Storage of firearms in SFA

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by armr617, Nov 7, 2009.

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  1. following on from my earlier posts about shooting in UK,
    What is the score with keeping firearms in SFA in UK?

    Over here in Ze Fatherland we can apply for permission to hold personal firearms in your quarter ( makes life a lot easier when getting a call in the afternoon for a high seat shoot that night!)

    Is it possible in the UK?
    Has anybody done it?
    My main reason is that my unit armoury will be approx 30 mins away and not open outside of working hours.

    (Hampshire BTW)
  2. on monday, contact the local MI Section (probably Netheravon) via your USO. or you could ask your local section in 1 MI Bn whilst you're still in deutschland.
  3. Don't go near the MI section they are not experts in Firearms Law so why bother. If your SFA is on camp info USO and/or his oppo in Garrison. Else under the terms of your License to occupy you are obliged to seek DE Housing Ops authority (at least you used to be) - probably some rubbish about cabinet damaging frabic of building. The only real (over arching legal) authroity is the Police Firearms Licensing Office. They will conduct the usual inspection of your security and deal accordingly. Your FAC should be addressed as you living at your SFA - so why complicate the issue.

    When I moved from Germany the last thing I wanted was Int Corps, DE or any other person involved less the Police
  4. :roll:
  5. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    I was posted with an existing Shotgun license and re-applied to the local force. I have bolted my cabinet to a wall in a built in cupboard, but at no point was my pad inspected by the Polis - my license simply turned up in the post.
  6. ...and 1 final thing is to ensure your WBK gets sent back into G1 in UKSC(G) or you get a letter/email chasing you up.
  7. Shotguns are a bit easier on the legislation front - a couple of years ago (and I still believe it is the case) you did not have to have a firearms cabinet for a shot gun. It was advised and made the process easier but the way the law had been written a cabinet was not a legal requirement. FAC holders have no such freedom and will get inspected or a visit. The degree of inspection / visit changes - from confirmation of where in the house the cabinet is located to checking how securely it is fitted to the fabric of the building via just taking note of make and model of cabinet. Clever Firearms Officers can get all this done without appearing to be overly draconian by asking to just check the serial numbers on your wpns. This way they get to see if you are open about where you store your keys, location of cabinet, type of cabinet all in a oner.
    Depends on force to force is my experiance.
  8. cheers for the insight hueyrat,
    I dont actually own anything yet, have been using club guns over here, no such luck in UK!

    Have my jagdschein and never saw the need to buy, only live 5 min walk from STC armoury!
    But obviously a bit different in the UK.
    Will have a chat with DHE next week and see what they say.
  9. Seriously do not go to DE from experiance involve only those that know what they are talking about and those you are legally required to inform. Have just read a copy of Licence to Occupy from early this year and there is nothing about firearms so my advice to you is: inform unit 2IC/USO that you are a FAC holder and have the Police auth to hold your wpns at your SFA (rank dependant you made need this to be worded as a request) - in Germany this letter goes direct to your CO under the rules of SOBAG 5200; speak to you local Police Firearms Officer; and finally any areas you are not sure of speak to the firearms office as BASC - who know the law inside out and backwards (better than the Police in most cases). If as I suspsect yours will be a new FAC chat to the BASC as they can give you all the advice you need to ensure you meet the criteria for a FAC.
    If you need any advice they have to be your first point of contact, but if you need how the law can impact on how the Army can interpt it PM me - I have heard all manner of blx on firearms.
  10. One factor unique to servicemen is the likely regular need to deploy away from home for extended periods. Plod generally frowns on your other half knowing where you keep the keys to your cabinet (unless he/she's also an FAC holder).

    An advantage of letting your USO/2IC knowing that you're an FAC holder with firearms in the home is that in the event of your having to go off on ops is that you can hand over the keys (or even the whole contents of your cabinet) to the unit for safekeeping while you're away.
  11. Have to disagree there inventor.
    You as an individual are responsible for the security for your wpns - no one else. Why would you hand keys over is beyond me and I would never put wpns in armoury as every Duty Officer check of wpns will result in wpn out, wpn in, with a degree of care that you have no control over.
    However it is for individuals and their Police Firearms Officer to work out. But it has never come up in any conversation I have had in UK or Germany about wpns security.
    Suggestions like this are why I have always divorced work and wpns.
  12. I don't believe there is any requirement for a cabinet - either for shotguns or FAC firearms. Simply a requirement to ensure their security. A cabinet is the easiest way to achieve this, but plenty of RFDs simply have guns chained to the wall (and a monitored alarm, granted). In some circumstances therefore, it may be appropriate to attach a security cord to the wall in the back of a fitted cupboard and tie it to the wall. Likewise some people have gunrooms with a steel door, and/or security cords attaching guns to the walls, etc.
    It all comes down to where you live (which force you come under) and the interpretation your FEO makes of the rules.

    Appropriate in some circumstances. Shooting friend is on a 2-year foreign posting. Didn't reckon he'd have time to shoot, so left his rifle in the UK. Plans to continue shooting on his return, so didn't want to sell it.
    Being a bachelor there would be noone in his house (not sure if he's maybe renting it in the meantime), so it was entirely approriate to lodge it with his unit's armoury. It's far more secure than it would be unattended in a house left empty for two years, when a burglary might not be discovered for months (or indeed, left in a house with tenants - which I imagine would be an untenable situation from the FEO's perspective). It's also far cheaper than paying an RFD to store it for 2 years.

    Handing keys over is an entirely different matter. If I were going away for long enough to consider handing over keys, I'd find somewhere to lodge the guns other than the house.
  13. Hueyrat from your experience - If a UK unit has local Standing Orders requiring the weapons to be held in a unit armoury and not in SFA, although the local police are happy with the security arrangements in that SFA, how legally enforcible are those SOs?
  14. askar-perisikan
    This is a tricky one. Unit SOs do not have legal primacy over the law (ie they cannot allow measures less than required by the law but can impose additional restrictions on those to who they apply) – however they are legally enforceable for all personnel to whom they apply. The way I would take this one is confirm the local dibble are happy with your security arrangements and having got that confirmed in writing try to find out why the SOs are so restrictive (has there been an issue in the past with some idiot) and once the reasons are understood put pen to paper to CO (copy to Unit Sy Offr/2IC).
    Explain your reasons for wanting access to your wpns (irregular hours of shoots – works well with stalking, is a very good reason) by storing them at home, how you can assure the security of wpns (police confirmation of your security is key here) and any plans for wpn security for when you are deployed. Once you have this letter written do the normal and get it checked by someone you trust (wives are good for this if trust and wife is not a contradiction especially if they do not understand firearms storage legislation – if they understand what you are proposing then assume your CO will) – you will only get 1 shot to get this correct when the CO reads your letter – don’t ruin a good case by a poorly worded letter.
    Think about issues such as location of SFA – on camp or off, are you in a rural area where a higher proportion of the general public would be expected to be firearms cert holders or the opposite where the local chavs are likely to use a shotgun to access the bank!
    Provide your CO as many details that are relevant without boring the pants off him – how long have you had your ticket, where and how often you shoot etc.
    But do not come across as a know it all on firearms legislation as this will only p1ss him off and then you will not get what you want.
    Good luck and keep all posted.
  15. forget the police aspect for a moment. if you're a serving soldier, you have to comply with USSOs and JSP440 as well as home office regulations. you can't pick and choose which you want to comply with. if your SFA is on camp and USSOs state that all privately owned firearms must be stored in the armoury, then you can cite home office regulations till you're blue in the face. it's irrelevant.

    what you're essentially asking is "how enforceable is an order from the CO?" and the answer to that should be quite obvious.

    if you want to deviate from USSOs or JSP440, then as suggested already, you can ask the CO to make an exception. this is done by going through the SRM (security risk management) process with the USO, who will take advice from the local MI section.

    if your SFA is outside the wire it becomes more complicated, and i would advise approaching the USO for advice from your local MI section. this isn't to catch you out or make life inconvenient; it's to protect you and cover your arse in case something goes wrong.

    no, they're not - they are experts in other applicable areas. believe it or not, firearms law is not the only set of regulations which affects soldiers with privately owned firearms, and you should know that. you've obviously had a negative experience with the Int Corps in the past. "why bother?" - well, perhaps because the MI section are there to advise units on complying with the minimum security requirements laid down in JSP440, LANDSOs etc. if you have a problem with the advice they give, you might want to complain about the contents of JSP440 and LANDSOs, rather than shooting the messengers. the MI section are just giving you the requisite advice to aid you in complying with ALL applicable regulations.

    my advice is: ignore the USO / MI Section at your peril. i've seen two senior officers get their fingers burnt, by complying with home office regulations and claiming they were somehow magically exempt from JSP440. one of them was in very similar circumstances to this, where he decided to store his shotgun in his SFA instead of the armoury, in contravention of USSOs.

    you might not like it, but as i said before - you have to comply with MOD regulations and unit orders, on top of Home Office regulations.

    but hey, we're only advisors. it's your call, and your career you're risking.