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.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Education or Ignorance?

There has recently been a social experiment, produced and underwritten it would appear by the local police. Their mission, to prove that children and guns do not mix! In a staged scenario, a room was filled with toys and other such things that children of today would be interested in. additionally, a strategically placed firearm was also left in the room. This firearm, although real, was rendered inoperable by the group conducting the “study”.

Whilst it cannot be considered a great scientific study, after all there were only 8 subjects in the test group, the result of the test is all but ignored by not only the group conducting the study, but by pretty much all the media. So why has this unscientific study been almost completely ignored and swept under the carpet. The answer, the result was not quite what they wanted. The selected children were left to play in the room, monitored on CCTV. Eventually one of the children found the gun and started playing with it, pointing it at the other children and pretending to shoot them.  Out of the 8 children left in the room 6 played with the firearm in the manner previously described. However 2 did not, and this is the reason why the video did not get considerably more coverage in the media.

You see of the 8 children involved, 6 came from homes where guns and gun ownership was not permitted, for whatever reason, by the parents. Therefore the children had no experience, or education, on what to do when they came across the firearm. The remaining 2 children came from homes where guns and gun ownership was permitted. These children and been brought up with firearms and were aware, by virtue of training in their upbringing, that they should not touch the gun, and what they should do if they found one.

In conclusion, the experiment was designed to show that guns and children do not mix. The unintended consequence was that, education from an early age, especially concerning the safe handling of firearms is not something that should be ignored, even if you do not have a gun in the house.

To watch the video please click HERE.

Monday, 22 February 2016

MEP responds to firearms concerns.

The following is the response from Richard Ashworth MEP, in response to concerns raised regarding the latest EU firearms control measures.
Thank you contacting Richard Ashworth MEP concerning the proposal to amend the EU legislation on the control and possession of weapons (The “Firearms” directive). 
 As you are aware on 18th November 2015, the European Commission proposed amendments to the current EU Directive which has been in place since 1991 and which was last reviewed in 2008. This new proposal includes elements that will improve the sharing of registers across borders between Member States, enhance the marking of weapons and enable the tracking of deactivated arms, such as those of a historical nature.
In the aftermath of the tragic terrorist attacks last year, it is right that to look at what can be done on a practical basis to tackle terrorism and criminal activities. Effective gun controls are part of this, especially given that some weapons used in the Charlie Hebdo attacks were legally acquired weapons that had been reconverted from blank-firing acoustic weapons into live firearms in Slovakia.
However, there was much discussion about the need to ensure the rules are proportionate and that they tackle real problems supported by real figures. A number of concerns have risen about the new proposals as currently stand, not least the absence of an impact assessment and the lack of clarity of some of the language. These concerns have come from museums, collectors, re-enactors, those involved in the film industry, “airsoft”, sports shooters and those using firearms for pest control as well as military reservists in some countries.
Many parts of the proposal are unclear, which has led to confusion about which semi-automatics are to be banned. The exact nature of the responsibilities for museums, collectors and those doing historical re-enactments is also remains unclear.  Furthermore many concerns have been correctly raised in regards to the impact the legislation on activities such as paint balling and the use of guns in films and television productions.
Conservatives in the European Parliament agree on the need for a new directive; but believe there does need to be wider consideration of some of the proposals, particularly in regards to sporting activities. The Commission has agreed its drafting of the proposal is not perfect and has asked parliamentarians to work on it.
Given this, Conservatives in the European Parliament have taken the lead to ensure the views of all stakeholders are heard. Mr Ashworth works closely with his Conservative colleague Vicky Ford MEP, who is the Chairman of the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee.  Mrs Ford will be leading the European Parliament's work on this file, which involves scrutinising the Commission’s proposal and proposing amendments where necessary. Throughout this process Mr Ashworth will work closely to ensure the report is both fair and balanced. It is completely normal for MEPs to propose amendments to any proposal from the Commission and it is likely to take many months before there is a vote on both the proposal and any amendments.
Mr Ashworth has expressed his concerns regarding deactivated weapons, as the Commission and Member States took 7 years to put in place rules to ensure such firearms are properly rendered inoperable. We need to ensure that these new rules are effective and they clearly need to be taken into consideration during the scrutiny process.  
It is also important to clarify what is meant by the need for a medical test to be carried out before a license is granted and the distance selling requirements.
 Mr Ashworth will be working closely with colleagues in the coming months to make sure the correct is in place and believes it will also be important to work closely with experts especially those representing stakeholders. 
 Whilst it is right that at this time to check for any loopholes in the law and improve communication, any new legislation must be coupled with much greater enforcement against illegal arms, crime and terrorism.
 Thank you again for contacting Richard Ashworth MEP, he is always pleased to hear from his constituents.
 Kind regards,