There have been changes in the way BSSC/BASC have been providing news content, so I have linked into the RSS feed from the BSSC -("UK FIREARMS NEWS") which should be more efficient - let me know what you think!
Gun Control Network -
PRESS RELEASE 27 FEBRUARY 2013
TAXPAYERS SUBSIDISE GUN OWNERS TO THE TUNE OF £100 MILLION
The terrible events of 1 January 2012 in which legal gun owner Michael Atherton murdered his partner, her sister and his niece, are about to be scrutinised again at the Inquest in Co. Durham on 3 March.
The Gun Control Network has been working with the family and in particular with Bobby Turnbull, whose mum, sister and aunt were killed by Atherton with one of his legally owned shotguns.
Bobby joined members of GCN at a meeting yesterday with Damien Green MP, Minister for Policing, to call for ‘real reforms’ of the gun licensing laws.
Gill Marshall-Andrews Chair of the Gun Control Network says:
‘It is not generally known that at least half of all gun deaths involve a shotgun - probably legally owned. It’s clear we need to tighten up the licensing of these weapons and ensure that people like Michael Atherton, with a history of domestic violence and alcohol abuse, can’t own a gun.
Currently, the police do not have the resources to do a proper job of making sure someone is a suitable person to own a gun Gun owners pay only £50 for a licence which lasts for 5 years. So for £10 per year, around the price of 4 cups of coffee, a man can own as many shotguns as he likes.
Gun ownership is a privilege that people should pay for – and there should be no element of subsidy from the taxpayer. Police estimate that the cost of issuing a licence is £200 which would mean that the current level of taxpayer subsidy is over £100m. With a more rigorous licensing regime this subsidy will rise even higher. GCN wants to see a fee of at least £250 for a firearms or shotgun licence. With this level of resourcing the police would be able to consult family members, neighbours, doctors and ex partners about an applicant’s suitability. And they would be able to set up a ‘hotline’ for professionals, family, colleagues and neighbours to register their concerns about a gun owner’s behaviour.
Currently women have no right to be consulted about their partner having a gun and GCN has evidence that guns are frequently used as instruments of threat in the home. We need to address this issue and hope we can prevent the horrific murders that disfigure our society’.
Contacts: Email: email@example.com Tel: 0208343 4246
Gill Marshall-Andrews (m): 07956 132297; Chrissie Hall (m) 07719 696279
28/2/13 You might be amused by these two news items....
Anti-gun crime campaigner
Anti-gun activist in firearms arrest
8/1/13 - One Law for us...... ?
Unauthorised possession of a firearm under Section 5(1)(aba) (which is a pistol to most of us) is subject to a five year mandatory prison sentence.
This sends out the wrong signals, and makes it appear that this does not apply to the police.
See - Hampshire Police Officer found in possession of revolver and ammunition and
Devon & Cornwall Firearm Licensing Manager found in nightclub with revolver
The Scottish Airgun consultation
The consultation about licensing airguns in Scotland has just been published.
If you are an airgun owner, it would be as well to respond with your views as it's possible that what happens in Scotland might "cascade"into England and Wales.
See- THE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT
North Wales Police doing "spot checks" on the security of certificate holders
Another waste of police time - picking on the law-abiding shooter when there are cheaper and more effective ways of giving security advice.
See-BASC press relase
16/6/12- A tragedy for our friends....
Please help if you can
See - Flintshire News
and - Daily Post
To Help - Easyfundraising
and most importantly - JustGiving
PLEASE visit the site and contribute - they really do need our help.
PSA will also be holding fundraising events to help.
4/12/12 - Don't bother with the facts - look at the politics!
The Scottish figures for the number of offences where a firearms is ALLEGED to have been used were published today, and they're at their lowest level for 34 years.
Despite that, if seems that the Scottish Government are determined to use legally held airgun ownership as a political football -
See- Scotland Gov.UK
Judge makes statement on burglars shot during burglary
In Leicester Crown Court today (26/9/12) Judge Michael Pert QC said to two burglars who had been shot by the householder when they were burgling his house: -
"I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation. If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take.
You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it,"
THAT'S telling them !
A really good article on "plinking"
I love the line -
"It is of course the first duty of government to seek out something the people enjoy and put a stop to it"
see- The Scotsman
17/8/12 - The latest Firearm and shotgun certificate figures
For the first time the figures have been produced within a year of currency!
9/8/12 - SOMEONE'S got the right idea!
The Chinese view of the Olympic legacy - and a good one too.
See - The Olympic Sport News
2/8/12 - One of our members at the Olympics!
Calum talks about his role leading the 'field of play recovery team' at the shooting venue.
See- University of Liverpool
20/7/12 - Elderly American citizen wins shootout with two young criminals
A CCTV video of a law-abiding american shooter taking on two armed criminals - WELL worth watching.
See - BBC WORLD NEWS
Note the BBC commentator doesn't know quite how to deal with it (and you can see how inaccurate pistols can be!)
19/7/12- Possible near-miss from shooting range
Interesting - .22 bullets don't "ping" or "crack" unless fired from close range, and they're certainly not shiny.....
See- The Scottish Sun
12/7/12 - Sir Jackie Stewart - "The biggest disappointment of my sporting life"
..... and what has this got to do with shooting? well, everything!
see - Eurosport
9/7/12 - Anyone found with a pistol must be sentenced to five years as a minimum
Well, that's the (bad) law. Why is is bad?
See- North-East News
25/6/12 - Ben Monksummers called up to the England team!
After winning the English Junior Championships and even reaching the senior final, Ben's also picked up medals at a four-nations team match in Germany,
and has now been selected for the British men's team for the European Championships.
See- This is Somerset
18/6/12- Must we have more legislation on airguns?
An article which challenges the concept of airgun controls in Scotland
See - The Scotsman
16/6/12- Cheshire Life on the subject of young shots
An antidote to the usual hysterical nonsense?
See - Cheshire Life
2/4/12 - Article about guns in Cumbria
And Austen Davies, who had admitted to lying on his SGC application about depression has done us no favours whatsoever.
See - Cumbria News & Star
2/4/12 - Serious allegations against a former Scottish firearms officer
Allegations of rape and attempted murder dropped by the Crown Office
See - The Daily Record
26/3/12- Firearms ownership map of England & Wales
A map showing the ratio of possession of firearms to population
See- The Guardian
1/3/12 - An anti-gun campaigner "misled" the Labour Party
Narraser Gordon claimed at the Labour Party's conference that eight of her family had been killed, yet BBC's "Inside Out" programme found most of the people she said were dead - are alive.
See- BBC News Bristol
and - The Mail on Sunday
23/2/12 - Press release from Mostyn House School
At a routine inspection at Mostyn House, it was discovered that part of the façade wall and roof of the covered playground part of the site had been subject to some movement, probably as a result
of the high winds experienced by Parkgate last month. Following a detailed structural survey and in consultation with the local authority highways department it was agreed to close the Parade
outside the school, to enable emergency works to take place and to protect the public from any potential debris.
Works will be taking place as soon as possible to stabilise the wall. We apologise for any inconvenience that this temporary closure may cause and are working to enable the road to be
reopened as soon as possible.
20/2/12 - Mostyn House School
This is little unfair as the owners were immediately contactable, and it was their survey that found the problem!
Se - BBC Merseyside
16/2/12 - Today "Death Dealing Arms Dealers" but then - "Heroines"
How the media views change.
See - BBC - "Bullets, boots and bandages"
3/2/12 - A sad case of death by revocation
A very sad case of a certificate holder who committed suicide, possibly because he believed his certificate was to be revoked.
See - Wisbech Standard
Scottish Airgun Licensing Proposals
I have just had sight of the proposals to licence airguns in Scotland, and they are frankly shocking.
I can't publish them yet as I haven't had permission, but the proposals - if carried through, will -
It may be time for Scottish airgun shooters to write to their elected representatives to ask to see these proposals.
- cost millions
- will damage the sport in Scotland
- Increase police bureaucracy
- Cost the Scottish Airgun Shooter a lot
- Cost visiting airgun shooters
- Will be ignored by those who would abuse airguns
25/1/12 - Good news for reloaders
From the British Shooting Sports Council
As the result of discussions with British Shooting Sports Council representatives, the Health & Safety Executive has just issued a new exemption
that increases from 5 kilos to 15 kilos the quantity of bulk smokeless powder that a shooter may possess without registering his premises.
The BSSC team of Colin Greenwood (Gun Trade Association), Ken Hocking (Muzzle Loaders Association), Matt Perring (BASC) and Secretary David Penn entered into discussions with HSE in 2011 as part
of the latter’s ongoing review of explosives controls.
Under the Explosives Act 1875, an individual was allowed to possess, for private use, 30 pounds of black powder (now 15 kilos), this being the weight of the contents of a standard powder barrel.
This was later modified to allow possession without having to register the premises of either 15 kilos of black powder or 10 kilos of black and 5 kilos of smokeless powder, proportions that hardly
reflected today’s predominant use of smokeless for reloading.
BSSC was able to negotiate a considerable improvement for the reloader without in any way disadvantaging the muzzle-loader or re-enactor. The 2012 exemption allows possession without
registering the premises of 15 kilos of ‘shooter’s powder’ comprising any proportion of black and smokeless powders from 15 kilos of black to 15 kilos of smokeless.
Existing controls relating to acquisition and transportation of black powder remain unchanged.
16/12/11- 300 guns lost, 39 recovered
Significant numbers of firearms have been lost by, or stolen from, the MoD. IF the street value quoted is correct, it indicates an increasing supply of illegal firearms
and dropping prices.
See-The Mail on Sunday
16/12/11 - This can't be right, they took them all off the streets in 1998!
An "accident" that involved pointing a loaded gun at someone then pulling the trigger.......
See - Scotland TV
2/12/11 - Another proposed rise in certificate fees!
A paper hase been put to the Home Office by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Asking for a phased increase in fees for firearm & shotgun certificates.
The FULL cost recovery they want is :
FAC Grant - £189
SGC Grant - £189
FAC renewal - £106
SGC renewal - £106
Variation to FAc - £96
BUT they want the rise phased over five years -in the first year, they want the fees to rise as follows:
FAC Grant - £93.80
SGC grant - 93.80
FAC renewal - £66
SGC renewal - £66
We assume there will be a similar rise every year for five years until the £189 grant figure is attained - BUT then they want the costs to be tied to rises in police pay.
They are also asking for fees for things that currently we don't pay for, like changing your address on your certificate, European Firearms Passes, etc.
Probably the worst charge they want to impose is £19 for a temporary certificate. Now that may not sound at all important, but then you have to look at when these permits (called "section 7 permits") are issued:
They are issued to the widow or widower of a certificate holder who has died so that he or she can possess, then sell or transfer the deceased's guns; very nice of the police to demand a fee in these circumstances.
That may be bad enough, but the other time a section 7 permit is issued is when someone has applied for the renewal of their certificate and the police haven't been able to renew it in time. They surely
cannot be asking us to pay for their inefficiency? Are they so insensitive that they haven't thought of this?
The paper does admit that the current system has "existing inefficiencies" (don't you love the great British talent for understatement?) and therefore goes on to offer suggestions to improve it.
So what are these improvements?
Soon, it may be time to write to your MP.....
- Online grant or renewal forms
- Automatic calculation of fees online
- Automatic checking of intelligence data
- A form of tracking so that we can "see" how our applications are progressing
- The ability to transfer an application from a firearms enquiry office on leave or off sick to another
- Certificates sent electronically
- electronic communications from firearm enquiry officer to their office
E-Petitions to Parliament relating to firearms
There are at least twelve amongst the 38 petitions to government relating to firearms which may be of interest to you -
See- Government e-petitins relating to Firearms
Please visit the site and if you feel it appropriate, why not sign those that make sense?
25/10/11 - But better news in Scotland
Scottish gun crime falls to 32-year low, but they are STILL talking about licensing airguns!
See - BBC News, Scotland
11/5/11- Firearms Licensing Manager tells it like it is
Mick Fidgeon from Essex - one of the best firearms licensing managers in the UK - gives us his thoughts on being made redundant.
see- BBC News
22/8/11 - Who ELSE knows where your guns are stored?
Can you imagine the reaction of your firearms licensing department if you told a perfect stranger that you had guns at home, then gave him your name and address? I suggest that they would be
VERY unhappy with you for this breach of security.
Well, it seems that some firearms licensing departments are doing this for us.
We have been told that the Met, Sussex, Gloucestershire, Essex, Hampshire and West Yorkshire Police (and perhaps others) are sending letters to your doctor's surgery to tell them when you have a certificate granted
This means that doctors, receptionists, nurses, practice managers, clerks, and perhaps even cleaners etc in your surgery will have access to the information that you have guns at home, and will know your name
Worse, the letter states that
"this means that they [the certificate holder]
may have more or less immediate access to firearms and ammunition." As you can imagine his statement is guaranteed to cause
concern amongst those who have little or no knowledge of our sport.
Did the police tell you they were going to do this? did you give your permission for them to do this? I think not.
There is a world of difference in your allowing your GP to give information to the police should they need it, (you sign to allow that on the application form)
and the police giving information to the surgery - you didn't sign up for that.
You might be interested in The Information Commuissioner's Office
If you've renewed recently, why not ask your doctor ?
22/8/11 - Is it dangerous to fire a gun into the air?
An article by the BBC which discusses the midddle-eastern tendency to celebrate by firing AK47s into the air
see BBC's "Who, What, Why?"
9/8/11 - Not really "news" but just to remind ourselves.....
Firearms Licensing managers arrested (2006)
See- BBC News, Devon - 27 October 2006 and The Free Library, North Wales, 2007
28/6/11 - The Geoffrey Place Range is listed!
English Heritage have designated the range at Mostyn House School as a Grade ll listed building!
Although this has only just been announced, the listing was from the 1st June. You can see the full School details
Mostyn House School listing entry number 1401335
The bit that relates to the range is...
"World War II (WWII) air raid shelter: Concrete stair entrance with barrel-shaped, corrugated steel roof set to south-west of Jarrah leads down into school's WWII air raid shelter aligned
approximately north-west - south-east underneath playing field. Now a rifle range. Interior: Reinforced concrete with vaulted corrugated steel roof and original steel doors, 18-bays long.
Modern partition wall with doorway and viewing window inserted to north-western end to create small office/waiting area for rifle range.
Additional partition wall with shooting targets inserted to south-eastern end. Original pump and three wall-mounted lights moved from their original locations to north-west end wall."
You can see that your work hasn't gone un-noticed, and that it has been very important in getting it listed. This is good news - it means that it is FAR less likely that the range will be demolished or filled-in.
We still don't know what the future will be when the site is sold however.
21/6/11 - Long Barrelled pistols use restricted on MoD Ranges
The Chairman of the Land Ranges Safety Sub Committee of the MoD has issued an edict that long barrelled pistols may only be used on MoD ranges if they have a shoulder stock attached
See - Land Ranges Safety Sub-Committee Range Safety Notice 2/11
20/5/11 - Charity Commission finds mismanagement at two charities
Financial "problems" at two now-defunct anti-gun crime charities
See - Charity Times
18/5/11 - Firearms offences committed by Kent police officer
See This is Kent
13/05/11 - Armed police surround autistic boy of 11
Armed police aimed their guns at an autistic boy of 11 who had been playing soldiers with his grandad.
They surrounded Connor Fry – who had an unloaded BB gun – as he waited in a car while grandad Dave went into a chip shop.
See- Daily Mirror