Friday, 25 February 2022

Arming Ukrainian civilians. Too little too late?

 The recent invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russia is a terrible event; a show of brutal strength by a superior state over a smaller state. And as such, is wholly condemned here.

It is however interesting to see how the Ukrainian state decided to bolster its armed services. After many years of state control over civilian firearms ownership, they had a change of heart.

The population of Ukrainia is about 45 million people. Civilian ownership of firearms' is permitted, but is regulated by the state. There are many regulations to ownership, of which some are listed here.

  • an individual is 25 years of age for rifle ownership, 21 years of age for smoothbore weapon ownership, 18 years of age for cold or pneumatic weapon ownership;
  • has no criminal record;
  • has no history of domestic violence;
  • has no mental illness or history of mental illness;
  • has a good reason (target shooting, hunting, collection).

All responsible firearms owners are accepting of restrictions on violent, mentally unstable, or, criminal individuals ownership of firearms. And, always ensure that their firearms are kept away from minors, or, persons un-familiar with safe handling practices.

Restrictions on the type of firearms allowed to be owned are also regulated by the state. this also covers operating systems, magazine capacity, and ammunition quantities. The ownership of pistols, and self load, semi-automatic firearms of any sort are illegal. (a semi-automatic firearm only fires once with every trigger squeeze. The operating system will then cycle, placing another round in the chamber).

Ownership for personal defence, and concealed carry, are only available in a limited capacity, and only then if it can be proven that a threat to that individual can be proven.

According to the  National Police of Ukraine database, and they should know, there are 892,854 registered firearms in Ukraine as of July 31, 2018. Although, some anti-gun organisations estimate there to be in excess of 3,569,000, or, maybe more. But by their nature these firearms would be illegal, and no-one can say for sure how many, or, how much of any illegal commodity there is in any country.

Therefore, based on the official figures, rounded for ease and convenience, there are approximately 50 citizens for every firearm in the Ukraine.

That was then, 23/2/2022. Now we are one day further into the Russian invasion, and the Ukrainian government has reportedly issued 10,000+ fully automatic firearms to any civilian who will take up arms to defend the country. (fully automatic firearms work in a similar way to that described previously, with the exception that once the trigger is squeezed, the firearm will continue to fire until the trigger is released, or, the magazine is empty)

There are two issues here worth looking at. Firstly, the state has restricted their citizens ability to become proficient with the armament they are supplying. And secondly, the state thinks that civilian owners must be heavily restricted, but now are willing to hand out firearms to anyone who is willing to pick one up, in order to defend the state that restricted them in the first place.

Our prayers are with Ukrainians in their bid to defend their country. They are also with all of those who will lose a loved one because of one tyrannical individual.
Freedom is not free, and it appears that more will have to pay the ultimate price before this current situation is resolved.

Friday, 18 December 2020

UK propose even stricter controls.

 We as a community are again facing more government legislation in our sport in order to address the misuse of, and acquisition of, firearms by the criminal fraternity. From what I have been able read so far, there is little evidence to suggest a balanced approach to any of the proposals.

Please follow this link, FIREARMS SAFETY-GOV.UK to read the government, National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NBIS) wish list.

The following link gives you access to the NRA response, along with guidelines on how to respond NRA- HOME OFFICE CONSULTATION

The multi-pronged approach is put forward as a public safety exercise. Nothing that I have read would suggest that any of the changes would make a difference to public safety.

Do not leave it to others to do your bidding! Rest assured that all the anti-shooting organisations, including most of the main stream press and media, will be out in full force to help promote these issues using the public safety mantra.

If you see, or, hear any mis-information from these sources, do the right thing, and contact the outlet to put the facts forward. As a wise man once said, "A lie left unchallenged, becomes the truth".

Thank you for your time.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Firearms Licensing & COVID-19

I have taken this from one of our friends websites. It is very important that if you are the owner of a shotgun or rifle in the UK, you get behind this as soon as you can. After all you can't go out anywhere for a couple of weeks, so spend your time helping a fellow shooter.

Bear in mind that the government have allowed an extension for vehicle MOT's of six months after expiration, and that's for the general public. So surely the nations most law abiding members should be given the same courtesy.

Please find below details of my communication sent to Priti Patel at the Home Office. In the current circumstances many licensees will find themselves falling foul of the law for reasons beyond their control. I feel that this should be addressed by all our organisations, whether you are affiliated or not.

May I respectfully request that in the current medical emergency, the Home Office should advise all firearms licensing authorities, to extend the validity of those license holders whose license is set to expire before the end of July for a period of six months from expiration date? This extension to be reviewed, should the medical emergency still be ongoing.

As you are aware, when licenses are renewed the applicant grants permission for the authorities to contact the applicants medical practitioner in order for a medical background check. At this point in time the medical services are stretched, without this added duty being asked of them.

The licensees are already in possession of firearms, and have undergone the necessary checks when their license was granted originally. A short extension, with a review when circumstances allow, would not affect the public safety aspect of the licensing system.

In line with the government guidelines of not vacating your property unless absolutely necessary, the site visits to licensee’s premises would be avoided. Additionally, this would enable the all the public services to concentrate their efforts on the medical emergency.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Richmond Virginia 2nd amendment rally.

Richmond rally.
                Mainstream media outlets across the whole of the U.S. predicted a rivers of blood scenario, as in excess of 10,000 law abiding American citizens attended a pro-second amendment march. In the aftermath of the event, that same media was desperate to put their own spin on the event.

                In reality, over 10,000 law abiding Americans marched in support of their right to keep and bear arms. These same Americans were from every race colour and creed, if you feel you must address someone by their appearance, beliefs, or, gender, I leave that to those that wish to divide society. These Americans, legally walked down the streets of Richmond, with an estimated 30,000+ firearms and ammunition. There were few police in evidence, just some outlying lines of state troopers. The marchers walked down the road, chanting their objections to the proposed legislation, and on one notable occasion, a spontaneous recital of the pledge of allegiance.

                These marchers were polite, courteous, and orderly. When questioned by supportive, and hostile media alike, they conducted themselves with dignity. In all cases they answered the questions to the best of their beliefs, in a polite manner, without the need for profanity, inflammatory language, or, an aggressive personae. All this was much to the chagrin of the mainstream, who it appears had hoped for at the very least a negligent discharge from one of the thousands of firearms on display.

                Then when it was all over, these marchers left in a peaceful and orderly manner; but not before litter picking the streets where they had been protesting. All of this is stark contrast to those who would suppress or remove the 2nd amendment rights of Monday’s marchers. The lack of tear gas, broken shop fronts, looting, fires and damage to property, which those same individuals or groups had said would happen. Based one assumes upon their own actions when demonstrating, were all absent from this rally.

                These marchers weren’t the exception, they are the rule; a rule by which all honest, law abiding gun owners, not only in the U.S., but all around the world conduct themselves. This is contrary to what some would have you believe, especially those not involved in the shooting sports.

                In conclusion I would just like to say thank you to of those marchers from Richmond, Virginia as a whole, and to all those Americans from all over the country who came to support their fellow 2nd amendment family members. This truly was a United States march.

Friday, 19 July 2019

What's it all about?

The latest attempt to undermine the status quo by animal rights groups is currently underway. As with all of these attempts the main goal is not what is laid out in the press releases, or, on the web pages of the group concerned. If you have read any of the previous articles, you will be aware that, the individual’s personal choice is theirs and theirs alone. You will also know that there are many shooters, from every conceivable stand point; from meat eaters to vegans, all religions, races, and creeds.

Despite their diverse viewpoints, they have a number of areas of commonality. The first and most obvious is that they all enjoy taking part in the many and various different options available in the shooting sports as a whole. They also have a strong sense of right and wrong, as defined by the laws of the land. You will be hard pushed to find a shooter with a parking ticket, or, a speeding fine, let alone anything more serious. This attitude is something that is borne out of the discipline of shooting, and the responsibility that owning such tools, for that’s what a firearm is, brings.

Another thing that binds, is the concern for the environment where their shooting is undertaken, along with the nature therein. These areas are a haven for wildlife, and considerably less impactful than the thousands of houses being built over the hundreds of hectares of green belt. But as usual I digress, sorry. Our ranges alone provide sanctuary for moths, butterflies, wild orchids and numerous other wild flowers, adders, grass snakes, slow-worms, stag and other beetles, and finally but not least badgers. But these ranges are not overgrown, and un-managed. They are however selectively managed in order to help keep the natural diversity of the environment they are on.

Certain groups over the years, and certainly in the last thirty years with more intensity, wish to remove those who have been taking care of the rural environment for generations, and replace them with people who think the right way. The right way being that, if man is involved its wrong, unless of course the person is one of their own. A local group who thought this way refused to allow the control of foxes or deer on their land. The upshot was that the deer population grew beyond what the environment could provide food for, resulting in emaciated and sickly deer living on the ground. Many of these deer were culled, but did not end up in the food chain as they were not fit for human consumption. The foxes mean while wreaked havoc on the ground nesting birds, during the nesting season, resulting in an explosion in fox numbers. They were also culled!

Having had little success with their previous tactics, these groups are now learning from those in the U.S.A. who have also tried the first route, and have for the past ten years or so gone down a different path. They know that the people who support their viewpoint are in the minority, a significant one, but still a minority, which has remained stable over time. The new route is one of the law, and it’s not about winning! The plan is to ruin financially their opponents. Both sides are able to draw on their respective supporters for finances, but the anti-group has nothing to lose by keep throwing law suit after law suit at their opponent. Those defending against such suits, are often prevented from continuing their lawful business, whilst these spurious cases are taken through the courts, or, relevant ministerial department.

The first attempt here in the UK was the challenge to, and the suspension of, the general license to control pest such as pigeons and corvids. With a relatively small outlay the group concerned brought chaos to many farmers around the country. Those concerned could not have picked a worse time to proceed with such an action. As self-proclaimed environmentalists and animal lovers, they systematically removed hundreds of thousands of native birds from the countryside they profess to care so much about. In my own locality there was an increase in jays, magpies, and jackdaws. There was by contrast, a marked decline in blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, gold-crests and blue tits, all of which normally nest happily in the trees and hedges of my garden. One blackbird in her nest, visible from a window in the house, laid more than nine eggs, it may have been more, but only a few made it to hatching, and those that did never fledged.

This latest challenge to the shooting sports, in all its guises, is the most pernicious so far. Without everyone taking part to support those best placed to fight these law suits, there will be no future for shooting here in the UK. Firstly, they will ban game shooting. Then there will be a ban on vermin control. Clay pigeon shooting will be next, with the banning of lead shot, and whilst that is being passed, the use of lead in all ammunition will be included in the ban. Don’t believe me! Go to California, where such a lead ban is already in place. They came in from a different direction, but the ultimate goal is the same.