UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

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UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Apache » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:53 pm

There's a lot of criticism over the situation we have in this country but I have just gone through the process myself and found it simple, fair and straightforward.

I am a vet and I applied for my first shotgun certificate (SGC) and a firearms certificate (FAC) so I could get a .32 pistol for humane dispatch of animals (section 5).

I sent in the forms, had a call from a friendly policeman a week later, arranged a meeting the following week. He was polite and chatty and asked me a few basic questions. How I'd deal with a misfire and how I'd climb over an obstacle with a firearm. He asked me why I wanted them. Drank my tea and ate my biscuits. Told me I'd have my certificate in about 3 weeks. It took 4 1/2 but I did have a practice weapon added before it arrived so that may have delayed things.

So all in from sending in the forms to having the SGC & FAC in my hand took less than 2 months and only cost £50 for 5 years. I thought rather good value.

In a way I am glad they don't give firearms away in breakfast cereal like in America and the concept of having a loaded shotgun behind the bedroom door, for self defence, to me is abhorrent!

I found the procedure most painless and am interested in others thoughts.
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by hague720 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:10 pm

In my experience it was the other way round.In the early nineties following Hungerford and such the whole thing seemed very tightly run.

As an apprentice at a local firearms club the questions and scrutiny was unending.When finally i mentioned names like Maasad Ayoob and Stressfire concept and PPA ,the doors where very firmly shut in my face.

Undeterred , I came across lesser known firearms clubs ,that helped potential FAC holders get certificates and in my experience some of these people were definately "M. Ryan types".

It depends on your own psychological bent at the end of the day how easy it will be .

After all , there is a company in Wales (Pembrokeshire) offering "The Ultimate Jihad " training to people of suitable type that coukld be construed as terrorist training in another suit.

Like the t-shirt says......

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by thelastspaniard » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:48 pm

Apache wrote:
In a way I am glad they don't give firearms away in breakfast cereal like in America and the concept of having a loaded shotgun behind the bedroom door, for self defence, to me is abhorrent!
Everyone gets a Criminal record check done in the u.s before you buy the gun (a lot faster to), why do you feel it is abhorrent to defend yourself in your own homw with a firearm?

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Apache » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:02 pm

thelastspaniard wrote:
Apache wrote:
In a way I am glad they don't give firearms away in breakfast cereal like in America and the concept of having a loaded shotgun behind the bedroom door, for self defence, to me is abhorrent!
Everyone gets a Criminal record check done in the u.s before you buy the gun (a lot faster to), why do you feel it is abhorrent to defend yourself in your own homw with a firearm?
I think its abhorrent to need to defend yourself in your own home!

I appreciate any input into this thread but I don't really want it going down a UK/USA right to bare (deliberate sp ;)) arms debate! There's a few of them already, including a bit in the Auz knife thread......
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Brit-ZedHunter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:19 pm

Apache wrote:
thelastspaniard wrote:
Apache wrote:
In a way I am glad they don't give firearms away in breakfast cereal like in America and the concept of having a loaded shotgun behind the bedroom door, for self defence, to me is abhorrent!
Everyone gets a Criminal record check done in the u.s before you buy the gun (a lot faster to), why do you feel it is abhorrent to defend yourself in your own homw with a firearm?
I think its abhorrent to need to defend yourself in your own home!

I appreciate any input into this thread but I don't really want it going down a UK/USA right to bare (deliberate sp ;)) arms debate! There's a few of them already, including a bit in the Auz knife thread......
It is abhorrent to need to defend yourself in your own home, but like a lot of things, just because it's bad... doesn't mean it doesn''t happen and doesn't mean it couldn't happen to you. I dont have any problem with defending myself and my home if the need arises.
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Apache » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:20 pm

Brit-ZedHunter wrote:It is abhorrent to need to defend yourself in your own home, but like a lot of things, just because its bad... doesnt mean it doesnt happen and doesnt mean it couldnt happen to you. I dont have any problem with defending myself and my home if the need arises.
Nor do I fundamentally! But it wasn't why I started the thread!
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by thelastspaniard » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:43 pm

Nor do I fundamentally! But it wasn't why I started the thread!
From your OP you sounded like you wanted to know if people found it easy to get their FAC/SGC?

P.S

U.S gun laws are more complex than you think

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by the_alias » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:45 pm

Opinions?

It's a system designed to favour the middle/upper classes and those blessed with able to own land or their own abode.
It gives the government total control and an awful lot of information about you if you wish to own firearms.

It has accelerated the 'Nanny State'.
In a way I am glad they don't give firearms away in breakfast cereal like in America and the concept of having a loaded shotgun behind the bedroom door, for self defence, to me is abhorrent!
Damn all those times I've been to America (my other 'home') and I never got a free gun with cereal... :roll:

Sorry but humanity is abhorrent. I think this is a slightly self righteous opinion to hold as well. A "well in our civilized country a man need not have to stoop to the lowly level of defending himself" - it just doesn't fly. YES I think it is a horrible world we live in where people try and hurt each other however it happens everywhere in rare instances - some of my American family is quite anti gun and has never needed one so the idea America as a whole is more dangerous/less civilized is a little erroneous.

So how is it 'fair' when only homeowners can own firearms? (and yes you can store them in a safety deposit box, my family did for a while but still...)
How is it simple when the government has to grant you permission to own a tool/hobby?
How is it straightforward that our country cannot field a pistol team at the olympics because it would be illegal for them to train here?
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by smiffy » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:00 pm

Apache wrote: I am a vet and I applied for my first shotgun certificate (SGC) and a firearms certificate (FAC) so I could get a .32 pistol for humane dispatch of animals (section 5).
Err, I read your post and though "Eh, what?" to be quite honest.

You are a Veterinarian, congratulations on not only passing those hard exams, but also that you are now in a small group of individuals who have a nearly guaranteed Insta-Pass(tm) on their Section-5 applications. In fact if you take a job at a horse-track I understand you'll be one of the few people whom the establishment positively encourages to own silenced automatics so that you can cull lamed racehorses without disturbing adjacent animals.

Section 1 (FAC) and 2 (SGC) certificates are grudgingly issued by territorial police forces to members of the public, usually for their recreational purposes (The exception being farmers & gamekeepers who are essentially using them "at work"). They are given to people who *want* to have them.

Section 5 certificates are issued by the office of the Home Secretary to people who are deemed to *need* to have them.
e.g.
Vets
Slaughter men
Gamekeepers
Armourers at TV and Film production companies
(and oddly enough) Sinn Fein MPs
Since the widespread ban on pistols on mainland-UK most humane-dispatch items fall under the Sec-5 rules. Once the need to own one has been demonstrated, I understand the licenses are issued without too much fuss.

The big question back to you Apache, is this; why on earth do you think you need to gain an SGC and an FAC before you seek Sec-5 authorisation? If you're a vet in practice, surely you apply to the home office for a Sec-5 cert with the practice acting as a corporate person and yourself as the named licensed person?

As for us more ordinary members of the public there are arguably three problems with UK Firearm law.
1) It's a rich man's game. As the_alias hinted it's difficult to own a gun if you don't own a house. Few landlords will let you install the hefty safe you need to store the "bang-stick" in. For sporting guns permission to shoot on game-infested land is also needed. There has been a desire to keep the masses unarmed since an early Firearms Acts circa 1920 that followed in the wake of the Russian Revolution.
2) The pistol bans of 1997 were illogical. The kids in Dunblane didn't come back to life when the pistols got melted down. I'm really not sure whether or not the people in the anti-gun pressure groups, the politicians or the people who read the tabloids honestly thought that drug dealers in Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London go to the police and ask for gun-licenses, but everyone seems surprised that gun-deaths have increased since 1998. I believe that this increase is largely down to greater social factors that which legal category the guns should belong in if they were properly licensed and kept by law abiding citizens.
3) I'm told the real sea-change happened in 1973 when a "Green paper" was circulated, speculating that the number of licensed gun-owners should be reduced year-on-year, mostly by laying every conceivable obstacle in the path of new applicants. Certainly several Forces took this to heart even though it was *not* a law, or even Government policy, partly because the license-fee didn't fully cover the cost of the application and vetting process, but mostly because so many cops see illegal guns in criminal hands that they seen any gun outside of police (or possibly army) hands as a bad thing.

Tonight I'm vitriolic enough to suggest a fourth point:
Since 1948 (iirc) the policy has been adopted that there is a "State monopoly on use of force". This means that if a homeowner uses force, deadly or not, against an intruder, he or she is put under scrutiny by the powers that be, and faces assault charges if they were deemed overzealous in defending life and limb.
Possibly I'm showing my roots a bit here. My Grandmother's folk lived in Africa. They were not the "Happy-Valley Set" (British aristocrats who bought huge tracts of land), they arrived in Kenya with the clothes they stood up in and a tool-bag after they ran away from Tsarist Lithuania. They carved a niche for themselves in the thin strata between the Indians and the Brits. It was while my Great-Grandfather was away fighting the Germans from Tanganyika during WW1, that a gang of bandits broke into their farmhouse. My Great-Grandma could hear them discussing the dilemma; murder-then-loot, or rape-first,-then-murder-and-loot in Swahili. Fortunately for her, she was quicker on the trigger than they were with their pangas.
The logic gets quite cold, but dead great-grandma => no grandma; no grandma => no Dad; No Dad = no me!

On this basis, I would say that there are indeed occasions when the use of lethal force by private citizens is eminently justified.

OK. It's after midnight. I'm tense and I've swilled a few beers.
If I've gone beyond telling-it-like-it-is and into offensive territory let me know in the morning in adult terms instead of pouncing on the ban/punish buttons. (And I do realise I have an odd array of targets; Irish republicans, the ACPO, the Royal College of Vet Surgeons, and the Jockey Club make strange bedfellows.)
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by sheddi » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:20 am

This thread is veering into llama territory.
thelastspaniard wrote:Everyone gets a Criminal record check done in the u.s before you buy the gun
No they don't. If you buy a gun from a private seller (as opposed to a gun shop) there's no official checks at all.
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by the_alias » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:23 am

sheddi wrote:This thread is veering into llama territory.
thelastspaniard wrote:Everyone gets a Criminal record check done in the u.s before you buy the gun
No they don't. If you buy a gun from a private seller (as opposed to a gun shop) there's no official checks at all.
Sheddi is correct....Must be that complexity thing... :lol:
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Aeon » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:03 am

Alright, everyone has a different perspective, lets just respect it and not cross that fun line into llama land.

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Apache » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:23 pm

smiffy wrote:You are a Veterinarian, congratulations on not only passing those hard exams, but also that you are now in a small group of individuals who have a nearly guaranteed Insta-Pass(tm) on their Section-5 applications. In fact if you take a job at a horse-track I understand you'll be one of the few people whom the establishment positively encourages to own silenced automatics so that you can cull lamed racehorses without disturbing adjacent animals.
For the record I was not after congratulations - I was setting the scene.
smiffy wrote:Section 1 (FAC) and 2 (SGC) certificates are grudgingly issued by territorial police forces to members of the public, usually for their recreational purposes (The exception being farmers & gamekeepers who are essentially using them "at work"). They are given to people who *want* to have them.
Obviously
smiffy wrote:The big question back to you Apache, is this; why on earth do you think you need to gain an SGC and an FAC before you seek Sec-5 authorisation? If you're a vet in practice, surely you apply to the home office for a Sec-5 cert with the practice acting as a corporate person and yourself as the named licensed person?
Because that's not the law. A section 5 weapon is on a normal firearms certificate. Applied for via my local police force using standard forms. It is no different to me going out and applying for a rifle. If I can demonstrate the need I can have the licence. If I wanted a rifle it would be on the same FAC as the pistol.

Then you sort of went off on a rant. I am not a rich man. My girlfriend has held a SGC for many years and kept guns in a number of rented houses with no problems. Usually the safe has been fixed in the loft.

I didn't intend this to be about pistols or otherwise. I was starting a friendly thread on people's experiences with the UK firearms licensing process. I shared my story to encourage others to share theirs. I fancied a bit of clay pigeon shooting with my GF!
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Big and Daft » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:47 pm

I found it very easy to get a SGC and once I joined a rifle club, fairly easy to get a FAC. GMP are qute cool about Firearms licensing - I've heard Lancs. can be a right set of bastards about it if they so choose. Got both my SGC and FAC within 2 weeks of applying, that 2 weeks include the visit from the FLO. I do, however, have my own house and have never been in trouble with the police and made sure I read and re-read all the forms and that they were all filled in correctly and to the letter.

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Skydiver » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:57 am

I've been considering applying for mine but I'm dubious because of episodes of diagnosed depression and anxiety in the past - does anyone have any experience of getting or being refused a FAC or SGL with similar issues?

Thanks
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Apache » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:27 pm

Skydiver wrote:I've been considering applying for mine but I'm dubious because of episodes of diagnosed depression and anxiety in the past - does anyone have any experience of getting or being refused a FAC or SGL with similar issues?

Thanks
The issue is to be 100% honest! I have a friend who's a farmer who was treated for depression. Was very down for a good six months on anti-depressants etc. He told the police (was already a SGC holder, this was at renewal) they spoke to his doctor and some other members of the family and granted him his renewal. The doctor said he was fit an off anti-depressants. If he'd been under treatment at the time they would have taken his licence.

Just be honest and see. You can always ring your local firearms department for advice. I did before applying and they were good and helpful. I've never come across anyone who's ever been refused! There are a few idiots around here I wouldn't give a shotgun to....
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by the_alias » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:38 am

Apache wrote:
smiffy wrote:You are a Veterinarian, congratulations on not only passing those hard exams, but also that you are now in a small group of individuals who have a nearly guaranteed Insta-Pass(tm) on their Section-5 applications. In fact if you take a job at a horse-track I understand you'll be one of the few people whom the establishment positively encourages to own silenced automatics so that you can cull lamed racehorses without disturbing adjacent animals.
For the record I was not after congratulations - I was setting the scene.
smiffy wrote:Section 1 (FAC) and 2 (SGC) certificates are grudgingly issued by territorial police forces to members of the public, usually for their recreational purposes (The exception being farmers & gamekeepers who are essentially using them "at work"). They are given to people who *want* to have them.
Obviously
smiffy wrote:The big question back to you Apache, is this; why on earth do you think you need to gain an SGC and an FAC before you seek Sec-5 authorisation? If you're a vet in practice, surely you apply to the home office for a Sec-5 cert with the practice acting as a corporate person and yourself as the named licensed person?
Because that's not the law. A section 5 weapon is on a normal firearms certificate. Applied for via my local police force using standard forms. It is no different to me going out and applying for a rifle. If I can demonstrate the need I can have the licence. If I wanted a rifle it would be on the same FAC as the pistol.

Then you sort of went off on a rant. I am not a rich man. My girlfriend has held a SGC for many years and kept guns in a number of rented houses with no problems. Usually the safe has been fixed in the loft.

I didn't intend this to be about pistols or otherwise. I was starting a friendly thread on people's experiences with the UK firearms licensing process. I shared my story to encourage others to share theirs. I fancied a bit of clay pigeon shooting with my GF!
Smiffy did post a caveat to be fair to him.

Whilst you may have started this as a 'friendly thread on people's experiences' the OP suggested general opinions about the law. Which was what I responded about and then Smiffy hence the slightly heightened feelings perhaps... Apologies if that was the wrong end of the stick to grab.
Aeon wrote:Alright, everyone has a different perspective, lets just respect it and not cross that fun line into llama land.
Err people are allowed to disagree and yet not be attacking the other person. Apache stated his opinion and I responded to it with my own questions/problems. This is part of debate. I don't think anyone is attacking the other here, yet!
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Brash » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:42 am

the_alias wrote:
Aeon wrote:Alright, everyone has a different perspective, lets just respect it and not cross that fun line into llama land.
Err people are allowed to disagree and yet not be attacking the other person. Apache stated his opinion and I responded to it with my own questions/problems. This is part of debate. I don't think anyone is attacking the other here, yet!
I have to agree. This discussion has remained quite civil. I expect no less from ZSX though as they are a great bunch. This thread certainly has the potential to get nasty, if you don't believe me go post a duplicate in the firearms thread and watch it implode, but so far it's been fine. No llamas.

On topic though, it certainly is a rich mans game as a few people have said above. I rent my place and as such I have to consult my landlord about any changes I make to the property. Installing a gun safe requires permission they won't give. Any representative of the company I rent from will pass the buck up the ladder and refuse to take responsibility until someone thinks "Oh thats a liability" and says no. It's frustrating.

If by some miracle they had decided they were okay with me installing the required safe the FLO would have some serious reservations about the area I live in. It's an economically poor area and thus higher in crime. They would likely ask me to install an alarm system and better security before allowing me a license. It's justifiable but it does go towards increasing the cost of owning a firearm out of the reach of a lot of the lower classes.

There are a lot of obstacles thrown in the way of anyone daring to ask for the permission to own a firearm. They can be over come but not always by the common man. Firearms ownership is pretty restricted to middle class and above. With homeowners being the rough minimum starting point and those well off enough to own game infested land being granted permission for the more interesting stuff.

As mentioned the powers that be don't really want you owning firearms and they are happy to put obstacles in your way, create confusing and sometimes illogical restrictions on what you can and can't own/do, and generate negative public opinion to further their own goals.

Just my opinion though. I intend to get my SGC in the near future as soon as I move into a house. I might not even unpack the kettle first. :lol:
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Aeon » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:20 pm

the_alias wrote:
Aeon wrote:Alright, everyone has a different perspective, lets just respect it and not cross that fun line into llama land.
Err people are allowed to disagree and yet not be attacking the other person. Apache stated his opinion and I responded to it with my own questions/problems. This is part of debate. I don't think anyone is attacking the other here, yet!
I wasn't suggesting that anyone in particular had. However with this being such a sensitive issue; and with certain peoples history of antagonising people who disagree with them into arguements. I felt it caused for a preemptive warning, you know, for when people do start becoming passionately opinionated.

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by smiffy » Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:45 pm

Apache wrote:
smiffy wrote:The big question back to you Apache, is this; why on earth do you think you need to gain an SGC and an FAC before you seek Sec-5 authorisation? If you're a vet in practice, surely you apply to the home office for a Sec-5 cert with the practice acting as a corporate person and yourself as the named licensed person?
Because that's not the law. A section 5 weapon is on a normal firearms certificate. Applied for via my local police force using standard forms. It is no different to me going out and applying for a rifle. If I can demonstrate the need I can have the licence. If I wanted a rifle it would be on the same FAC as the pistol.
I'm very interested to hear that. I had gained my perception of the matter from two sources. A policeman friend of my father who shot for his pleasure and a film-unit armourer. Both told me that sec 5 ran on a separate channel from the FAC and involved the Home Office. On the other hand, you've just gone through the procedure. If I've unwittingly repeated a mistruth, I stand corrected.
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by ais4122 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:08 am

Interesting thread..........
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by thelastspaniard » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:52 am

[/quote]

I'm very interested to hear that. I had gained my perception of the matter from two sources. A policeman friend of my father who shot for his pleasure and a film-unit armourer. Both told me that sec 5 ran on a separate channel from the FAC and involved the Home Office. On the other hand, you've just gone through the procedure. If I've unwittingly repeated a mistruth, I stand corrected.[/quote]


Police can issue some types of section 5 without home office Involvement ie(hollowpoint ammo)

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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by smiffy » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:30 pm

thelastspaniard wrote:
I'm very interested to hear that. I had gained my perception of the matter from two sources. A policeman friend of my father who shot for his pleasure and a film-unit armourer. Both told me that sec 5 ran on a separate channel from the FAC and involved the Home Office. On the other hand, you've just gone through the procedure. If I've unwittingly repeated a mistruth, I stand corrected.
Police can issue some types of section 5 without home office Involvement ie(hollowpoint ammo)
Of course they can. I suppose I'd have considered that angle if I'd ever hunted. Only Clay Pigeon and target disciplines so far. I guess I've got egg on my face.

Tell me Apache, when one euthanises a lame racehorse or sick cow, is one required to use expanding-point ammo, as one does for hunting and pest control?
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Re: UK Firearms Law (oppinions thread)

Post by Ad'lan » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:46 pm

Orwell wrote:That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
Firearms access in the Uk is limited to those lucky enough to have a connection to working land, rich enough to own land, or with the right career and connections. This is all well and good for those who fit into that catagory. It is less than Ideal for those of us who do not.

Students,
The Poor,
Those who Rent their homes,
Those in area's of tight police control.

All of us are prevented from owning firearms in our homes.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.
Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin

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