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ruger7717

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I'm very surprised that the largest firearms -shooting forum in the UK has not responded??

From: Chris Stevenson [mailto:chris@fcsa.co.uk]
Sent: 08 November 2017 23:21
To: chris@fcsa.co.uk
Subject: Update on Home Office .50 calibre consultation

 

Update on Home Office .50 calibre consultation

 

At 3pm on the 6th November, the FCSA met with the Home Office officials who are working on the firearms consultation. The meeting lasted for over 2 hours, it seemed very productive and did not appear to be simply a tick box exercise on their part.

 

The meeting provided the opportunity for us to better understand their concerns, provide an opinion on how realistic such concerns were and how the risks they perceived could be mitigated to fall short of requiring an outright ban on .50 rifles.

 

We needed to get some clarification on the scope of these proposals, establish exactly where these “public concerns” have originated from (and whether there is any evidence for these concerns), details on how best we can influence the decision making process and ensure that the FCSA is THE organisation that has a direct line of communication with the Home Office when matters relating to our particular shooting discipline need further discussion. We were particularly keen to establish a direct link – rather than rely on any other shooting organisation which, while well intentioned perhaps doesn’t really understand the ballistic detail and competitive aspect of large calibre rifle shooting.

 

We ended up with a mixed bag of results, some good news, and some worrying news.

 

Firstly, it appeared that the concerns were primarily related to such rifles falling “into the wrong hands” and the police not being equipped to deal with misuse. They accepted that current FAC holders were not “the wrong hands”. They also broadly accepted that the potential “criminal use” of such rifles was limited and not of great concern. This left the main expressed concern appearing to be the potential for these rifles to be acquired by a terrorist organisation through acquisition of a legally civilian owned rifle and misused.

 

We discussed potential measures to mitigate the risk of a civilian owned .50 calibre rifle falling into the wrong hands, which I’ll go onto shortly. The Home Office staff were keen to advise us to submit detailed recommendations in writing to the consultation.

 

The bad news is that they are considering EVERYTHING over 10,000ft/lbs. Not just .50cal. Exemptions may be made for historic very large calibre rifles (anti-tank), however it would be up to us to define the exemptions. This is easily done by a manufacture date cut off. As this has now officially opened up to include anything over 10,000 ft/lbs there are a lot more rifles that may subject to prohibition. so watch out .460, .55, 14.5, 20mm – and no doubt several large hunting calibres.

 

We did point out that there is no ballistic significance of the 10,000 ft/lb figure and that the “material destruction”  capability of firearms essentially bore down to the projectile but this appeared to be a figure that was felt to include those firearms that they had concern about. It was then that it appeared that the view of some in the home office was that it is considered that there should just be some limit on the muzzle energy of firearms that civilians could own in the UK. This was presented without any further justification.

 

Further bad news is that the Vz58 MARS was merely an example of a rapid firing firearm, and any other firearms that are capable of a similar rate of fire will be considered for section 5 categorisation. (See statement ** below).  

 

The good news is that they will indeed consider suggestions that sit in-between an outright ban and ‘do nothing’. Such as Section 5 type security at the rifle storage address, and enhanced security for guns in transit. This was not previously seen as an option available to us. We discussed monitored alarm systems, CCTV, separate safe for the bolt, keeping the bolt separate in a locked box from the rifle when in transit, even potentially storing the firing pin mechanism separately and GPS trackers. Although these measures would be difficult to incorporate into primary legislation they could be incorporated into current FACs conditions. I have also since been advised by an FEO that the Home Office “Guidance on Firearms Licensing” will soon be a legal document referenced from within a revised firearms act. There is the possibility that the above examples of risk mitigating measures could be incorporated into a revised Guidance on Firearms Licensing Law document. This may be a good option all round, as it would eliminate the need to push for any parliamentary debate on the matter.

 

The Home Office has agreed that we are ‘the’ primary stakeholders when it comes to .50calibre and anything over 10,000ft/lbs, and will be dealing direct with us on any issues relating to these type of firearms.  As such we may have to give evidence to a parliamentary select committee.

 

We explained the issue we have over the term “material destruction”, and talked at length about ammunition types. They have requested ballistic reports to prove that a .50 calibre rifle using section 1 ammunition does not have the same material destructive capabilities as AP or API ammunition. (Some quick work needed here – help from the membership or anyone with the correct qualifications IS required). It’s crucial that we can submit evidence to support our claim that .50 ball/brass/copper/AMAX will not penetrate steel plate at whatever distance …(100 yards?). They have asked for evidence. This, however, would have to be relevant to the supposed “real world” scenarios the may be worried about.

 

We were advised that it’s VITAL that we have an MP, or MPs, on our side, because if they decide to press on with changes to legislation then we will need representation in parliament.

 

They admit that their figures are wrong, both in terms of numbers of rifles, and costs, we need to provide this data!

 

Now that we are talking about a lot more calibres than just .50 the numbers are going to increase dramatically. We also raised the fact that we spend £36,000 with Landmarc each year, plus numerous B&Bs and restaurants, often in remote rural locations – plus we have dedicated reloading equipment, parts, ammunition and components.

The police service appear to be concerned about being, colloquially speaking  “outgunned. It’s important that we can debunk the myth that a terrorist lugging around a .50/.460 and attempting to shoot targets at long range will be more of a problem for the police to deal with than a bad guy with a smaller calibre such as 300WinMag, or even 308 for that matter.

 

They admitted that the only people who have raised any concerns with .50 are the police and MPs, although I doubt whether many MPs know what a .50 is.

 

MP Nick Hurds comments on civilian clubs using AP ammunition are to be withdrawn or corrected, as the HO admits they are incorrect and misleading.

 

So where do we go from here?

 

We need to provide solutions, not moans or complaints. They don’t care how outrageous all this is, they will only take note of either possible solutions to reduce the so called risk, or any financial implications of a ban. I will send out some pointers over the next few days, but for those wishing to respond now, think about the risks, and how we can reduce those risks, even if there is no evidence of these risks. If a final decision is made on unsound evidence, then we will look at a Judicial review.

 

For every risk we need to either debunk the risk using evidential based hard facts, not opinions, or suggest a sensible and robust fix.

 

You need to speak to your MP, we need MPs on our side – this won’t be easy, firearms are seen as toxic by MPs, even if they agree with us in private that further prohibition is unnecessary and pointless, they will need a lot of convincing to say this publically.

 

The Home Office seem genuinely keen to work with us, and lines of communication have been opened up. This is the start of a process.

 

**Statement on lever release/MARS etc: 

You ask about the reference to MARS type rifles in the consultation document. Although we specifically mention the VZ 58 this was only by way of  an example and we would wish to consider any firearm which employs a Manually Actuated Release System capable of achieving a similar rate of fire.  We do need to consider, however, how the MARS system is best defined and whether other operating systems with similar characteristics such as lever release should be included and we would welcome responses on this aspect. Just to be clear, it is certainly not our intention to include self-loading rifles chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges which are already allowed by virtue of section 5 (1)(a) of the Firearms Act 1968.

Finally, I would emphasise that we are keen to avoid any unintended consequences and look forward to working closely with you and other interested parties to ensure against this.

 

 

Chris Stevenson

Chairman, FCSA (UK)

www.fcsa.co.uk

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I understand that was an email between Chris and the FCSA membership that was not supposed to be posted on forums such as this and others

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32 minutes ago, bradders said:

I understand that was an email between Chris and the FCSA membership that was not supposed to be posted on forums such as this and others

Chris authorised me to share it, so what are you old CSR boys doing?...as the consultation involves you too!

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Well I brought my AR15 from you, which is a tack driver may I add!...best foxing tool I've ever invested in! ..if I had more time on my hands id be a CSR man all day long!..looks like a fantastic discipline!..im sure we spoke on the phone at 10ish!..:-)))) 

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1 hour ago, ruger7717 said:

Chris authorised me to share it, so what are you old CSR boys doing?...as the consultation involves you too!

I shoot CSR, amongst other things, and have responded to the "consultation", written to MP, etc.

 

I'm not aware of a CSR ruling body that can respond on my behalf; lots of individual CSR shooters who can make their own response, yes. Hopefully, most will have done so.

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17 hours ago, ruger7717 said:

we can debunk the myth that a terrorist lugging around a .50/.460 and attempting to shoot targets at long range will be more of a problem for the police to deal with than a bad guy with a smaller calibre such as 300WinMag, or even 308 for that matter.

 

An interesting and clear email. However, I must state that I have a major problem with the mindset in the wording quoted above; which appears to run counter to sporting shooters sticking together: 'united we stand'.

The wording appears to reflect a, perhaps subconscious, attempt to cross-contaminate other calibres and shooters, rather than focus on comparison with the actual primary threat to public safety.

 The FCSA response absolutely shouldn't say 'a bad guy armed with a 300wm or 308'. Such language draws other sporting shooters into this facile HO argument, putting further wind in the sails of this new HO myth that terrorists would see stolen privately owned firearms as a realistic/practical route to arming themselves; which is a nonsense that's been discussed on here before: The terrorists' primary route is the easiest one; vehicles, knives and improvised explosives; with smuggled Eastern and Middle Eastern assault weapons a, more difficult, but equally attractive (to them) route.  

The FCSA should not allow or endorse comparison with 'bad guys' armed with other sporting calibres (what a silly and dreadful term; 'bad guys'); you should be making comparisons with the primary threat that's prompting the review: Islamist terrorists (note: Islamist, not Islamic)) armed with eastern block military weapons in calibres, 7.62x39, 7.62x54 or 12.7mm, either obtained in Europe and the former USSR or in middle east.

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Ruger 7717

I'm 'surprised' that you do not understand the negative impact posting this on an open forum?

Your 'assumption' that no one here is doing anything is Incredible - literally

Please refrain from goading on open forums, if you cannot comprehend the method of divide  and conquer then do not add to it

Thank you

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I don't know whether to be angry, dismayed or simply appalled  by the above negative commentary regarding FCSA's genuine initiative and communication to those impacted now or in the probable near future.

The FCSA is  attempting  to defend ALL shooting interests in the wake of an 'out of the blue' and evidence-free attack on several elements of our sport......at present 50 cal and rapid-fire.....what next if the police and HO are successful?

I am an ordinary member of the FCSA but do not shoot 50 cal and never will ...in fact I would guess that probably more than 50% of members shoot non-HME.

It is a fantastic club full  of enthusuasts from all walks of life.

Chris and the OP have been at pains to positively communicate intentions and progress and to stress that  FCSA are  not in 'sell-out' mode to save 50 cals.

What FCSA and ALL shooting enthusiasts need is our combined support and not petty quibbling over email wording!

In a few years time when we are doing HME tests for our licensed .177 airguns because our fragmentation has seen the Police and Home Office progressively ban everything else then we may regret not properly standing together.

Lost for more words and feeling slightly ashamed that more fullsome support seems like too much to ask.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, ruger7717 said:

The bad news is that they are considering EVERYTHING over 10,000ft/lbs. Not just .50cal.

 

Further bad news is that the Vz58 MARS was merely an example of a rapid firing firearm, and any other firearms that are capable of a similar rate of fire will be considered for section 5 categorisation. (See statement ** below). 

Can you or Chris explain to everyone how these key points seem to completely contradict the HO Impact Assessment, which only talks about .50 and MARS rifles being affected?

Did Chris challenge them on this? Do the HO plan to issue an amended IA?

It makes nonsense of the survey, so there must be more to this than we are being told?

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4 minutes ago, JSC said:

Can you or Chris explain to everyone how these key points seem to completely contradict the HO Impact Assessment, which only talks about .50 and MARS rifles being affected?

Did Chris challenge them on this? Do the HO plan to issue an amended IA?

It makes nonsense of the survey, so there must be more to this than we are being told?

I too would like more on this.

An independent clarification would be preferable, because to be honest chaps, while I fully support the cause....I can't help feeling there is more than a bit of scaremongering going on to garner support, and that doesn't sit comfortably with me

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I am an interested party just as you are but I have full confidence that Chris / FCSA are working hard for the common good and will be very hapoy to expand comms on progress....PROVIDED they feel that they are not going to get sniped at for their efforts.

Scaremongering is no part of that effort........and garnering support should not be something that has to be obtained by such means...it should be freely given even if you are not an HME shooter.

Give your active support now for the sake of the future of shooting across the board and forget the narrow view that it won't affect me if I keep my head down.

The past predicts the future....pistols, semis.......the list can only get longer if not fully opposed....and NOTHING ever comes back from a ban.

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Sniped?

Blimey, calm down. Someone posted the opening piece here with a peculiar sort of challenge to respond.  Whilst the quoted email is clear, there are other viewpoints, or, perhaps, opinions to consider.  That's a 'debate' and people have different opinions in a debate.

If pointing out that a central tenet of the email is that it appears to accept or endorse the HO myth as well as expand it into other calbres is 'sniping (I didn't mention that I'm also struck by the peculiarity of offering 'security mitigation', which implies acceptance of the myth), well so be it.... or it coild be read as comment that might inform and develop future FCSA argument.  A cup half full issue, but, certainly, if the purpose of the OP was to create debate, and your expectation was a round of North Korean applause; 'Your points are faultless great leader'....

 

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Simply hoping we can all agree to have a united front.......simples!

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We can unite if we all understand clearly what we are trying to defend and have a common strategy.

There seems to be various organisations who have direct access to the Home Office but they are publishing contradictory findings. That's not very united, is it?

Until we (the shooting community) are presented with the full facts, how can we agree what the best course of action is to fight whatever the threat is?

If you can't answer my question above, please ask Chris or someone else from the FCSA who had the meeting with the HO to come on here and explain why his statement is at odds with the Home Office IA?

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It seem these people trying push this legislation through to ban these rifles are looking at a problem that doesn't exist.its utter ridiculous.if someone can write something better sounding than Chris that could change the overall outcome from this kangaroo court scenario then feel free.

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Nothing one person could write is going to change the outcome of this consultation.

If all the shooting organisations and shooters are singing from the same songsheet however, we might have a chance.

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Hi,

only my interpretation of the situation but it seems to me that this is a consultation period during which both sides can discuss their  concerns , and offer "constructive" and "reasonable "solutions to steer away from any outright ban of any class,

such as separate storage of the bolt effectively making rifle useless,this is something i do anyway as I'm sure do others, I'm fairly new to this forum ,but no stranger to the way government works ,having lost equipment to the self loading rifle ban and ten years later the hand gun ban,where this differs from those events is it's not a jerk reaction to an event and as such it's much more likely that sensible ,consensual ,measures that  wouldn't impact on our shooting could be acceptable ,also showing that we are willing to adapt this simple measure to help allay security fears,

as has already been said it's difficult to lobby until we know what is proposed, until then unity is the key hopefully those who are part of the consultation will keep us posted..

 

 

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37 minutes ago, JSC said:

Nothing one person could write is going to change the outcome of this consultation.

If all the shooting organisations and shooters are singing from the same songsheet however, we might have a chance.

Amen to this........I personally have heard very little from NRA, BASC (and I am a paid up member of both)  etc etc......may be that I have not seen their inputs but seems VERY low key at the most charitable interpretation and a galaxy away from co-ordinated.....am I being unfair?

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Well, all I've seen from the FCSA is some second hand information posted on forums, which was apparently copied from their closed FB group. There's nothing on their website.

Why don't they take the initiative, approach the NRA, BSSC, BASC etc. and suggest they all get together and issue a joint press release so everyone can see what they are all doing to represent us, the shooters and confirm precisely what is likely to be affected by the consultation.

Just an idea.

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Great thought......hopeful it will happen!

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Yes the NRA need to step up as it won’t stop after this. 

Next your .338 is gone, 300 winmag.....slippery slope we won’t be able to climb back up. 

I really can’t see how they can say these firearms are a risk as they have never been used in crime in the UK. 

Even when the IRA had 50s they didn’t ban them so no reason to now. 

If they go ahead with this then I expect them to ban all alcohol of 0.5 proof as that would save many more lives in this country. 

In the meantime why don’t we adopt a more direct approach and start putting in variations to aquire the likes of MARS, LR to show them how we feel.                                 Or is that too un British 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Vortex said:

Next your .338 is gone, 300 winmag.....slippery slope we won’t be able to climb back up. 

The "slippery slope fallacy" is one of the most ridiculous arguments with no logical foundation.

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5 minutes ago, MrCetirizine said:

The "slippery slope fallacy" is one of the most ridiculous arguments with no logical foundation.

File it with that other current favourite "the thin end of the wedge" and while you're at it you can also include "this is just the tip of the iceberg"

 

This consultation period runs until 9th Dec, and I am confident the NRA and BASC etc have submitted their responses and had meetings, so speculation about what they may have or have not done is pointless....in the meantime the proper thing to do is wildly speculate and on occasion phone up people you suspect of not towing the party line and needlessly harangue them.

Late at night seems to be the favourite time for that!

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Fallacy, not a fallacy to everyone with eyes. 

They are coming after something for no good reason.

as can be proven by the  lack of use in criminal hands.

please can you state how my and many other shooters train of thought is a fallacy.

every ban has had political gain behind it in terms of votes won or under the general push to disarm the public because the police see this as faverable. 

Nothing really to do with public safety.  

Yes they are coming after 50s or any thing with high muzzle energy which is at 10,000ft/lb now. 

But  what about when they start lowering that limit and it starts to encompass more and more calibers.

How about stopping you having your AR platforms because they look scary.  You only need to look at Australia for that mess. 

 

 

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