Points of law

Shooting Gazette - - Elevenses - Peter Glenser, firearms bar­ris­ter and BASC chair­man, an­swers your ques­tions on shoot­ing and the law. Peter’s ad­vice here is in­tended as a guide­line only and all read­ers are ad­vised to seek fur­ther ad­vice. If you have any le­gal ques­tions for Peter Glenser,

QI was plan­ning to travel to Scot­land from Lon­don this sea­son with a friend to shoot. I un­der­stand that Sco­trail has banned the car­riage of firearms on all its ser­vices. Is this true? If I car­ried, say, my friend’s bar­rels and he took the stocks and foreends in his suit­case would this change things?

AAt the time of writ­ing, Sco­trail has banned the car­riage of firearms on its ser­vices. I un­der­stand some­one ab­sent-mind­edly left a shot­gun on a train and this has led to a review of its pol­icy and a de­par­ture from the Na­tional rail Con­di­tions of travel. the web­site says: “Un­loaded firearms, prop­erly li­cenced, with prior per­mis­sion of the train Com­pany and car­ried in ac­cor­dance with the law and any other spe­cific in­struc­tions are per­mit­ted.” As cus­tomers have not been com­ply­ing with the Na­tional rail Con­di­tions of travel by re­quest­ing prior per­mis­sion, we have taken the po­si­tion of not al­low­ing the car­riage of li­censed firearms on our ser­vices.”

Cale­do­nian Sleeper, which runs the sleeper ser­vice from Lon­don to Scot­land, is how­ever still wel­com­ing “re­spon­si­ble cus­tomers” with li­censed firearms. pre­sum­ably that means ev­ery­one with a cer­tifi­cate. So if you are trav­el­ling with them there is no dif­fi­culty - although you must com­ply with the Na­tional Con­di­tions which re­quire you to ob­tain prior per­mis­sion of the train Com­pany and fol­low any other spe­cific in­struc­tions.

It is very dif­fi­cult to see how Sco­trail will po­lice the ban - it is not im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous if shot­guns are bro­ken down and car­ried in reg­u­lar lug­gage – although gun cases are rather more no­tice­able. Un­der no cir­cum­stances should the ban be flouted. Do­ing so may lead to the end of your jour­ney and pos­si­bly awk­ward­ness with the po­lice. It is also an of­fence un­der the rail­way byelaws which could ul­ti­mately lead to your be­ing fined and is there­fore a threat to your cer­tifi­cate.

the second point you raise is a good one. Com­po­nent parts of Sec­tion 2 firearms are not them­selves firearms (un­like Sec­tion 1). So in the sce­nario you sug­gest nei­ther of you would ac­tu­ally be in pos­ses­sion of a firearm – although you would have to make sure that re­mained the case – you could not look after the other’s bag if for ex­am­ple he or she popped along to the bar be­cause you then would be in pos­ses­sion of both shot­guns. It might be te­dious hav­ing to ex­plain this tech­ni­cal­ity if called upon to do so. per­haps you would be bet­ter sit­ting in dif­fer­ent car­riages – although that is not so con­vivial and a poor start to a shoot­ing hol­i­day.

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