BASC seeks government clarification ahead of public consultation on knives and firearms
BASC is seeking clarification from the government following the announcement of a public consultation on offensive weapons.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that among the proposals on which the government will consult are restrictions on the online sales of knives and the transfer of two firearms (.50 calibre and “certain rapid firing rifles”) from the general licensing arrangements to the stricter provisions of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968.
While the UK’s largest shooting organisation welcomes efforts to tackle crime, it cautions against measures which may not be evidence-based, comply with the principles of better regulation and may impose unintended consequences on legitimate traders or end users.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “The details of this consultation have not yet been released, but BASC is seeking clarification from government as a matter of urgency.
“BASC will ensure that the views of its members will be represented as part of the consultation process. We will continue to challenge proposals for changes in legislation if we believe they are incorrectly targeted or will be ineffective.
“BASC will hold the government to account and demand that any proposals to change legislation are proportionate and evidence led. While we will be supportive of measures which tackle crime, it is important that legislative changes are not made as a knee-jerk response.”
BASC is approaching government to clarify proposals for .50 calibre and rapid firing rifles.
Mr Harriman added: “The ability of terrorists or criminals to acquire .50cal rifles is insignificant. These have been possessed lawfully without incident. The current wording around proposals for certain rapid firing rifles are too vague to allow a detailed response at this stage.”
The Home Office has also announced it will consult on proposals to restrict the online sale of knives so they cannot be delivered to a private residential address and must instead be collected at a place where age ID can be checked.
Mr Harriman added: “Banning the delivery of bladed items by mail order may be detrimental to the legitimate knife trade and end users. It would, for example, likely cause immense difficulties for those who make a legitimate living from hand-crafting niche hunting knives to sell them online.
“Such legislation may not meet the regulatory proportionality test or have a demonstrable effect on criminality. And it would do nothing to stop people using kitchen knives to commit crimes.”
I now appreciate that the Muzzle-Energy graph we were supplied with was probably incorrect, (Thanks Mike R !) so to clarify the position I’ve taken this from the NRA website re limitations at Bisley and on most MoD Ranges, including Sealand.
a maximum muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s (3280 ft/s) and
a maximum muzzle energy of 4500 J (3319 ft lb);
Cartridges which, when normally loaded, would exceed the ME/MV limits of any specific range may not be used on that range even if downloaded.
This is not something we wanted (neither did the NRA) but it is what we are lumbered with. Please ensure that your ammunition conforms – all the ammunition we supply does.
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From 1st August 2016 – the New Home Office Club Criteria.
The new Home Office Criteria for Target Shooting Clubs.
After pressure from the shooting organisations and the police, the Home Office have reviewed the criteria for target shooting clubs approval.
Most of the changes are simply updates of addresses and organisations, but some WILL affect your club.
Applying for approval. Now when applying for approval, the application goes to the police force where the secretary or person responsible for application lives.
The club must inform the police of ANY member (other than probationary or guest member) who has not shot with the club for 12 months or who has ceased to be a member.
The details provided by the club to the police must now include the full name and address, AND the date and place of birth of the applicant/member.
The club must inform the police of the date on which a person became a full member.
There is no longer a requirement to provide “the outcome” of an application to join, as it’s effectively covered by 4. above.
The declaration on the membership application form about prison sentences has been updated to include suspended sentences of 3 months or longer.
The club must now have access to ranges where “adequate financial arrangements” are in place to meet claims (read “Insurance”) instead of the old range safety certificates.
ALL notifications (applications for membership, members leaving or not shot for 12 months) must be sent to the police force through whom the approval was sought, or renewed.
The fee is still £84, and you can pay by Credit or Debit card by calling 0845 010 0125 and quoting your Home Office club reference number and the payment code of 0120/295004/61010: .
Two opportunities were missed – the Home Office were asked for evidence of any problems or benefits to the public safety to help the group reviewing the criteria, but none was forthcoming, neither were they prepared to bring S1 shotguns and long-barrelled pistols under the Home Office approval banner.
Despite pressure from the shooting organisations, the Home Office did not remove the unnecessary bureaucratic requirement to record the make, type, and serial number of every guns used by every member with a Firearm certificate every time they shoot.
I found this photo of Roy Williams (RIP,) taken at the range at Saeton Camp just outside Chester; Roy looks a little puzzled as to why someone would want a photo of him !
Roy was a Scenes of Crime Officer (knows then as a “SOCO”) with the police, and he founded Phoenix Shooters Association at the end of 1977.
Our first shoot was at Sealand Ranges on 1st January 1978 – and the range log for that shoot was a little succinct-
“Lorna Williams Roy Williams Brian Dickinson ‘A’ Range Thick snow – shot for 1/2 hour then gave up. Range fees waived.”
We shot at Saeton (now closed) two or possibly three times while Sealand was undergoing some refurbishment. This was in the late 1970’s or very early 80’s – the records are a little unclear around this time.
….. and yes, fashions werea bit different then…..
We’ve added a little info to help those who have had difficulty using the members section of this website. To view this page please click the link below or you can find a permanent link under the main ‘Members’ menu item.
If you are still unsure, or if you continue to have any problems with your user account then please contact us, start a thread about it on the forum, or speak to AJ at the range.
What would happen if the police called unexpectedly to check your firearm security ?
As a certificate holder you should be well aware of condition 4(a)
“The firearms and [section 1] ammunition to which the certificate relates must at all times (except in the circumstances set out in paragraph (b) below) be stored securely so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, access to the firearms or ammunition by an unauthorised person; ”
Any breach of this condition is viewed seriously by the police and the courts, so PLEASEmake sure that your guns and all your ammunition is put away properly after a shoot, and that the keys are kept in such a way that only the certificate holder knows where they are.
Hiding them in your sock drawer is NOT a good option – it seems that that’s the one place that criminals look first – assuming they know which drawer has the socks in it. Hanging the keys on a hook next to the cabinet is even sillier.
You’ll note that this doesn’t apply to normal shotgun ammunition, but it still makes sense to store it in out of the way – certainly away for your shotgun.
The second condition relating to security is Condition 4 (b):
“Where a firearm or [section 1] ammunition to which the certificate relates is in use or the holder of the certificate has the firearm with him for the purpose of cleaning, repairing or testing it or for some other purpose connected with its use, transfer or sale, or the firearm or ammunition is in transit to or from a place in connection with its use or any such purpose, reasonable precautions must be taken for the safe custody of the firearm or the ammunition.”
Which is less onerous, but you still have to comply with it. Make sure that nothing is visible in your car if you park it that would make it obvious that there might be guns or ammo in it. Lock them in the boot, park it in an obvious place, make sure it’s locked – there’s plenty more advice in the links below.
We don’t want Phoenix to be dragged through the mud because a member was careless and left guns or ammunition out where someone who doesn’t have a certificate had access to them, so PLEASE take this warning on board– and THINK about your security at home or in the car.
There is plenty of help and guidance in the two links below, but you can always ask Mary or Mike if you need any help at all.