Once a firearm or shotgun certificate has been granted, the police have a power to revoke, and will do so if they have any cause for concern.Â Behaviour which might seem totally unconnected and therefore irrelevant but which can nonetheless trigger the sudden revocation of a certificate include minor public order incidents, matrimonial disputes, alcohol dependence and drink driving (especially if repeated). The police tend to take the view that irresponsible alcohol consumption and/or use of a motor vehicle indicates intemperate habits, and a risk that the individual might be similarly irresponsible in the handling of guns such that they cannot be entrusted to possess them without danger to the public safety or the peace.
Other circumstances which can lead to the police revoking a certificate or refusing to renew it include:
– Failing to abide by the conditions on the certificate relating to the use or storage of firearms, shotguns and ammunition, or a failure to notify the police promptly of any permanent change of address.
– Other non-certificate holders, such as husbands or wives, having access to the firearms, shotguns or ammunition by having ready access to the cabinet keys.
– Failing to notify the police of all transactions which should be notified (within seven days of the theft, loss or destruction of the certificate itself or any firearm, shotgun or ammunition to which the certificate relates, within seven days of the acquisition, sale or disposal of any firearm). Both parties to the transaction must inform the police. There is a similar provision relating to shotguns (although the loan of a shotgun to another shotgun certificate holder for up to 72 hours does not need to be notified).
– Exceeding ammunition limits. Every firearm certificate will specify the amount of ammunition of each calibre the holder may possess and acquire at any one time. There is no limit on amounts of shotgun ammunition.
Look out for next weeks installment ‘Prohibited Persons’