Covering Firearms?

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Beerhunter, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. I am sure that I am not alone in being told over the years that firearms must, by law, be kept covered in a public place. However other than some references to young persons I can find nothing in law that requires this. Have I missed something?

    I'd really like to know because I often carry a shotgun to and from my car at a local clay pigeon shoot and I also also carry a rifle or shotgun from my house to my car (on private land but within sight of a lane) when "off to the woods" after pests.

    BTW, I'm looking for chapter and verse on this not what the man in the pub thinks.
  2. Well if plod has to turn up they arnt going to be happy are they?
  3. If anybody comments upon it simply enquire as to what the devil are they looking at and give them both barrels. Have we no standards today?
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  4. This man in the pub thinks it is an offence to have, in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, a loaded air weapon or a loaded shotgun, or any other firearm whether loaded or not, together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm. Anyone accused of same has to show that he had reasonable excuse.

    You also have a duty of care that comes along with getting an SGC or FAC to keep weapons secure at all times even in transit, and that is a wholly subjective facts and circumstances test because despite what you might think from the reams published by the Home Office, there is currently no direct legislative test. So you are at the mercy of types with no sense of humour and a point to make.

    Lash on to that Section 16A Firearms Act 1968 (Possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence), the idiocy of Joe Public, the fit & proper person tests administered by numpties, total lack of common sense of officialdom surounding firearms in general and the answer is simple.

    As a practical matter you keep the slip on or weapon cased at all times in a public place (even on your own property if Mrs Curtain Twitcher next door could get a glimpse) not so much due to anything actually directly says you must (although there is especially in relation to public transport) but because in this day and age just one idiot calling Plod on your account and at best it just starts to get difficult and at worst it can all turn to shit.

    Sad but true.
  5. If you're in doubt why aren't you just covering it on the off chance?

    Seems the easiest and most sensible option anyway as you would do well not to advertise your firearms ownership to the world and his dog.

    The bloke a few doors down takes his lad out on the weekends. They've got some bolt action contraption with a telescopic sight the size of the hubble which they practically have to drag out to the boot of the car. All's it takes is an old codger with a gripe about parking to claim the boy is waving a gun around in the street every sunday and I'd bet they'd be saying Bye Bye to their FAC.
  6. I could look this up for you and tell you that air weapons must be carried in a secure cover so that they cannot be fired because part blah, section blah of the Firearms Act of 19?? says so. Also the Firearms Act of 19?? also says that the air weapon must be unloaded and is considered loaded if it has a pellet in it, even if it isn't cocked and so cannot fire. Because section blah says so. I could also look up the recent changes that say that air weapons kept at home must be kept locked up nowadays so that children under the age of 18 cannot get to them or be able to fire them. But you could look up those bits yourself too, and then you could be that man in the pub telling everyone what you think! In fact I doubt that many people will have heard of that last bit about locking up air weapons, so just for those who doubt me, here it is:
  7. Actually, the definition of "cover" is fairly loose.

    A gunshop in Sussex routinely uses transparent polythene slips when a customer collects a rifle - i.e. you walk down the street with a clearly visible rifle.

    The Police are ok with this practice, as they interpret the purpose of the "cover" as demonstrating that the rifle is being transported and is not overtly ready for instant use - as might be a bare rifle carried on a sling, for example.
  8. I'm not in doubt that there is no such law but that doesn't stop people saying that there is.
  9. Having a slip or cover with you is always a good idea IMO. If say you were out in the woods and met some fierce anti-shooter, being able to make safe and put the gun or rifle away so as to defuse the situation is a good idea. BASC website has guidance on that for when antis try and disrupt shoots - if the police are called the fact that all guns are slipped and safe shows we're being responsible
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  10. I am not denying that but my question was "what is the law", rather than what is good practice

    On which subject: yesterday I was working in our wood, cutting back overhanging branches on the rides and footpaths and, as is my practice, had a gun with me for targets of opportunity. There should be no one else in the wood; it is private property with no rights of way through it and so it is not public place in any sense of the phrase. I just don't have enough arms to carry: loppers, gloves, gun and slip and so habitually do not carry a slip with me. Walking down the High Street would be a different matter.
  11. I have made up a very lightweight slip (canvas) with velcro fastenings that goes on over the rifle but lets the sling through a couple of slots so I can have it slung and covered at the same time. Slip rolls up and into my pocket when out on what my wife calls my "armed walks" and ready to go back on at moments notice.

    Seems to cover all the bases.
  12. Nope, it's not law. It is however, common sense imv.

    I always put any rifle or shot gun in a case, (whether fabric, plastic or even metal) when leaving the house and putting things in the car. It aids my security to an extent and I don't want to alarm anyone who doesn't know I'm just off to the range etc. rather than on a rampage.

    Not the man in the pub but a lot of experience in this arena. However, saying how much would destroy persec :)

    Have a look at the guidance, particularly Chapters 22.12 onwards and Chapter 23.
  13. X59

    X59 LE

    Interesting posts here which clarify a local problem.

    The majority of dog walkers in our village follow a route across an open field, which has no crops or livestock, save for a few horses occupying it for two weeks every year.

    This is a walk established for at least 70 years (local living memory), and has recently become disputed after a change of ownership / lease. The new owners have erected signs prohibiting access, (which have been ignored by the villagers), and have taken to rocking up in the field (50 - 100m from residential properties) with a closed shotgun. No shots fired at birds or ground game.

    Never seen this myself, but young mums and old biddies understandably feel menaced.
  14. Guidence is not law. Is neither written statute nor working common law.
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  15. Section 16A Firearms Act 1968:
    Firearms Act 1968
    The guidance, Chapter 22.6:

    However, I would add a large spoonful of caution with this as what some people see as threatening, others see as going about their lawful business. If it is genuine, they should make statements to the local plod who should investigate it.

    I've seen it from both sides and the truth lies somewhere in the middle imx eg interfering busybodies versus tw@ts who think they're 'big men'