms and ammunition in accordance with the conditions on that certificate.

Borrowing rifles on private premises
Section 11A of the Firearms Act 1968 now outlines the new rifle lending provisions.

For full details on how to comply with the law, read more about borrowing rifles.
 
Not entirely right to say that they can't gain any experience of firearms. There is always the option of gaining experience via a school or cadet force, a home office approved club, or a miniature rifle club.
Its not convent though, especially if your father or family shoots you've got it right there in a safe controlled environment.

Lowering it down to 13 with several extra safety precautions wouldn't be an unreasonable choice.

Rifle set up by adult.
Rifle loaded by adult.
Advised calibre (243.308/270?) (no inherent need for a kid to be firing one of the biggest legal calibres, that has a big ricochet risk)
Single round loaded for large centrefire rifles, Adult would hold magazine if follow up required.

The thing that's always baffled me is If a kid can shoot a centrefire rifle at 14 with a license, but a non-license holder cant, FAC's dont provide any safety courses on rifles in the grand scheme of thing its a piece of paper with rules attached.
Not that I have issues with FAC's I quite like our gun laws in this country, but blimey it would be nice if it was easier for the youth speaking as someone who was said youth during the pandemic!
 
Not entirely right to say that they can't gain any experience of firearms. There is always the option of gaining experience via a school or cadet force, a home office approved club, or a miniature rifle club.
True, but not sporting experience and when my son applied for his SGC & FAC we were told that being a member of the school CCF and having knowledge and experience with firearms counted for nothing.
 
Certainly no sporting experience but I think it was probably a bit harsh of them to totally dismiss your son's shooting experience with the school CCF.
Yes he may not have had as much shooting experience as if he were regularly shooting with a rifle club, but he still should have obtained a good grounding in firearms safety, and some knowledge of the basics of marksmanship.
 
True, but not sporting experience and when my son applied for his SGC & FAC we were told that being a member of the school CCF and having knowledge and experience with firearms counted for nothing.
Quite the reverse with my youngest who’s extensive shooting with the CCF provided evidence of safe handling and use of rifles - again I this seems to vary from FLO to FLO.
 
Certainly no sporting experience but I think it was probably a bit harsh of them to totally dismiss your son's shooting experience with the school CCF.
Yes he may not have had as much shooting experience as if he were regularly shooting with a rifle club, but he still should have obtained a good grounding in firearms safety, and some knowledge of the basics of marksmanship.
I thought so too. If nothing else it teaches them safe use of firearms, makes checking they are clear second nature, and gives them a good appreciation of the dangers and capabilities of firearms.
What did count in his favour obviously was accompanying myself and his grandad from the age of four and using air rifles from when he was just about big enough to reach the trigger.
Just how a youngster that doesn’t have the luxury of being brought up with it is supposed to break into it heaven only knows.
Being a minor, we still needed a reference from his teacher over and above the usual 1 or 2 referees, she refused but his head of year was perfectly happy to oblige.
 
Let's not rock the boat. The current system with regard to young people and firearms, despite its apparent inconsistencies, works.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if we agitate for change, any changes made will be more restrictive, not less. A public consultation would highlight the fact that the general public are not comfortable with young people having access to firearms, full stop.

The most important thing is that people stick to the rules we've got when introducing their children to shooting. They aren't onerous by any means.

(I speak as someone who's daughter has held an open FAC, and owned her own rifles, from the age of 14).
 
I think a person of under 18 isn’t allowed to discharge a fac rifle unless they have an FAC themselves or they are using it at a home office approved facility ie a cadets training ground?
They’re not allowed to be in possession I.e. handle the firearm, nothing to do with discharging.
 
Let's not rock the boat. The current system with regard to young people and firearms, despite its apparent inconsistencies, works.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if we agitate for change, any changes made will be more restrictive, not less. A public consultation would highlight the fact that the general public are not comfortable with young people having access to firearms, full stop.

The most important thing is that people stick to the rules we've got when introducing their children to shooting. They aren't onerous by any means.

(I speak as someone whose daughter has held an open FAC, and owned her own rifles, from the age of 14).
Very much in agreement with Tim here, if they review it then the law will become more restrictive, not less!

My boy has 3.5 years to go, until then he is content with the air rifle for targets and rats and accompanying me on stalks to watch and learn.
 
Its not convent though, especially if your father or family shoots you've got it right there in a safe controlled environment.

Lowering it down to 13 with several extra safety precautions wouldn't be an unreasonable choice.

Rifle set up by adult.
Rifle loaded by adult.
Advised calibre (243.308/270?) (no inherent need for a kid to be firing one of the biggest legal calibres, that has a big ricochet risk)
Single round loaded for large centrefire rifles, Adult would hold magazine if follow up required.

The thing that's always baffled me is If a kid can shoot a centrefire rifle at 14 with a license, but a non-license holder cant, FAC's dont provide any safety courses on rifles in the grand scheme of thing its a piece of paper with rules attached.
Not that I have issues with FAC's I quite like our gun laws in this country, but blimey it would be nice if it was easier for the youth speaking as someone who was said youth during the pandemic!
Really what is to be gained by lowering it to 13?
 
Thank goodness my daughter shows no interest in the sport otherwise I'd have broken the law by letting her have a go on my range
 
Back
Top