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perlogalism

FAC application advice

I've been prompted to write this on reading the "What can you shoot with an air rifle" topic: Having shot with an air rifle for around 40 years now Surprised I've finally got myself a bit of land and a reason for applying for a FAC. BUT, my neighbours are of the opinion that whereas a shotgun licence would be easy to come by, a licence for say a .17HMR would not.
So, let me put you in the picture: I have 2.5 acres of roughly triangular land, bounded on one side by a road and another by a footpath. The longest axis is adjacent to a huge field over which I am currently permitted to shoot. Quarry would be Rabbit, Magpies and the occasional Fox who comes too close to the chickens. Range would be anything from 30 to 100 Metres.
What do you think? Would the proximity of the road and footpath give the Police the willies? What could I do (if anything) to improve my chances? There's been some talk of courses. Now I think I'm safe but am happy to go on a relevant course if it's useful.

Opinions please?
kirstyfern

I have 4 acres in a triangular shape with 2 houses at the top (not mine) I have a country lane - byway - on one side, a road on the other and allotments on the other, longest side is about 150metres, I wouldn't get permission to shoot a rifle on it, but if you have permission to shoot on other land as a 'pest controller' it may be better to use that as a reason for your FAC.
I have a shotgun licence and was told that that is the best first step. I am also a member of a rifle club and shoot at a range, I have referees from the club, they reckon that it is best to have been a member of the rifle club for 12months before applying for my FAC. I hope this helps.
Brownbear

To get an FAC, you have to demonstrate need - that you have by owning land with vermin on it, eg the need to protect your stock and produce. Your Firearms people may not be of the opinion that the .17 HMR is a suitable weapon for fox - if so they are wrong, but in any case, apply for rabbits/corvids.

They are tasked with preserving public safety and the peace. They'll do a doctor and Special Branch check to make sure you aren't a loony or a raving Jihadist or Nazi.

After that, it's about safety on your land. You need to show that you can use the rifle safely - look at shooting positions, backstops and lanes of fire. When the Firearms Enquiry Officer visits, you can then demonstrate that you will be taking shots only in safe directions. Demonstrate that you have considered ricochets (the .17 HMR doesn't ricochet as the projectiles are highly frangible, but most FEOs don't know that), passers-by, where people light be even if they shouldn't be. If your land is flat, or there aren't enough backstops, consider the use of a high seat. Join some shooting organisation that has a legal dept and offers public liability insurance with membership.

If you can, find a mentor - an experienced shot who can give you some experience and write in support of your application. Something I offer around here (Devon) is a survey of land and instruction in the basics, and then write a letter of support if I feel the person merits it. There might be someone in your area who does the same.
Treacodactyl

As your local firearms enquiry officer will need to inspect the land, assuming it's not already been cleared, is it worth contacting them to see if they will check the land before you apply for a FAC? If you only wish to shoot on your land that could save a wasted application.
perlogalism

Thanks all, there's some useful pointers in your posts. ' must admit that I'm wary of clubs: I've joined a few in my time but always found them to be populated by the types I'd rather avoid Rolling Eyes Perhaps a chat with the FEO would be a good start and I'll ask around about a local pest controller.
vegplot

BASC is always a good place to start with regard to obtaining advice and insurance.
sako

The first stop is the FLO, they are very helpful people, but such a small area might cause some problems, but it might be possible to obtain one with a clause that you can only shoot from a high seat, i know a friend who gained permission for a .22 rimfire with that clause.
As BB states, no worries with the .17 as bullet will break up.
Still you don't know till you ask, so ask the FLO.
Cheers
Richard
Matt the Rat

The difference between a Firearm Certificate and a Shotgun Certificate is that the police have to be able to prove that you are not suitable to have a shotgun certificate, whereas, the applicant has to prove that they are a suitable person to get a firearm certificate ( I hope that makes sense).

Applications for FAC from people who already have some time under their belt with a SGC are always favoured over first timers for an FAC.

As has already been suggested, some time spent with someone experienced will go down well, and it won't hurt to have a chat with your local FLO.
offroading.net

Have simliar issue, spoke to the FO and he said an application for a FAC air rifle would be looked upon more favourably than rimfire, sorting my paperwork out now for a 35lb/ft PCP .22 air rifle, will be good out to 60m ish for bunnies.
perlogalism

offroading.net wrote:
Have simliar issue, spoke to the FO and he said an application for a FAC air rifle would be looked upon more favourably than rimfire, sorting my paperwork out now for a 35lb/ft PCP .22 air rifle, will be good out to 60m ish for bunnies.


That's interesting. I thought a FAC for an air rifle was pretty much the same as a FAC for rimfire? I do have a .22 PCP which could easily be uprated. That'll do for all but the fox's....
matt_hooks

Brownbear, I'm sorry but the ACPO guidelines state that the issue or otherwise of a FAC should specifically NOT be equated purely to need.

All those people who go off at the weekend to shoot paper at a range do not "need" their guns!

If you can prove that you have a safe place to use the weapon, and that you are not unfit to hold it due to previous behaviour or a medical condition, then your FAC should be issued.

If you think that a firearm might do the job better, then you should apply for one!

Have a word with the BASC firearms guys, they will help you with your application and they know the firearms law inside out!
Brownbear

matt_hooks wrote:
Brownbear, I'm sorry but the ACPO guidelines state that the issue or otherwise of a FAC should specifically NOT be equated purely to need.

All those people who go off at the weekend to shoot paper at a range do not "need" their guns!


They do you know, they're not going to throw the bullets at the target by hand.
Behemoth

Darts.
frewen

*giggle* - blowpipe Razz
matt_hooks

Brownbear wrote:
matt_hooks wrote:
Brownbear, I'm sorry but the ACPO guidelines state that the issue or otherwise of a FAC should specifically NOT be equated purely to need.

All those people who go off at the weekend to shoot paper at a range do not "need" their guns!


They do you know, they're not going to throw the bullets at the target by hand.


He he, I dunno, most of the would be more accurate if they did that!
Brownbear

matt_hooks wrote:

If you think that a firearm might do the job better, then you should apply for one!


I might just consider doing that - thanks for the advice.
matt_hooks

Brownbear wrote:
matt_hooks wrote:

If you think that a firearm might do the job better, then you should apply for one!


I might just consider doing that - thanks for the advice.


Sarcasm, excellent! Razz
RichardW

Popcorn anyone?
matt_hooks

That's what you get for trying to be helpful I guess! Razz

Chuck me some of that popcorn Richard, gotta keep my strength up!
Shane

You'll need your strength if the bear gets his teeth into you. And a dictionary, I'd suggest Laughing
matt_hooks

Ah, I swallowed a dictionary as a child. Probably explains the funny shaped head.
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