in Jolly Ole England!
This is a report from one of our occasional shooters, Terry Hibben who just happens to live in England.
(For those who dont know Terry, he is in the Deep Sea Seismographic business and an ardent competition shooter. Terry was a member of the British Long Range Team that shot at The World Championship held at Quantico Virginia last year. He has written a number of articles for a leading British shooting magazine and lives in England with his wife Claire and son James).
Please pay particular note to the addendum. Even with complete confiscation of firearms by the British Government, a loyal British subject is far more likely to be assaulted than an American in his own home. Remember, as gun owners, we are still citizens, not subjects.
Another couple for your collection. You really don't know how much trouble we have just getting a gun license!
My FAC (Fire Arms Certificate) is due for renewal (it expires 7th Oct). On the 26th June I receive a package with all the paperwork in it and a note saying get this filled in and back to us in 14 days or your license will run out before we can process the new one (& you'll have to lodge your guns etc, with a dealer).
The basic form is four side, listing all your guns and ammo, anything you want to buy ,why, where are you going to use it, what clubs. etc. etc. It also has a note authorizing them to approach your doctor for medical records etc and another for you to own up to any offence (including motoring). This for has to be witnessed by two referees, both have to know you personally and one (as I'm already a shooter) who knows you as shooter. Both have to sign this form and also sign the back of two of the four photos you have to supply.
Then each of these referees have to fill in a separate form detailing my family life, handling of guns etc.etc (remember one of the referees cannot be a shooting person?). The referees then have to send these forms directly to the police, I must not see the answers.
Next is the usage forms. A club official has to fill in another form to say I'm an active (clearly defined) member. If you shoot game (as I do) every farmer who gives you permission to shoot over his land has to give its details etc.
You then gather all this info and countersigned stuff and send it to the Police HQ with $80 and sit and wait.
Terry - to the land of the free (you lucky bastards!)
You might want to add that these even tighter laws came into existence after the Dunblane tragedy. A licensed firearms holders went berserk. It transpired afterwards that Central police (the region in Scotland that issued his license) did not do the checks required by the laws in existence at that time and issued a license to someone who did not qualify (he had a police record). The government and media had field day, resulting in ALL handguns were outlawed (to cut down armed crime etc.etc.).
We handed in our guns and were paid for them (estimated £100 million pounds - but there are still people owed from 2 years ago). The information about the guys record was buried and in the UK the government can put reading restrictions on any reports etc. going public. Typically government papers get 25 years, war papers get 50 years but would you believe the Cullen report (on the Dunblane incident) got 100 years!
The latest figures for armed crime in the UK still show the upward trend of past years, not one bit of difference was made by removing ALL the licensed guns. It is also interesting to note that you stand an 80% greater chance of being assaulted in the UK than in America (per head of population).