UK Shooting law on public pathways !!

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by H3, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. H3

    H3 LE

    As the heading states gent's , can anyone pass on a brief description regarding persons carrying what appears to be 1 x silenced air rifle or possibly a 22 round due to the silencer and the other being a bog standard gas style air rifle , both are not in gun bag's and persons are walking along a public foot path alongside a reservoir .

    I've spotted them twice in 1 week .

    My understanding is they should be in gun bags for definite as they are on a public footpath but how far do they need to go off the path to shoot , a friend says 60 ft then their ok !!!!

    Any truth in that as I think thats utter tosh but he's one of those that knows it all ....... ex Boot neck :roll: !!!!

  2. its probably an offense but if there off to shoot legally probably get away with it.
    If there poaching then there in a world of poo
  3. They are not necessarily breaking the law; only if it is deemed that they are causing a nuisance would they get in trouble (i.e you reporting them). They could even discharge a shot on the footpath; it might be f*cking stupid and irresponsible but so long as they are not causing a nuisance etc.

    I have a reference book on shooting law somewhere (written by two ex coppers I recall) so I'll try and track it down. Hope that helps.
  4. As hippy suggests they would need permission to shoot there in order to discharge it.
  5. H3

    H3 LE

    Wouldn't think that the county council would give them permission to shoot there due to folk fishing in the reservoir ,folk walking dogs and kids on bikes !

    Cheers so far .
  6. It's illegal to discharge a firearm (and under the various acts this also describes shotguns and air rifles) within 50' from the centre of a public highway (this includes bridal ways and public footpaths).

    You must also, in a public place have a reason to be carrying an air rifle. Generally the only valid reason is that you are transporting it to a place where you have permission to discharge it, or returning from said place. According to some an air rifle should also be cased in public, although I'm sure if that is technically correct. However, why you would want to attract attention to yourself by carrying an uncased firearm in public is another matter.

    You never know, this chap could be employed by the council as vermin control?
  7. Even if he is not shooting, unless he has permission to be on the land, he is guilty of trespassing with a firearm. Try phoning old bill and tell them you can see someone with a rifle shooting - not sure if it's an air rifle or not. Armed response and chopper will usually arrive pretty swiftly
  8. From 2006 carrying an imitation weapon or an air gun in public is an offence without "lawful authority or reasonable excuse."

    Whatever that might mean.
  9. I think it is only 'illegal' when a nuissance is alleged. I was stopped by old-bill when foxing next to the road and they had calls of us shooting near to the road. We didn't get in trouble because it was v.late at night and no nuissance could be proved. It should be a bit more cut and dried I agree.
  10. H3

    H3 LE

    Nope there were 2 of them about 17 to 19 and they had no clothing to suggest they were Parks Rangers like the rest wear here .
  11. Not quite. It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 s 161(2) to discharge any firearm or firework within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which is a carriageway, with the consequence that a user of the carriageway is injured, interrupted or endangered.
  12. unlikely to be legal then phone the old bill next time
    arv crews like to get fresh air and s/h air rifles fund there tea and bicciys :twisted:

    if your stupid enough to go shooting on public land you desrve all you get
  13. If they've got the shooting rights on the land over which the footpath runs there is no offence committed. Be very sure this is not the case before you get an armed response unit out to two law abiding shooters.

  15. As Beerhunter correctly points out - ONLY applies on a highway which comprises a carriageway - ie a road or byway, NOT a footpath or bridleway, with the additional need for disturbance to have been caused.

    Indeed, as long as they have the permission of the landowner to be there, then its none of anyone else's business (even if members of the public are around, the fact that they had permission to be there shooting would amount to reasonable excuse for having a firearm in a public place)