BASC ad­vises mem­bers not to take part in GMP scheme

Sporting Shooter - - News -

BASC is ad­vis­ing its mem­bers not to par­tic­i­pate in a vol­un­tary car­tridge re­ten­tion scheme be­ing un­der­taken by Greater Manch­ester Po­lice (GMP).

GMP is ask­ing cer­tifi­cate hold­ers to col­lect sam­ples of spent car­tridge cases from all firearms in their pos­ses­sion and claims the scheme may help iden­tify shot­guns stolen and sub­se­quently used in crime.

BASC has writ­ten to GMP chief con­sta­ble Ian Hop­kins to out­line con­cerns about the scheme, which it be­lieves is not based on sound sci­ence, is in­ef­fec­tive, and will waste po­lice time.

Bill Har­ri­man, BASC’s di­rec­tor of firearms and an ac­cred­ited firearms foren­sics expert, said: “This is not a new idea. It was tried and dis­carded by GMP and other po­lice forces a few years ago. It is not sci­en­tif­i­cally sound.

“The in­for­ma­tion yielded from a fired car­tridge case is gen­er­ally only good at the time when it was fired be­cause a gun’s foren­sic pro­file changes each time it is used. The pro­file of a shot­gun’s bar­rels would change over a 100-bird clay ses­sion and also af­ter a good clean with a phos­phor bronze brush.”

While BASC, the UK’s largest shoot­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, was not con­sulted by GMP be­fore the scheme was rolled out, the As­so­ci­a­tion has of­fered the Force the sup­port of its full-time firearms team.

Mr Har­ri­man added: “BASC is al­ways happy to set its hand to any po­lice ini­tia­tive that will strike at armed crime. That is not the case here be­cause this scheme is not based on sound sci­ence. BASC does not sup­port this scheme and ad­vises its mem­bers not to par­tic­i­pate in it.

“Nev­er­the­less, we will gladly work with GMP to help im­prove the ser­vice it pro­vides to its cer­tifi­cate hold­ers.”

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