Wednesday, 7 September 2016

UPDATED: Further issues with new medical system for firearms licensing

The following has been received from our good friends at the Counrtyside Alliance. If you are in the process of applying or renewing your certificate/s, it may help to read it!
A lot has changed since our last blog on the new medical system for firearms licensing, posted back in June. As such we want to update our members, especially those in the process of being granted or renewing a firearm or shotgun licence.
Since July the British Medical Association (BMA) has updated their guidelines on firearms licensing, stating that all medical forms sent to GPs by the police regarding the health of a firearm certificate applicant should be returned unanswered. The resulting situation is similar to that which existed pre-April, with no initial check of medical records and no continuous monitoring, both of which the BMA agreed to as part of the Medical Evidence Working Group (MEWG).
The Countryside Alliance believes this new medical system will improve firearms licensing and safety, potentially providing further justification for a future move to 10 year licences. Unfortunately the BMA’s u-turn has effectively signalled to GPs that they do not have to act in the best interests of the licence applicant, and rather than simply return the police letters unanswered many GPs are in fact attempting to charge their patients for completing initial check. This is happening despite the fact that all participants in the MEWG agreed this initial check should be done free of charge.
A further source of concern is the wording of the new BMA guidelines. Not only are they refusing to participate in the new (and previously agreed) system, they are telling their members to refuse the system by claiming a ‘conscientious objection to gun ownership’, a truly outrageous position with no basis in the BMA’s own employment ethics. The Countryside Alliance have written to the BMA twice requesting clarification and have yet to receive a response. We will be pursuing this further.
The current situation is not working, causing confusion among applicants for firearm and shotgun licences and leaving the BMA isolated from the other members of the MEWG. We will continue to push for a working system that benefits the shooting community and the general public.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Evidence lead decision.

Finally the Defra response to the LAG is made public. It is pleasing to see that evidence, rather than an agenda, resulted in the following statement being issued. This does not however mean shooters can relax, as those that would stop our sport are renowned for not being accepting of anything other than their view. So, for now, this is settled, but be prepared to visit this matter again in the future.

Friday, 8 July 2016

New attacks on gun owners.

The following is an article from our good friends at Fittleworth Rifle Club. I too have had a number friends who have been approached by, or sent a payment request, from one of these organisations. the information supplied by BASC and Shooting news is worthwhile taking the time read.

Just because….

Just because they call you paranoid, it doesn’t mean to say they’re not out to get you! In a little over a month, news has surfaced regarding numerous complaints received from owners regarding Barclay’s bank, and owners doctors. If you have had dealings with either or both, you are not alone. Barclays have been targeting shooting clubs and demanding names, addresses, and certificate details of anything from the secretary too all of the clubs membership. In an effort to achieve this, they have told blatant lies, declaring that the FSA, now renamed the FCA, has it as part of their regulations that clubs must comply with supplying these details.
The other complaint source from owners is in regards to doctors charging fees, after being approached by the police. These spurious charges range, from reports that I have seen, from £20-£100. Owners have been led to believe that if payment is not forthcoming, their certificate will not be either granted or renewed.
So how do you proceed if and when you are confronted by either of these scenarios? Gun owners, as we have said time and time again, are the most law abiding members of society, and therefore do all they can to comply with the law. Unfortunately, there are some that are prepared to exploit this honesty. The following links will take you to some sage advice from a reliable source, on how to proceed, and what you should do when confronted by either of these groups.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Lament for the "Sweet 16"

As with most things these days I can’t decide if I’m ahead of the game, or running trying to play catch up. It’s certainly true when it comes to technology, I’m definitely at the back of the pack, at the back. I still have a main line telephone, although I do have a portable walk about phone linked into the same line. I do have a mobile, which I purchased when the model was being discontinued, to be superseded by the latest thing. This mobile is so old, it is actually a phone with text facilities and nothing else. I was recently spotted using it by some 20 something, who exclaimed “wow, that’s so cool. I wish I still had mine. It was my first phone in junior school. Do you want to sell it?” why would I sell it, it still does what I want it to do, and even with its original tired battery, still lasts longer than my sons latest, all singing and dancing phone.

Anyway I digress, what I wanted to find out was if I was a trend setter or otherwise. You see in recent years and months there has been an explosion in small gauge/bore shotguns. It started with the 20g 3” cartridge being made more widely available. This in turn led to an interest in all things 20g, so new side by sides, over and unders, pumps and semi-autos all began to appear from makers for this relatively new cartridge. Since then there has been a surfeit of 28g and .410, again on a range of platforms. I myself recently acquired an as new Marlin lever action .410, what a marvellous little gun to shoot, and such fun too.

However, in all of these new, and resurrected guns, in all of the aforementioned sizes, there is one missing, the sweet 16. The 16g, is almost the perfect, and in some eyes, it is the perfect gauge, and it appears to have been overlooked. All the big makers are producing new models and variations each year, but it appears not in 16g. Smaller makers to produce many fine guns, some in 16g, but these are out of reach of many, including me. Sure there are a number of second hand 16’s out there, but these are, pretty much without fail, side by sides. What I would like is either a moderately priced over and under or a semi auto.
It’s said that the market dictates what you get to buy, but how do you get to buy something if no-one makes it. So next time you go into your local gun shop, and are looking around at all the nice new 12g and 20g shotguns, just ask if they have any 16g’s.

Until you have used the 16g you won’t understand; it has all the cartridge you will need, but without the wallop. It has the lines and grace of a 12g, but without the weight. In other words, it’s all the things you like about a 12g but dislike in a 20g, and all the things you like in 20g but dislike in a 12g. There are very few things in life that are perfect, but the 16g, in whatever format you find one in, is as close as you will get on this side of the mortal coil.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

FOI regarding Licensing departments.

The following link will take you to an article written by our friends at the Countryside Alliance CLICK HERE Given the recent position adopted by the current home secretary, preferring to give the police the powers to make the laws regarding all firearms held by the public. This should really give all shooters cause for concern, and encourage them to sign the petition to oppose Clause 81. PETITION HERE.

With many of the forces up and down the country failing to do their job, regarding firearms licensing, efficiently and proficiently; they either issue a section 7 temporary certificate or you have to lodge your firearms, at your expense, with a dealer or other approved person.

Should clause 81 be passed, firearms ownership will be a thing of the past here in the UK within ten years. Why! because the police would be the makers of the law without any interested parties having a say in the matter. The first thing they would remove, would be section 7 certificates, then a renewal process would take a disproportionate amount of time meaning that you would have to lodge your firearms, running up a large bill. This would remove many from the process purely on the grounds of cost. subsequent regulations would be so onerous and draconian that it would be near impossible to comply with them.

With very few exceptions chief constables around the country consider the ownership of firearms by the civilian population as unnecessary, and would be pleased to have the power to enable them to remove them completely. In very basic terms, a police state is one where the police make the laws and enforce them, to their own interpretation.