You've not interacted with many FEO's I take it...
Lol. Not recently, but I was one 20 years ago.
I was surprised at the differences between various County forces in approach to the service; Leicestershire where I was, the retired Superintendent running the team took the view that unless you're outside the defined requirements, it's your legal right to hold shotguns, firearms, whatever, and the team was there to help.
Other forces seemed to take a different view, along the lines "we're here to keep weapons out of private hands".