BACKGROUND BRIEF ON FIREARMS CONTROLS
Overview of Shooting in Britain 3
Home Affairs Committee 4
Single Certification Process 6
Number of Firearms Kept In a Private Home 6
Greater Involvement of the Medical Profession 7
Age of People Being Granted Certificates 8
Current Law 10
Firearm Certificates 10
Shot Gun Certificates 13
• Firearms laws in the UK are acknowledged as being amongst the toughest in the world. Shooting is among the safest of sports and particularly so in the UK. According to United Nations statistics, the UK figure for accidental firearms fatalities is one of the lowest at 0.02 per 100,000, a figure which includes military and police fatalities. In England and Wales twice as many people are hospitalised by mishaps with cotton buds as accidents with guns.
• There is no relationship between legitimate gun ownership and gun crime. The ban on handguns is instructive here. Although handguns became prohibited and were entirely removed from general legal circulation in 1997, they still routinely feature in crime and remain the criminal’s weapon of choice. Of those offences involving a non airgun, 44% involved a handgun in the period 20010-11 (Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Homicides, Firearms Offences and Intimate Violence 20010-11). This underlines the lack of any relationship between firearms crime and lawful ownership of firearms.
• A person determined to get hold of a firearm will do so regardless of the law. In its Second Report of April 2000 the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee noted:
• “A common theme to many submissions is that illegally held weapons pose a far greater danger to public safety than those which are held in conformity with the present controls. It is argued that weapons held outside the licensing system are used in the commission of the majority of armed crime. This is an argument which we recognise: it is clear that those determined to live outside the law are unlikely to respect the law’s requirements when they wish to acquire or use a weapon.”
• Firearms law in Great Britain has evolved piecemeal since 1921. There are a large number of Statutes and associated Regulations, and these are confusing and difficult to understand, both by those charged with applying the law and by firearms users. We therefore support the consolidation of existing firearms law in a single Act of Parliament.
• Spokespersons for the three main political parties have given public support to shooting sports during National Shooting Week, which is organised annually by the Countryside Alliance:
• Speaking at a debate on firearms control in 2010, MPs from all parties were quick to advocate the necessity of a balanced approach to firearms legislation.
Keith Vaz MP, Labour Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, stated:
“I no longer need to be convinced of the importance of the sport. When we look at the figures, showing the hundreds of thousands who apply for a licence in good faith, with excellent characters, and get their licences, we know that we must be careful if we try to change the law.” (House of Commons Hansard, 20 December 2012)
Clive Efford, now Labour Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, stated:
“I have never held a gun, let alone fired one, apart from an air rifle that somebody else owned when I was young, but I had a friend who managed a shoot, and we had interesting conversations about the investment and contribution that shoots make to local economies, so I have nothing but respect for people in that industry.” (House of Commons Hansard, 20 December 2012)
• Spokespersons from all major parties showed their public support for shooting sports at the 2012 party conferences.
Sir Jim Paice MP, former Conservative Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, stated:
“It is very important that we constantly promote shooting and the tremendous positive effect shooting has on the rural economy.”
Tom Harris MP, Labour Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stated:
"There is a tolerance of country sports and shooting, we cannot simply be tolerant, country sports add a huge amount to conservation and we as the Labour government should encourage field sports for all the benefits that they provide in terms of employment, income generated and conservation.”
Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, stated:
"It is important that we recognise the difference between firearms used for shooting in recreational purposes and sport, to that of a firearm used during a crime.”
OVERVIEW OF SHOOTING IN BRITAIN
• An estimated one million people in the UK shoot. The number of young people entering the sport is increasing. To illustrate this The National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA) has over 12,000 registered instructors on its Youth Proficiency Scheme which received Sport England funding when launched in 1991. The NSRA, so far as we are aware, is the only National Governing Body of a sport to be registered as a Duke of Edinburgh Access organisation.
• Hunting with firearms is a £1.6 billion industry in the United Kingdom, supporting 70,000 jobs, according to the 2006 PACEC Report. Shooting providers spend an estimated £250 million a year on habitat and wildlife management, five times the annual income of Britain’s biggest conservation organisation, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
• 480,000 people shoot game, wildfowl, pigeon and rabbits, accounting for just under 19 million head of game in 2004.
• Britain’s deer population continues to increase, as does recreational deer stalking, which is now a well-accepted and essential contributor to deer management, without which the required annual cull could not be met.
• 150,000 people shoot clay targets on a regular basis. The sport offers opportunity for competition at every level, providing a solid base from which elite national and international squads may be selected.
• 250,000 people regularly enjoy target shooting with rifles, muzzle loading pistols and air guns.
• There are c. 1,000 clubs affiliated to the NSRA, the National Rifle Association has over 700 affiliated clubs and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association has c. 420 affiliated clubs. There are at least 1,000 unaffiliated clubs.
• Shooting is an Olympic sport at which Britain excels. Peter Wilson won gold at London 2012 in the Mens Double Trap competition. His team mate, Richard Faulds won gold in the same event at Sydney 2000. This year’s Olympic success has already led to a significant increase in interest by newcomers wishing to take up the sport of shooting.
• 23 of the UK’s 116 medals in the 2006 Commonwealth Games were for shooting, the second highest medal-winning discipline for UK athletes, exceeded only by swimming with 24. England’s most decorated Commonwealth medal winner is Mick Gault, with 15 medals.
• Shooting is enjoyed by young and old, men and women, and disability is no bar to participation. Target shooting is a very popular Olympic and Paralympic discipline. The Baron de Coubertin, an educationalist and founder of the modern Olympics as a way of channelling national competitiveness into sporting endeavour rather than war, was Revolver Champion of France and the creator of Modern Pentathlon, which includes pistol shooting.
• British shooters consume c. 190,000,000 shotgun cartridges a year.
HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
• On 15 July 2010, the Home Affairs Committee announced a new inquiry into firearms control, following the tragic shootings in Cumbria. The Committee’s remit was to examine whether or not there is a need for changes to the way in which firearm and/or shot gun certificates are issued, monitored or reviewed as a means of preventing gun violence. The Home Affairs Committee report was published on 20 December 2010. In particular the inquiry focussed on:
1. The extent to which legally-held guns are used in criminal activity and the relationship between gun control and gun crime, including the impact of the Firearms (Amendment) Acts 1997;
2. Whether or not the current laws governing firearms licensing are fit for purpose, including progress on implementing the Committee’s recommendations set out in its Second Report of the 1999-2000 session;
3. Proposals to improve information-sharing between medics and the police in respect of gun licensing;
4. Information-sharing between police and prisons in assessing the risk of offenders who may have access to firearms; and
5. The danger presented by, and legislation regulating, airguns.
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
“In the light of the recent tragic shootings in Cumbria and in Northumberland, the Committee wishes to examine the legislation governing firearms.”
“It will seek to determine whether there are lessons to be learnt from recent events, including the role of doctors and criminal justice agencies in liaising with police to assess the risk posed by individuals. We also want to be certain that our gun laws are clear, transparent and enforceable.”
• The evidence submitted to the Inquiry failed to identify a problem with the existing legal framework and its application with respect to legal firearms. It is therefore unclear what could be recommended which, if implemented, would genuinely improve public safety and address the real problem of illegal firearms rather than simply being an additional burden on lawful owners and users of firearms.
• Home Office statistics for 2010-11 showed the seventh successive fall in the number of recorded crimes in which firearms were reported to have been used, a 13% decrease on 2009-10. This compares with a 4% decrease in the number of all crimes recorded by the police between 2009-10 and 2010-11. This trend can be seen against the background of a current small rise in the number of firearm certificates, which highlights the lack of any statistical relationship between the legitimate possession of firearms and gun crime. Similarly, between 1999 and 2003/4 gun crime rose while lawfully held gun ownership declined. The Committee accepted that: “The proportion of licence holders who use their guns in crime is tiny”
• We welcome the statement that the Committee does not believe that a total outright ban on ownership and use of guns would be a proportionate response to the risks posed by these weapons.
• We would support the simplification of firearms legislation by means of a consolidation act, though we would not support changing the present balance of controls, which is both proportionate and effective.
• We also support the review of guidance to the police which is currently being undertaken and greater consistency of licensing between forces.
• With regard to airguns we believe that the present law, which has been significantly tightened in recent years, should be allowed to work. We would suggest that given that airgun crime is falling (by 15% between 2009-10 and 2010-11) the recent changes are working and that the Home Affairs Committee was right to recommend that the Government focus upon greater enforcement of the existing law before any serious consideration be given to additional legislation.
KEY ISSUES CONSIDERED BY THE COMMITTEE:
Single Certification Process
• Any change to a single certificate, with licensing based on Section 1 of the 1968 Firearms Act, would be devastating to shooting sports and the gun trade as well as being disproportionate in public safety terms.
• A single certification process for firearms and shotguns would heap a huge additional burden upon police firearms licensing departments at a time when their resources are already overstretched.
• If Section 1 controls were applied to shotguns, then the effect would be for the licensing process to focus upon the gun and not, as should be the case, upon the person who wishes to possess it.
• With Section 1 controls would come the requirement, each time an additional shotgun is acquired or when one is exchanged for another, for the certificate holder to apply for a separate costly variation. ‘Good reason’ would need to be established and checked by the police for each separate shotgun, and further police checks may need to be carried out on the land where the firearm is to be used.
• Furthermore, conditions may be inserted on the certificate by the police restricting where and for what purpose each individual shotgun may be used. A person could not rely on the 72 hour rule which allows a shot gun certificate holder to possess any shotgun for a limited period.
• The sheer number of shotguns (1.3million) in legitimate hands and their high level of usage (200 million cartridges fired annually) underline the enormous new workload which would arise for police firearms licensing departments, and this for a class of firearm which has an effective range of no more than 60 yards.
Number of Firearms
• Firearms legislation is at its most effective when it deals with the regulation of those individuals who may have access to firearms rather than the regulation of the firearms themselves. What matters is whether an individual is suitable to have access to firearms. If a person is fit to possess firearms then the number of firearms is irrelevant so long as they are stored securely. The availability of secure storage, which must be inspected and approved by the Police firearms enquiry officer, is a de facto restriction on the number of guns which may be possessed.
• It is not physically possible to shoot more than two firearms concurrently. The average number of items held on a firearm certificate is 3.4, a figure which includes sound moderators. Thus the average number of rifles held on a certificate is likely to be well below 3. The numbers of shotguns per certificate is 2.4.
• Theft of guns from private premises is rare and declining. The number of shotguns stolen has fallen steadily from 728 in 1995 to 289 in 2007-8. This is out of a total of 1.3m shotguns controlled by the firearms licensing regime.
• The proposal that either firearms or ammunition should be held in a central store rather than in private homes was rejected by the Home Affairs Committee.
• Centralised storage would be both impractical and would increase the risk of theft. Deer stalkers, pest controllers and wildfowlers frequently require their firearms and ammunition very early in the morning or late at night, at times when no central store would be open. Farmers and land managers would find it impossible to control agricultural pests if their firearms were not readily available. Suggestions such as this highlight the lack of understanding which exists about the practicalities of the everyday use of firearms in the countryside.
• Furthermore, central storage would create targets for criminals from which they could potentially steal large numbers of guns.
Greater Involvement of the Medical Profession
• The Home Affairs Committee welcomed the agreement between ACPO and the BMA that the police alert GPs to every new application and renewal after the grant of a certificate. Forces are currently writing to GPs when a certificate is granted or renewed, thus giving the GP an opportunity to raise any concerns he or she might have over the holder’s suitability to possess firearms.
• It should be noted that in its guidance to GPs, the British Medical Association (BMA) states that “Doctors must make it clear that they are in no position to judge the ‘future dangerousness’ of any applicant” (for a shot gun or firearm certificate). Doctors face the same problem over driving licences.
• Currently an applicant for a Firearm or Shot Gun Certificate must provide his/her firearms licensing department with the authority to approach his/her GP for medical information. Such an approach is only made when there are genuine doubts or concerns about the applicant’s medical history which might have a bearing on his/her suitability to possess firearms. Under the current system an applicant may approach his GP as a person of good standing with a request for him/her to act as referee or countersignatory to his/her application for a Firearm or Shot Gun Certificate. The GP is under no obligation to provide this service and the BMA advises GPs not to endorse applications unless they have a sufficiently detailed knowledge of a patient’s mental and physical health to be confident that the individual can safely possess firearms without endangering themselves, their families or the public. If a doctor currently has reason to believe that a person who is applying for or who already has authority to possess firearms represents a danger to themselves or others, then the BMA advises that he/she may if necessary breach confidentiality in order to disclose this information to other authorities such as the police. However, doctors themselves acknowledge that they are in no position to judge the future dangerousness of their patients.
Age of People Being Granted Certificates
• Recent comments in the media and within Parliament have shown considerable confusion on the issue of shot gun certificates and the fact that there is no age below which a shotgun certificate cannot be granted.
• There seems to be a misunderstanding that the granting of a shotgun certificate allows a person of any age uncontrolled access to a shotgun and the ammunition needed to fire it, which is not the case. The law sets very clear and appropriate limits governing the age at which a person can possess a shotgun.
• The law regulates possession of guns. It does not regulate ‘ownership.’ A person may, for example, inherit a valuable shotgun and thus hold legal title to it. However, he cannot possess it unless he holds a valid certificate for it or is acting under one of the exemptions set out in the Firearms Act 1968.
• Current concerns about the ages at which young people may obtain certificates or possess firearms are misplaced. In his comments to the Home affairs Committee ACC Whiting stated: “This subject (young people) was not covered in the ACPO review reports because it was not relevant to Cumbria, nor do young shooters give particular cause for concern.” He further notes the “very low risk” posed by young shooters.
• It might also fairly be said that the very process of applying for a certificate instills a very strong sense of responsibility in a young person. Once they have a certificate they have much more to lose by delinquent behaviour.
• The law allows access to shotguns by young people in a strictly controlled way and allows young people to become responsible users of firearms.
There is no minimum age below which persons may not hold a shot gun certificate. Thus young people of whatever age may apply for one provided that they are physically capable of handling a gun. However, the following provisions/restrictions apply:
1. A shotgun certificate is needed to enable a young person to borrow a shotgun from a parent or adult supervisor who is not the ‘occupier’ of land on which shooting is taking place. If a young person were unable to hold a shotgun certificate it would be impossible for them to borrow a shotgun and shoot unless under the “occupier” of the land’s supervision. This would prevent many young people having an opportunity to shoot. Any introduction of an age limit for granting shotgun certificates would need to see the law amended to extend the ability to lend guns to non-certificate holders by persons who are authorised to shoot but who are not ‘occupiers’ of land
2. A person below the age of 15 may not have with him a shotgun unless he is under the direct supervision of a person of 21 or over, or unless the shotgun is in a securely fastened cover so that it cannot be fired.
3. A person aged between 15 and 18 may be given or lent a shotgun and may use it without supervision.
4. A person aged between 15 and 18 may not buy or hire a shotgun or ammunition for it. A shotgun without ammunition is no more dangerous than a cricket bat and less dangerous than a kitchen knife.
5. Only a person aged 18 or over may buy or hire a shotgun and ammunition.
• Ensuring the continued ability of young people to enter shooting sports is of the utmost importance. As has been repeatedly stated, young shooters do not pose a danger to society and misplaced concerns about the number of young certificate holders have been shamelessly whipped up in the local media especially. A ‘no touch’ minimum age limit would be extremely damaging to shooting sports and do nothing to improve public safety. Any review of age limits must enable young people graduated and controlled access to firearms as their age and maturity increases. It is essential that parents are not deprived of the right to make their own reasonable decisions as to when and how their children are given access to firearms and to shooting sports. Currently, parents do a pretty good job at this.
• Supervised shooting experience by young people encourages responsibility and discipline at an early age. Those who learn to shoot when they are young are usually the best and safest shots. The degree of skill required for participation in competitive shooting at elite level demands training from a very young age.
• Within the environment of a shooting club there is already a requirement that all shooting should take place under the supervision of a qualified Range Conducting Officer irrespective of the age of the shooter.
• No person may buy or hire a shotgun or ammunition below the age of 18, though a person over the age of 15 may receive a shotgun as a gift. Above this age, only those who have been subject to rigorous police checks and interview may possess a shotgun unsupervised.
CURRENT LAW - FIREARM CERTIFICATES AND SHOTGUN CERTIFICATES
THE FIREARM CERTIFICATE
• A firearm certificate is granted by the police force in the area where the applicant normally lives.
• Young people under 14 may not hold a firearm certificate. A person of 17 years or over may borrow a rifle from the occupier of private premises and use it on those premises in the presence of the occupier or his servant.
• The application form for a firearm certificate asks you to specify the type and calibre of firearm which you wish to acquire, and the reason for which you require the firearm.
• You will have to indicate where you intend to use the rifle and provide details
• Provided that the proposed land is considered suitable, a newly granted certificate will normally be limited to the piece of land specified plus any other land deemed suitable by the chief officer of police for the area in which it is situated.
• An ‘open certificate’ will entitle you to shoot on any land over which you have permission to do so. This is normally available to more experienced firearms users only.
• There is no limit to the number of firearms which you may apply for authority to possess. However, you will need to provide good reason for each and every one of them.
• The certificate will specify both the quantity of ammunition that you are entitled to acquire and the amount you may possess at any one time.
Fitness to possess
• The Firearms Act 1968 requires a certificate to be granted provided that the applicant is not prohibited from possessing firearms and that the chief officer of police is satisfied that he is fit to be entrusted with them.
• Individuals who have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 years or more are prohibited from possessing firearms. In addition, those who have been sentenced to a term of less than 3 years may not be allowed to possess firearms until 5 years have elapsed from their date of release.
• Even if a person has not themselves been convicted of an offence for which they have served a term of imprisonment, convictions or cautions for crimes involving violence, dishonesty or a disregard for public safety will be taken into consideration in the assessment of their suitability to possess firearms, as will any association with known criminals.
• Intemperate habits will call into question a person’s suitability to possess firearms. Such habits may range from violent and aggressive behaviour to intemperate use of alcohol, although it will usually be a pattern of behaviour that triggers concern rather than a one-off incident.
• Licensing officers will pay particular attention to any history of mental illness that an applicant may have. As part of the application process, you are required to provide the name and address of your GP and to give authority for them to provide the police with details of your medical history.
• An application will need to be accompanied by two references. These must be from persons of good character who are resident in Great Britain and have known the applicant for at least two years. Anybody can act as a referee provided they are not a member of the applicant’s family, a serving police officer or civilian police employee, or a registered firearms dealer. When applying to renew a certificate for a firearm for use only for target shooting, then one of the referees must be an official of the approved rifle or muzzle-loading pistol club specified in the application. In these circumstances, the referee may be a registered firearms dealer and need not have known the applicant for at least two years. The other referee, however, must satisfy the normal requirements. The applicant is provided with two reference forms, and these must be completed by the referees and returned by them direct to the licensing department.
• A firearm certificate is issued subject to four statutory conditions:
1. The holder must sign it upon receipt, in ink
2. The holder must within seven days notify the issuing force of the theft, loss, deactivation or destruction of any firearms or ammunition to which the certificate relates
3. The holder must notify the issuing force of any change of permanent address
4. The holder must ensure safe custody of the firearms and ammunition
• The responsibility safely to store firearms and ammunition is normally discharged by installing a firearms security cabinet. All modern cabinets conform to BS7558, which is the approved standard of security that meets Home Office guidelines. Ammunition should be stored in a separate lockable container, and most gun cabinets designed for Section 1 firearms have integral ammunition containers.
• Additional security measures may be required if you possess a large number of firearms, if you live in an area with a high risk of burglary or if the building is regularly unoccupied, and these might include the fitting of window locks or the use of alarm systems. An enquiry officer from the firearms licensing team will normally visit your home as part of the application process, and they will advise.
Exemptions from the requirement to hold a firearm certificate
• A person who is 17 years of age or more may, without holding a firearm certificate, borrow a rifle from the occupier of private premises and use it in the presence of the occupier or his servant, provided that the occupier or servant in whose presence the rifle is used holds a certificate for the rifle in question, and that the borrower complies with any conditions attached to the certificate.
• A person (such as a gun-bearer) who is not a firearm certificate holder may possess a firearm whilst under instructions from the person holding the firearm certificate. They may not of course use the rifle. This clause does not provide authority for a non-certificate holder to transport a rifle around the country on behalf of the certificate holder.
• A member of a Home Office approved rifle club who is not a firearm certificate holder may borrow a rifle for use on the club’s approved range, for target shooting only.
• A person who is not a firearm certificate holder, but who holds a Permit issued by the police under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968 may possess a rifle and ammunition. Such permits are normally granted to for the purposes of temporary possession, for instance to allow the executors of an estate to legally dispose of firearms and ammunition that belonged to a deceased person.
• Visitors to the UK may obtain a Visitors Firearm Permit which enables them to bring their firearms and ammunition into the country.
• Additional exemptions exist for those in certain trades or professions, such as carriers, warehousemen and auctioneers. Registered Firearms Dealers do not require a separate certificate for rifles possessed in the course of their business. Crown servants, such as members of the armed services and the police, do not require a certificate for the use of firearms in the course of their duty, though they still require a certificate for their own personal firearms used for private purposes.
THE SHOTGUN CERTIFICATE
• In order to possess a shotgun, a person must hold a shot gun certificate. To obtain a certificate, applica¬tion must be made to the police force in whose area you normally live
• There is no minimum age below which persons may not hold a shotgun certificate. Thus young people of whatever age may apply for one provided that they are physically capable of handling a gun. However, the following provisions apply:
o A person below the age of 15 may not have with him a shotgun unless he is under the direct supervision of a person of 21 or over, or unless the shotgun is in a securely fastened cover so that it cannot be fired.
o A person aged between 15 and 18 may be given or lent a shotgun and may use it without supervision. However, he may not buy or hire a shotgun or ammunition for it.
o A person aged 18 or over may buy or hire a shotgun and ammunition.
• The application form must be counter¬signed by a person who is resident in Great Britain who has known the applicant for at least two years and who is prepared to say that they know of no good reason why you should not be permitted to possess a shotgun. The regulations state that the person counter-signing an application form must be an MP, a magistrate, a minister of religion, a doctor, a lawyer, an established civil servant, a bank officer or a person of similar standing.
Grant of certificate
• The police will grant a certificate unless the applicant is debarred from possessing firearms by reason of a criminal record or they believe that the applicant might endanger the peace or public safety. The law states that sporting and competition shooting and vermin control are sufficient reasons for having a certificate. It is normal practice for a licensing officer to visit applicants personally at grant and renewal.
• A shotgun certificate is valid for five years from the date of grant or renewal and contains the name, address and photograph of the holder, together with a list of the shot¬guns he possesses. Also indicated on the certificate is a series of conditions with which the holder must comply. The police must be informed of the theft or loss of any shotgun to which the certificate relates; any change of address; and the guns must be stored securely.
• It is the duty of the certificate holder to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, he prevents access to his guns by an unauthorised person. This duty extends both to the home and to the many situations when guns are in use or in transit. When in the home, shotguns should be stored in a secure place, such as a locked gun security cabinet. A certificate holder is required to ensure the security of his guns when they are being transported by car or by other means, or when they are kept in temporary accommodation. Home Office guidance is that they should be kept locked in a car boot or otherwise out of sight in a locked vehicle, with some component such as the fore-end removed so that they are not ‘complete’. An alarm or immobiliser, if fitted, should be set and if possible the vehicle should be parked within sight of the responsible person. Shotguns and ammunition should not be left together.
Requirement to carry a shotgun certificate
• There is no legal requirement to carry your shot gun certificate when travelling with your shotgun. However, if a police officer asks to see it and you are unable to present it, then the officer may take possession of your gun. The law states that he should see your original certificate.
• You are required to show your shot gun certificate to the retailer when you buy cartridges.
Transfers of shotguns
• When a shotgun is transferred from one person to another, whether it is sold, hired, given or lent, details of the transfer must be entered on the certificate of the transferee. Both the transferee and the transferor must inform their respective police forces within seven days of the transfer.
• In the case of short term transfers of up to 72 hours it is not necessary to record or notify the transfer. Neither is it necessary to record or notify the transfer when the gun is transferred to a regis¬tered firearms dealer.
• There are a number of exemptions from the need to hold a shot gun certificate.
1. A person such as a loader at a driven game shoot may, without holding a shotgun certificate, have a shotgun and ammuni¬tion under instructions from another person, for use by that other person for sporting purposes only.
2. A person may, without holding a shot gun certificate, borrow a shotgun from the occupier of private premises, including land, and use it on those premises in the presence of the occupier. Note that this exemption means just what it says: the gun must have been borrowed from the occupier, the premises must be private, and the occupier must be there when the gun is being used. It is for this reason that people under the age of 18 may be issued with a shot gun certificate as this would enable them to borrow a gun from a parent or other responsible adult who is not the occupier of the land in question They would however still be required to be supervised by a certificate holder aged over 21 if they were aged 15 or below.
3. A person may, without holding a shotgun certificate, use a shotgun at a time and place approved for shooting at artificial targets by the Chief Officer of the police force area within which the place is situ¬ated. This allows the use of a gun at recognised shooting schools and clay shoots for which a special authority has been obtained. The exemption only refers to artificial targets, and does not allow live quarry shooting by non-certificate holders.
4. The police may issue a temporary permit to allow a non-certificate holder to possess shotguns. Such a permit is normally issued in special circumstances such as where the relative of a deceased person needs time in which to dispose of a shotgun.
5. Temporary visitors to Great Britain who hold a Visitors Shotgun Permit may possess shotguns without a shot gun certificate.