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Applying for an open FAC


njc110381

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I've just written this up. It's like the 6th draft because various people keep picking holes in it. I've tried to take on all the advice I've been given, and thought I'd ask your opinion on here. Have a read.....

 

 

Dear Mr *policeman*,

 

I am writing to you regarding an application for a less restrictive firearms certificate.

 

I have been a certificate holder for two months. However, due to the unfortunate loss of my first application I have actually been shooting under supervision of both my mentor and several other landowners for well over a year. During this time I have experienced shots taken both by myself and by others in a wide variety of situations, from small flat orchards with a .22lr and high seat, to the management of Deer on large estates in Devon. Due to this considerable experience I feel I have learned the suitability (or more importantly, lack of suitability) of a range of ground much more quickly than the average shooter.

 

Having read the Home Office guidelines I realise that each case can be considered on its own merits, so I feel I have just cause for my request. The reasons are;

 

1. I would be able to shoot new ground at short notice as part of my work as a gardener (I have been advised that I have to apply in writing before I can be told if ground is cleared, in which time the damage caused would be beyond repair).

2. I am regularly asked by my clients to shoot pests in paddocks and large gardens which have never been shot over before (sometimes several per week).

3. Currently I have to pass on the task to other shooters who have unrestricted certificates, which is at times a great loss to me financially.

 

I feel that coming to a mutual agreement of new terms would benefit us both. It would save both the police and I a great deal of time and effort in the future if land checks were not required for these short term permissions. My mentor is very happy with my progress and has written me a covering letter to include for your peace of mind.

 

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you in the near future regarding this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

*njc*

 

 

 

I think it seems ok now, but as with all FAC stuff it's bugging me far more than it should be! What do you think? Does it sound ok? I've tried not to ramble on, but at the same time give clear details of my experience and reasons for wanting it so soon.

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I'll try and assist here, but two months as a FAC holder will not IMHO give you any lea way at all - open certificates are usually granted after or on first renewal (subject to which licence area you belong to), ive answered in the body of the letter

 

 

 

 

I've just written this up. It's like the 6th draft because various people keep picking holes in it. I've tried to take on all the advice I've been given, and thought I'd ask your opinion on here. Have a read.....

Dear Mr *policeman*,

 

I am writing to you regarding an application for a less restrictive firearms certificate.

 

I have been a certificate holder for two months. However, due to the unfortunate loss of my first application I have actually been shooting under supervision of both my mentor and several other landowners for well over a year. During this time I have experienced shots taken both by myself and by others in a wide variety of situations, from small flat orchards with a .22lr and high seat, to the management of Deer on large estates in Devon. Due to this considerable experience I feel I have learned the suitability (or more importantly, lack of suitability) of a range of ground much more quickly than the average shooter.

 

Having read the Home Office guidelines I realise that each case can be considered on its own merits, so I feel I have just cause for my request. The reasons are;

 

1. I would be able to shoot new ground at short notice as part of my work as a gardener (I have been advised that I have to apply in writing before I can be told if ground is cleared, in which time the damage caused would be beyond repair).

 

Point 1 - Even on an "open ticket" this does not allow you to shoot anywhere with impunity - EVERY piece of land where a firearm is to be used MUST be checked by your FEO and passed before you use it for the calibre of weapon you intend to use.

 

2. I am regularly asked by my clients to shoot pests in paddocks and large gardens which have never been shot over before (sometimes several per week).

 

Use an air rifle if its for bunnies - point 1 applies here.

 

3. Currently I have to pass on the task to other shooters who have unrestricted certificates, which is at times a great loss to me financially.

 

They are then shooting on land that is not passed (if it hasnt been passed for the calibre of weapon they are using) they run the risk of losing certificate / void insurance in the case of an accident etc etc etc - point 1 also applies

 

I feel that coming to a mutual agreement of new terms would benefit us both. It would save both the police and I a great deal of time and effort in the future if land checks were not required for these short term permissions. My mentor is very happy with my progress and has written me a covering letter to include for your peace of mind.

 

The FEO will not mind coming out to every new bit of land you aquire permission to shoot over, once you get written permission, send it to your FEO and ask them to do a land check, if it isnt suitable, you dont use it - that way you will not run the risk of losing your hard earned certificate over shooting somewhere that hasnt been passed and you do not have to pay for this - its free

 

 

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you in the near future regarding this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

*njc*

I think it seems ok now, but as with all FAC stuff it's bugging me far more than it should be! What do you think? Does it sound ok? I've tried not to ramble on, but at the same time give clear details of my experience and reasons for wanting it so soon.

 

 

Sorry to appear critical of the letter, but having been a qualified FEO before civillianisation, I foresee the answer you will get. At least that is the answer you would get in many licencing authority areas.

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Things must have changed since you were an feo Andy. An "open " ticket allows the user to shoot on any land they have written permission on, and its down to the shooter to deem the land safe. Thats what mine says anyway.

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An open certificate allows you to shoot on land that hasn't been cleared. That's the whole point!

Otherwise, how would "land deemed suitable by the chief of police" be any different?

Where were you an FEO, and how long ago? As far as I'm aware that's English rules. I couldn't say for Ireland?

Anyone care to shed some more light on this? If I'm wrong I'll eat my socks :P

 

Edited to say that sounded a little rude, I didn't intend it to sorry ;)

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Things must have changed since you were an feo Andy. An "open " ticket allows the user to shoot on any land they have written permission on, and its down to the shooter to deem the land safe. Thats what mine says anyway.

 

 

Exactly, I thought with the less restrictive, ie; ( Chief Constable deem suitable ) the onus was on the shooter himself. If the FEO has to check every bit of land, what's the point of an Open Cert ?

 

Nic, I have been a certificate holder for two months, I think this is your problem.........I cannot see it happening........Hope I'm wrong.

 

BJ.

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My ticket was open from the off but I had added invite and since I have varied twice and always used the word invite on my ticket. I dont see how they can refuse if a mate or 2 has invited you to lamp, stalk or perhaps you have bought a day or 2 stalking!!! If they do then I would involve basc or similar to fight your corner. Myself I live in an area where they are pretty damn strict, they even refused me a temp ticket to go and change my rifles, where as my mate had 1 throwen at him and asked how long he wanted it for but he is in a different division. This is my 1st ticket and I do think that adding invite helped me.

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My point is this:

 

If your certificate says you may use xxx calibre rifle on land where you have "lawful authority to shoot"

 

This means that you;

 

a, have written permission from the landowner to use xxx calibre weapon on his / her land.

 

AND

 

b, that land has been PASSED as safe to use that calibre of weapon.

 

 

 

Open certificate yes, it is just that, open, but you still require permission and the land to be passed as safe for it to be lawful.

 

That is my understanding and in case you are wondering, I am still a qualified FEO.

 

All of the land I shoot over has been checked and while nothing on my cert mentions specific land, I know that all the land I have access to is registered on the database.

 

 

Lets put this into perspective:

 

Farmer asks male who is FAC holder onto land to shoot some rabbits with his .22RF.

 

Male with .22 comes along and shoots some rabbits in hedge bottom, not realising there is a footpath out of sight on the other side.

 

A walker sees bunnies being shot and calls cops.

 

They check the NAtional Firearms Registry and see that the land has not been passed as safe for firearms use......

 

Cops arrive, male with 22 invited to answer a few questions by FEO-

 

"who gave you permission to shoot on the land"

 

The Farmer

 

Has the land been checked by a FEO - when did you notify us that you intended to use this property (land) for firearms use?

 

Errr

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye ticket - or at least a strong warning....

 

 

Another scenario:

 

I have a 270, I have open ticket I can use it for vermin.

 

Lady two doors down wants asks me round as she has a fox rummiging in her bin in her garden - the garden is half an acre, but surrounded by other gardens and in residetial area.

 

I set up with my 270 upstairs with lamp and await fox arrival.

 

Its a safe shot as I am shooting downhill into soft earth at a distance of 40 yards.

 

 

 

Would you do it - even with your ""open ticket that you can use anywhere""

 

 

I hope the answer is no.

 

 

Yes I know I am playing Devils Advokate here, but it is something that many people do not realise is still required.

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Hi Ronin,

 

I am still a qualified FEO.

 

Can you tell me then, what is the point of omitting the words " Deemed suitable by the Chief Constable " or to that effect.

 

Pretty pointless if the Police have to check every bit of land you get permission on. My understanding is, explained years ago, you have land which has being passed by the CC for X calibre, & you have good reason, that is all the FEO needs to know, he does not have to be involved with any other land you have permission on, ie; up to the Cert Holder to deem suitable.

 

Your last scenario with the 270 is a bit over the top don't you think.........lol.........saying that, a program on the box not long ago showed a guy in London somewhere making a living shooting Fox's in people's back gardens with a 22.

 

It seems to me, that different county's have different rules,

 

BJ.

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Andy,

 

Once you have an open ticket the onus is on the Certifcate holder, if the land is deemed suitable, it has nothing at all to do with if the land has been passed for that calibre by any FEO or POLICE FORCE

 

It is not the calibre of rifle but the calibre of person behind the rifle that is most important. It makes no difference what calibre you use they are all as DEADLY AS EACH OTHER IF USED WITHOUT COMMON SENSE.

 

From the BASC

 

The ‘open’ condition provides the means to shoot on any land in England, Wales and Scotland where you have permission

from the owner/occupier, thus putting the onus of responsibility where it rightly belongs; i.e. with the certificate holder

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Interesting points. Open ticket places the onus on the shooter i.e. his experience, and I think this is where NJC's case will fall down, unless he can show prior use for example ex military.

 

Most of us have probably been in this situation initially so you will just have to be patient, I know its not the answer you want to hear, I've been there.

 

The police are in an awkward situation I suppose with a new FAC, open ticket leaves them wide open for rebuffs if anything goes wrong i.e. failing to protect the public, closed ticket means its their responsibility hence the FEO may be cautious and deem the land unsuitable.

 

At least this is how I understand it.

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The whole idea of an open ticket, is to cope with circumstances like this. I got an "open" after 18 months because i required one for proffessional fox control, a job i was doing at the time. The whole argument i put forward to the police, was that i needed to be able to go, at the drop of a hat, and shoot a lamb killer for farmer "x", thus i needed an open ticket, as all farmers losing lambs will not wait for a land check, and the open ticket was granted .If i deem it safe, i can legally shoot foxes in peoples back gardens, obviously i would use a suitable subsonic weapon, but its legal, nonetheless.

 

I,ve just realised where the confusion is here.

What Ronin is describing, is actually a "semi open" ticket, which is issued to everyone now.The old method for land use, was to enter every piece of land the shooter had, on his ticket.They know allow "the shooter to shoot on any land he/she has permission on, and which has been deemed suitable by the chief constanstable "

This is semi open. When granted fully open, it states " the xxxx calibre rifle shall be used for shooting xxxx and zeroing on ranges or land on which the holder has lawfull authority to shoot.

This forms part of the ticket conditions, and is repeated 5 times for five different calibres on my ticket.

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The final decision will still rest with the Firearms dept of his area police and at 2 months I would say he hasnt a snowballs chance in hell of a fully open ticket, six or twelve months on, a good chance in most areas.

Shooting a firearm in peoples gardens per se would be very risky argument anyway, be patient and use a decent air rifle for now, "everything comes to him who waits".

Redfox

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I,ve just realised where the confusion is here.

What Ronin is describing, is actually a "semi open" ticket, which is issued to everyone now.The old method for land use, was to enter every piece of land the shooter had, on his ticket.They know allow "the shooter to shoot on any land he/she has permission on, and which has been deemed suitable by the chief constable "

 

Must be the case, see what Ronin say's. We had a FEO at Durham that said there was no such thing as a Open Cert, didn't exist, never mind a Semi OC. :P

 

BJ.

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Just to clarify things I have done a bit of ringing around various Licencing Depts today to get the concensus of opinion.

 

As I said I am still a qualified FEO, what I left out was I havent had cause to do any checks since the posts were civilianised a few years ago - it appears that the situation has indeed changed and the wording "land deemed suitable" on an open ticket is just that - you make the decision if its safe PROVIDING your ticket is open.

 

My apoligies for giving out duff info - it was given in good faith.

 

It still does nothing to assist our friend with two months exprience though - wait a while longer and apply for a variation (in anoither 9 months) you may get an open ticket when the variation comes back - just an idea....... :P

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I'm certainly not holding my breath, but I feel it's worth a try. If they mention the time I've had an FAC I'm going to make a huge fuss. If they did their job properly I would have had it a year ago, as I applied a year ago last december! I've been shooting regularly since before I applied, all be it under supervision. I see this as more than a year of experience, and also picking up more than I would on my own because I've been shooting with people who have shot for years. I've had regular tips from them, and have been able to learn from their experiences as well as my own. I'm expecting them to mention my FAC being granted only two months ago. That has no reflection on my experience level at all, and they know it!

 

I've patiently put up with a lot of crap from them until now. If they use their incompetence as a reason for me not having one I'll be pushing very hard for an explaination ;)

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Well, good luck.

 

 

Sometimes the softly, softly approach works better than the confrontational one - if you come across with resoned argument then you may get what you want, it will be interesting to see anyway.

 

Please give an update when you get a reply.

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I've just written this up. It's like the 6th draft because various people keep picking holes in it. I've tried to take on all the advice I've been given, and thought I'd ask your opinion on here. Have a read.....

Dear Mr *policeman*,

 

I am writing to you regarding an application for a less restrictive firearms certificate.

 

I have been a certificate holder for two months. However, due to the unfortunate loss of my first application I have actually been shooting under supervision of both my mentor and several other landowners for well over a year. During this time I have experienced shots taken both by myself and by others in a wide variety of situations, from small flat orchards with a .22lr and high seat, to the management of Deer on large estates in Devon. Due to this considerable experience I feel I have learned the suitability (or more importantly, lack of suitability) of a range of ground much more quickly than the average shooter.

 

Having read the Home Office guidelines I realise that each case can be considered on its own merits, so I feel I have just cause for my request. The reasons are;

 

1. I would be able to shoot new ground at short notice as part of my work as a gardener (I have been advised that I have to apply in writing before I can be told if ground is cleared, in which time the damage caused would be beyond repair).

2. I am regularly asked by my clients to shoot pests in paddocks and large gardens which have never been shot over before (sometimes several per week).

3. Currently I have to pass on the task to other shooters who have unrestricted certificates, which is at times a great loss to me financially.

 

I feel that coming to a mutual agreement of new terms would benefit us both. It would save both the police and I a great deal of time and effort in the future if land checks were not required for these short term permissions. My mentor is very happy with my progress and has written me a covering letter to include for your peace of mind.

 

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you in the near future regarding this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

*njc*

I think it seems ok now, but as with all FAC stuff it's bugging me far more than it should be! What do you think? Does it sound ok? I've tried not to ramble on, but at the same time give clear details of my experience and reasons for wanting it so soon.

 

 

ok

 

1)the first problem is you should still address them as Sir/Madam

 

2) you have just admitted to them that you have only had your license for two months and that you have been shooting for over a year with other peoples firearms, which is an offence

 

3) the wording with regard to the situations you have been shooting can be missleading and may be taken that you have been using a .22lr in a high seat for shooting deer

 

4)I am sorry to say that I would be horrified if you were granted an open ticket to shoot in people's gardens or small paddocks with a 22lr, have you considered a good pcp air rifle???? with practice and the right set up, humane kills out to 60yards are easy and far safer in a garden enviroment

 

5) you should phone your local firearms headquaters and discuss the matter with them.

 

I wouldnt go demanding this and demanding that but tell them your situation and see what they say

they are human and proberbly quite friendly and will listen to you

 

 

I am always speaking to my local headquaters to sort one thing or another out

 

I can only see that you mention .22lr, can you tell us what other firearms you have?

 

on getting my fac opened up I was able to prove that I had vast experience (legal experience) with a wide range of firearms, I had shot competetively for a long time and that I had represented the U.K in an overseas competition and training program, I was able to provide two reference's as to my competant understanding of high power firearms from people who have good names in the world of shooting

 

6) you mention that your mentor has wrote you a letter, but as far as we can see you only have a 22lr and would not normally require a mentor

 

not trying to have a dig and please dont take it that way just trying to help in some strange way

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There is no continuity from force to force, each dreaming up there own deffinition of the law, there is a 18 year old keeper from down here that comes on this site, he was given a open ticket from day one, i know another keeper, again from down here, he is in his forties and had a ticket 10 years, applied for an open one and they turned him down, said he did not need it.

Got mine "open" within 12 months because i pointed out that being a full time rural pestie, i would be looking for loss of earnings if they held me back, and that they would need someone to be on hand a couple of times a day to come out and pass ground every day of the week if i did not get it, reason prevailed.

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It's not illegal to shoot under supervision of a landowner or tennant. The clasification of a tennant isn't defined, but is usually understood to include the holder of shooting rights.

 

When I say garden, you're picturing your garden. I'm talking about gardens you could fit your whole parish in! There are a lot of rich people around here, some own whole villages ;)

 

I have .22lr, .17hmr and 6.5x55, which is mentored because I don't have land listed on my FAC. It's a long story, but because of their screw up they had to get it out fast to avoid me claiming compensation. The only way they could do that legally was to allow me to shoot under open certificate conditions with my mentor on his land.

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with a shotgun then yes maybe if the landowner is present

 

with an fac,,,, if I have a 243 and my friend has a 243 and we want to try each others gun then we would be breaking the law because the firearm is not listed on your ticket,,,,,,thats the whole point of them sayin the 22rf, the223, the243 etcetcetcetc

 

they are on YOUR ticket not someone elses

 

on an estate where deer are culled there is an ESTATE gun that the police have granted special conditions which allow a person with an fac, but not that firearm, use it supervised

 

rich areas mean they have more money in which to take you to court even if they didnt like the sound you make whilst shooting

 

how were you using firearms without a current and uptodate fac???

 

 

your mentor is supposed to accompany YOU with YOUR firearm not you with his gun or you accompanying him on his land with his gun

 

trying to help you understand not have an argument or anything

 

like I said talk it over with the police first, I am always chatting to mine

 

infact I spoke to mine yesterday regarding some matters and it came up in the conversation about the ammo clause on everyones license when they think that they can use their guns for......the lawfull shooting of deer,,,,,,the humane killing of animals for the protection of humans or other animals etc etc

 

it is amazing how many people think that this means they can do just that, but it is not the case as this refers to AMMO not the firearm

 

it is standard home office wording that refers to AMMO incase the individual has a separate provision to do so under their GUN section

 

she and I agreed that tooooooo many people mis read or misunderstand this and break the law

 

we talked about even people with only a 22rf on their ticket have in the past thought they could humanely kill or lawfully shoot deer and have even been prossicuted for doing so

 

talk it over with them they are friendly but dont what ever you do lie about experience because if you are not carefull you could unknowingly admit to causing a crime

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I'm pretty well into these rules and it seems the law does state that you cannot shoot another shooters gun when you have a FAC. However, before my certificate was granted I used my mentors guns. It's acceptable practice if you don't have your own FAC as long as you have the landowners permission and shoot with either the landowner or tennant. I'm not certain it's illegal once a person has their own FAC, but I am completely certain it's ok for a non FAC holder to do it as long as certain rules are adhered to. Once I had my FAC, I had my own guns to use so it doesn't matter anyway ;)

 

 

EDIT..... If you find yourself with a few hours spare, read this!

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-and-p...pdf?view=Binary

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This is the bit I mean:

 

Borrowed rifles on private premises

6.16 Section 16(1) of the 1988 Act enables a

person to borrow a rifle from the occupier

of private premises and to use it on those

premises in the presence of either the

occupier or their servant without holding a

firearm certificate in respect of that rifle. It

should be noted that this gives slightly more

flexibility in the use of a borrowed rifle than

is permissible with the use of a shot gun

as described in paragraph 6.14, in that the

borrowed rifle can also be used in the

presence of the servant of the occupier.

However, the occupier and/or their servant

must hold a firearm certificate in respect of

the firearm being used, and the borrower,

who must be accompanied by the certificate

holder (whether it is the occupier or their

servant), must comply with the conditions

of the certificate. These may include a

safekeeping requirement and, in some cases,

territorial restrictions. Section 57(4) of the

1968 Act defines “premises” as including any

land. The effect of the provision is to allow

a person visiting a private estate to borrow

and use a rifle without a certificate. The

exemption does not extend to persons under

the age of 17 or to other types of firearm.

There is no notification required on the

loan of a firearm under these circumstances.

A borrowed rifle should not be specifically

identified as such on a “keeper’s” or

“landowner’s” firearm certificate. The term

“in the presence of” is not defined in law

but is generally interpreted as being within

sight and earshot.

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This is the bit I mean:

 

However, the occupier and/or their servant

must hold a firearm certificate in respect of

the firearm being used, and the borrower,

who must be accompanied by the certificate

holder (whether it is the occupier or their

servant), must comply with the conditions

of the certificate.

 

this is the bit I mean for you would be required to have an upto date fac for the firearm being used, so you can have the firearm on your ticket but not own it but must as you have stated

 

must hold a firearm certificate in respect of

the firearm being used, and the borrower,

who must be accompanied by the certificate

holder (whether it is the occupier or their

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