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What's the best way to keep shotguns securely stored?
Across England and Wales alone, there are over 156,000 people who own shotguns, and ensuring the safe and responsible usage of shotguns is essential for public safety. Adequate shotgun usage not only minimises the risk of shotgun-related accidents but also prevents incidents relating to theft and unauthorised usage. Inadequate measures taken when using shotguns will often result in the user’s firearm certification being revoked, which can be incredibly frustrating for those who feel like this was unwarranted.
Our expert solicitors as Renshaw Derrick have created this blog as a means to provide information about what to do should your shotgun license be revoked. However, it should be noted that this blog is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. If you or someone you know is having legal issues related to the ownership of a firearm, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced criminal law solicitors immediately.
Why would a shotgun license be revoked?
A shotgun license will likely be revoked in situations where the wielder has been deemed to pose a risk to public safety. There are many factors that can cause this, such as criminal convictions, indications of criminal activity, substance abuse (such as drugs or alcohol), violations of terms of the license, poor firearm storage and mental health issues.
Members of the public who have concerns about if an individual is fit to hold a shotgun license are able to raise complaints with their local firearm licensing team who will then assess the case and make the final decision.
Despite proving their innocence regarding the alleged misconduct, a license holder may still face the possibility of having their license revoked by the Firearms Licensing Department. Additionally, law enforcement authorities might contend that specific offenses such as driving under the influence warrant an immediate revocation of a shotgun certificate.
How can you appeal?
Any individual who has had their firearms certificate revoked has the right to appeal against this decision. To do say, you will have to make the appeal to the Crown Court, it’s important to be aware that there are stringent deadlines for doing so. Once an appeal has been filed, the Chief of Police will need to provide evidence supporting their decision to revoke the certificate, this can include documents, statements and any other relevant proof to support the continued revocation of your firearms certificate. After receiving this evidence, the Crown Court will ask the defence to provide their own evidence to counter the evidence supporting the revocation. Typically, this is followed by a comprehensive hearing overseen by a judge and two magistrates who will then make a decision based on the evidence provided.
Our solicitors are experts in this field and will be able to assist you in making a strong and robust appeal.
Rules relating to shotguns
In the UK, shotguns are classed under the firearms category, and as such as subject to very strict regulations. These rules are outlined in the Firearms Act 1968, as well as the Firearms Rules 1998.
To own a shotgun, an individual must have a valid Shotgun Certificate (SGC) which is issued by their local police force.
The individual who wishes to own a shotgun must be over the age of 18 in order to apply for a Shotgun Certificate. Individuals between 14 and 18 years old may use a shotgun in certain circumstances, such as organised clay pigeon shooting or on private premises (bearing that they have the occupier’s permission).
To have a Shotgun Certificate, you must be able to demonstrate a “good reason” for possessing a shotgun, such as for sport or pest control means.
The police will conduct a mandatory background check as part of any application process, which will assess the individual’s mental and physical fitness, criminal record and any history or domestic violence.
Pump action or self-loading shotguns that have a magazine capacity or more than two rounds are prohibited in the UK.
If an individual wants to sell or transfer ownership of a shotgun, the buyer is required to have a valid Shotgun Certificate, and the transaction must be done through a registered and certified firearms dealer, or with the police involved.
Get in touch with our criminal law solicitors in Bournemouth, Dorset, today
You can get in touch with our experienced criminal law solicitors in Bournemouth by giving us a call, emailing email@example.com or filling in our online enquiry form. Our expert team of solicitors will be happy to support you in appealing your firearm certificate revocation. We have years of experience in building expertly crafted appeals and representing clients in court.