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New Firearms Licensing system

Comment 6th July 2010

My idea is this, the replacement of the current firearms licensing system with a more simple and effective system that does not make criminals out of those who make a small mistake. eg owning 600 rounds of ammunition when allowed to only have 500.

Remove the need to name each calibre and action when gaining a Firearms certificate (FAC) and simply add new weapons and calibres to the FAC upon purchasing them and hence retaining the registration of all firearms.  Thus saving a huge amount of paperwork and unnecesary costs and allowing the person to have their license far faster, as it can take months in somecases for the police department to carry out the paperwork.

Remove ammunition limits, currently the system states on an individual basis how much of each calibre a person can own and purchase at any time, this is something which does nothing other than increase the frequency at which a firearms owner must visit the gun shop or produce his own ammunition via handloading. So long as all ammunition can be stored correctly in an ammunition cabinet there is no reason to limit the quantity of ammunition a firearms owner has, especially given that he can buy the components to produce his own ammunition without any limit or records. To claim that someone may break into the house and steal the weapons and ammunition would be incorrect and ignorant of just how well firearms/ammunition cabinets are fitted.

Remove the ban upon semi automatic centrefire rifles and handguns, the removal of semi automatic rifles from law abiding good people has lead to quite literally nothing positive, it has caused the practical rifle sport to diminish greatly and removed a great number of people from being interested in shooting. If a person has been proven to to be of good personality and responsability there is no reason to prevent them from owning such a firearm. Likewise with handguns which made up a large number of British shooters and was a fast growing sport there is again no reason to prevent a proven person to own these firearms.

 

 

Why does this matter?

By carrying out the above ideas the cost and time spent by the police force in licensing and regulating the shooting sport would be vastly reduced allowing for other jobs to be carried out. The changing of the law would make it easier to be carried out, currently most shooters know more about firearms law than the police who attempt to enforce it and often isolate themselves from the shooting community through misinterpretations, the incorrect enforcement of the law and misunderstandings.

With simpler more effective laws people will be able to carry out their sport without fear of falling into the wrong side of the law and better bonds created with the police as people become more likely to work with the police on better terms. This in turn leading to more effective use of police time.

I would like to make clear that I in no way advocate the removal or changing of the current system of checking that the person is not a criminal, mentally unsuitable etc and that the system of joining a club and being under its supervision for several months before a FAC can be applied for. This makes absolute sense, it is the prevention of the good people who pass from being able to fully carry out the sport that does not.

I would also like to point out that comparisons to the USA are foolish and pointless, it is a country with a completely different culture, economic, society, education, and mind set. Likewise the number of illegally owned firearms in the USA is vastly different along with 100's of other variables. Likewise to claim massacres or murders will increase is again pointless as the aquisition of firearms illegaly has been proven time and time again by the weekly murders in cities and towns all over ther UK.

The economic benefits of this are also a factor to be taken into account, with greater amounts of jobs being created and the re-birth of British firearms companies.

Finally as a 19 year old man who first started shooting at the age of 15 years old I would like to point out the things that the sport has done for me. I have learnt how to very safe with firearms and to respect them for what are, this I believe lead to me maturing and becoming a sensible and aware person. With my knowledge of firearms I can confidantly make safe the majority of firearms or handle and position them in such a way that they are as safe as possible.

It has also ensured that I have stayed strictly within the law in all areas and not just firearms law, with the possibility of the removal of my firearms and the prevention of me carrying out my sport ensuring that I am sensible and even make my way to prevent others from acting stupidly or against the law. (after all I don't particularly want to lose £3000 worth of firearms)

From the age of 17 years old I have been buying my own firearms and ammunition and producing my own ammunition (another learning curve of safety and responsability) using the money I have earned working in many places and have truly enjoyed shooting but more so the people that I have met and the collective knowledge and friendship we have shared.

Please consider before you comment whether you actually know in detail anything about the firearms law, the sport, the people and firearms crime. You wouldn't tell a mechaninc how to fix a car for example.

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