Monthly Archives: May 2015

Target Rifle shooters are a cash cow to the NRA

UK Shooting News’ author – a non-NRA member – just entered the target rifle events at this year’s Imperial Meeting. And paid a £58 admin fee – sorry, Meeting Membership fee – to do so. Meanwhile, Service Rifle competitors pay a whopping £6.50 for the very same Meeting Membership fee.

Perhaps NRA members would like to ask chief executive Andrew Mercer to explain this huge discrepancy at the NRA AGM on Friday 12th June.

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Cornwall gun-and-tackle shop burgled – serial numbers of stolen airguns released

An airgun and fishing tackle shop in Truro has been burgled and suffered the loss of a number of airguns. The shop’s owners have released the serial numbers of the stolen property to help alert the shooting community.

Carnon Downs Garden Centre was burgled at some point between closing for the day on 25th May and opening again on 26th May, according to a Facebook post from the firm. UK Shooting News urges Facebook-using readers to share that post far and wide.

“None of the [air]guns had fill valves, many had missing magazines and all the Hawke scopes were without boxes and mounts,” said the shop’s management. This means that even in the hands of miscreants, the airguns will be impossible to operate.

As a licensed airgun seller, the shop will have been subject to the usual security requirements for a registered firearms dealer, including secure storage and an alarm.

“Guns were locked in cabinets and alarm system was switched on but as already said if someone is determined to get in they will,” the shop’s management said on Facebook in response to a question about security.

The missing airguns and scopes are listed below. Anyone coming across one or spotting one offered for sale should contact their local police force immediately.

Hat tip to EnglishShooting on Facebook, whose shared Facebook post alerted UKSN.

Co2 PISTOLS AS FOLLOWS;
COLT DEFENDER X 3
COLT M45 CQBP X 4
COLT PYTHON BLACK 2.5 INCH X 1
COLT PYTHON BLACK 4 INCH X 1
COLT PYTHON 357 BLACK 6 INCH X 9
COLT PYTHON NICKEL 4 INCH X 1
LEGENDS C96 PISTOL X 1
LEGENDS P08 PISTOL X 1
RUGER BLACKHAWK REVOLVER X 4
WALTHER P38 PISTOL X 1
WALTHER PPQ X 4
WALTHER CP99 X 1
WALTHER PPS X 1
DESERT FALCON DUO KIT X 1
MARLIN UNDERLEVER RIFLE X 1
CROSMAN 1088 X 2
CROSMAN RATCATCHER RIFLE X 2
UMAREX HPP X 1
BROWNING HI POWER X 1
MODEL 84 BERETTA X 1
UMAREX TDP45 TACTICAL X 1
GAMO P900 PISTOL X 1
PT85 BLOWBACK X 1
BSA TACTICAL GUN BAGS X 2
HAWKE SCOPES AS FOLLOWS;
SPORT HD 3-9X40 MILDOT X 2
SPORT HD 3-9X40 IR X 3
SPORT HD IRAO 3-9X50 X 2
SPORT HD 4-12X50 X 1
SPORT HD AO MILDOT 3-9X40 X 1
SPORT HD 3-9X50 AO X 1
3-12X50 AOIR X 2
4-16X50 AOIR X 2
6-24 IRAO X 1
SIDEWINDER 4-16X50 CASED X 1
VARMINT SIDE FOCUS 3-12X44 X 2
PANORAMA EV 3-9X40 X 3
PANORAMA 3-9X40 IR X 1
PANORAMA 3-9X50 IR X 1
AIRMAX TACTICAL 3-12X50 X 1
AIRMAX TACTICAL 6-24X50 X 1
AIRMAX SIDE FOCUS 3-12X50 SIDE WHEEL X 1

BSA Scorpion SE Beech stock . 22 SE222613-14
BSA Scorpion SE Beech Stock .177 SE771484-14
BSA Scorpion in tactical stock . 177 SE771436-14
BSA GOLDSTAR RED/WHITE/BLUE .177 GS770170-AB
BSA R10 BLACK STOCK BULL BARREL .177 R770425-AB
BSA R10 BLACK PEPPER BULL BARREL .177 R770539-AB
BSA ULTRA TACTICAL se . 177
BSA ULTRA SE BEECH .177 USE771925-14
BSA LIGHTNING XLSE .22 XLSE273281915
GAMO COYOTE .22 CV220583-14
FENIX Cometa 400 carbine .22 4367-12
Walther TERRUS .22 LG001326
WALTHER CENTURY . 22 BJ006597
WALTHER LGU . 177 BU002927
GAMO CFX ROYALE .22 041C50247214
GAMO JUNIOR HUNTER 22 6110025B
UMAREX 850 AIRMAGNUM .22 6044751
CROSMANN 2250 RATCATCHER .22
HAMMERLI 800 BLACK FORCE WITH SCOPE .22
RUGER BLACKHAWK WITH SCOPE .177
REMINGTON EXPRESS XP .177
BSA MARK 1 AIRSPORTER 22
COMETA MODEL 50 . 22
WEIHRAUCH HW45 SILVER STAR .22
GUNPOWER STORM . 22 7272

Dyfed-Powys Police: We will obey the Home Office Guidance

A recently published document from Dyfed-Powys Police has made it clear that the force will stick to the published Home Office Guidance on Firearms when it makes firearms licensing decisions.

Made available on the force website and dated February 2015, its firearms and explosives licensing policy sets out exactly what laws and policies the department will obey.

All applications will be dealt with on their own merits; in its day to day function Dyfed Powys Police will apply the principles of The Firearms Act 1968 along with its associated amendments. This also takes account of all associated Firearms Rules, along with the Explosives Regulations 2014.

Written by Helen Rees, the force’s firearms licensing manager, the document is noteworthy precisely because it states that the licensing department will obey the law and follow the guidance issued by the Home Office, as well as explosives licensing guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive.

Sad as it may be that a “police obey the law” story has become newsworthy in Britain, many firearms licensing departments and individual licensing officers around the country do not appear to understand the myriad of firearms licensing laws and prefer to implement what they want the law to say, rather than what it actually says.

Despite efforts by Chief Constable Andy Marsh, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ firearms licensing lead, to ensure that the Home Office Guidance is followed, regular reminders are still issued to police forces.

Indeed, Dyfed-Powys Police’s firearms licensing department, under Helen Rees, was the subject of a 2011 Shooting Times article where BASC accused them of ignoring the Home Office Guidance they have now publicly promised to follow.

Dorset PCC admits his force has lost control of firearms licensing costs

Martyn Underhill, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, has revealed in an astonishing rant that his force is unable to stick to the nationally agreed level of costs for issuing firearm certificates.

In an open letter published on his official PCC website, Underhill – a former police employee – makes repeated claims that firearms licensing “costs” Dorset Police £250,000 a year, adding that his force spends £218 to issue a single firearm certificate (FAC).

A recent review of firearms licensing conducted by the Home Office, at the request of Britain’s police forces and with input from shooting representative bodies, concluded that an FAC costs no more than £88 to issue. As a direct result of the review the outgoing coalition government in March set the national fee for issuing an FAC at £88, on a full cost recovery basis.

Railing against Prime Minister David Cameron, the Dorset PCC wrote: “Whilst the new higher charge still doesn’t cover the full costs for issuing a license, it is certainly a step in the right direction. We need a sustainable process where the fees charged represent the cost of issue. I will continue to campaign and lobby government to stop this absured [sic] public funded subsidy towards firearms license holders.”

Underhill’s letter deliberately fails to mention that the Home Office review explicitly set the new fees on a full cost recovery basis, as Lynne Featherstone, then minister for firearms issues, stated in a government press release announcing the move.

The review into firearms licensing fees and costs was triggered when the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) was caught in the early stages of a media campaign to hike firearms licensing fees to a profit-making level, falsely telling the public that FACs cost £200 to issue. Challenged by the Home Office to show their working, ACPO was brought to heel and forced to agree that the £200 figure had no basis in fact.

Perhaps anticipating that the true motive for his outburst – money – would be spotted by hard-pressed Dorset taxpayers, Underhill added an unconvincing disclaimer: “This isn’t about generating money to bridge our funding gap.”

Underhill must explain to Dorset taxpayers why the police force he is personally responsible for spends more than double the nationally-agreed amount on issuing FACs. He must also state how he will tighten the force’s belt so it lives within its means, rather than wasting his time ranting about matters decided at central government level.

Eley releases new .22 round – with a black cartridge case

Top rimfire ammo firm Eley has released a new twist on its award-winning Tenex ammunition, featuring a black cartridge case.

According to a press release from the company:

This advanced, contemporary cartridge is instantly recognisable by its matt-black oxidised finish. Scientifically developed to microscopically increase the friction between the case and the projectile, the resulting stabilised projectile release force delivers greater internal ballistic consistency ultimately providing the shooter with more consistent projectile flight.

The round itself uses what looks like the existing Tenex bullet and a cartridge case that is otherwise unremarkable. Eley’s performance data for the round shows it’s pretty much a standard .22″ LR load – 40gn bullet, 1085fps muzzle velocity, 1″ COAL.

UKSN’s author thinks it’s a bit of a marketing gimmick, though a pressure/velocity increase delivered through increased neck tension could well have a beneficial effect. Or the opposite – YMMV.

Check out the full press release, with accompanying drawing, on the Eley website.