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Airgun law and bending ropes?

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by Eye2i, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Eye2i

    Eye2i Member

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    Can anyone give me anymore clarification on how the police deal with airgun law.

    Firstly i am a responsible person, who wants to be in the right or else i wont/cannot use the firearm.

    I have bought a new air rifle last week to help keep the rat population down around our property. I have shot 5 rats, and used around 60 pellets thus far. (and already caused a nuicance to someone)

    I have found that there has been a complaint about me firing my rifle. This may get reported to the police!

    The report was given to our local councillor whom i know and has given me the nod that a complaint has been lodged but may have been pacified by my 'friend'

    Now the quandary.

    Running along the bottom of my garden is a public footpath
    I have just read up the law and it states that you cant shoot closer than 50 foot from the centre of the pulic highway.

    I have measured the distance where i shoot from (an upstairs) bathroom window. The distance to the centre of the footpath is 45 foot. Thats along the firing angle not from the ground to the path.

    I shoot from the window, cause its the only place i can shoot from and the safest angle making sure that the pellet cant cross my border and i can see in plenty of time whats going on and no-one walking along the footpath.

    The angle i shoot to is a lot greater than 50 foot. the 45 foot is the closest size from my house to the path.

    Can anyone give me any advice, what the police will/can do. Will they say dont shoot anymore, confiscate my gun etc. what should i expect.

    What i am thinking of doing is ringing up the local firearms department, explaining the situation, and asking them what i can do or not?

    Can they confiscate the gun or just warn me?

    Thanks for your help...
     
  2. EX Mod Cog

    EX Mod Cog Keyboard Hero

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    I don't know what this is worth, but I almost got a criminal record for taking a toy bb gun into school. I know this isn't quite the same thing, as this was a (wrongly categorized) 'replica' but from my experience, anything to do with guns is taken very seriously and I should imagine that they put gun related incidents at the top of their priority list.

    I've never had a complaint of your sort filed against me before, so I'm unsure as to how the Police will be involved and what they'll do if anything.

    I'm sure you have a fence, but just to be sure, and to give a good impression, you should stick some extra wood up just to make doubly sure that the pellet won't leave your property.

    I can't be more help than this, as I'm relatively inexperienced with these matters, sorry.
     
  3. mikeguitar

    mikeguitar Member

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    Well, you're allowed the rifle and you're allowed to control pests upon your property. Also, it's the actual firing line that's measured. From the gun (In your upstairs bathroom) to the center of the path. So that angle should be more than 50ft, aslong as your measurements of 45ft are correct from path to house and your bathroom window is more than 5ft above the ground! Which I am sure it is being upstairs) then you are more than 50ft. So, since your not breaking any fundamental laws, just call the local police station and explain the situation. Because either way it will get to them if yer neighbours are being arsey about it. Best to find out from them before they came to ram down it down your throat. I'm sure they'll understand your view.

    They can't take your gun unless you do something wrong. And even then, aslong as you don't shoot anyone, they will just give you a warning.

    Sorry I can't be more specific.
     
  4. Eye2i

    Eye2i Member

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    Hi just to clarify your points.
    Thanks for response.

    The firing line a closest point is 45 foot. which i dont aim too.

    The garden is seperated by a 6 foot double panel fence. The pellets cant penetrate the fence at all.

    The footpath is about 3 foot lower than the botom of the fence.

    I cant hit anyone on the path even if i tried.

    I think your advice is sound, and report myself, and get it on the record that i do or do not have permission to shoot.

    It isnt the neighbours whos being arsey, its some walker who has been on the path, and saw my barrel pointing through the window. It didnt help finding the one said rat that escaped that was found with a pellet in it neck lying dead on the path, as his young daughter went by it. Wusses.
     
  5. EX Mod Cog

    EX Mod Cog Keyboard Hero

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    Unfortunately this is the world we live in.
     
  6. mikeguitar

    mikeguitar Member

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    Hmm, slightly confused with what you're saying.

    A.) Do you know the firing line from the exact point you fire from in your bathroom, from end of barrel to the path, is over 50ft? If it is, yer grand.

    B.) You say you couldn't hit anyone if you tried, in relation to the fence and the position of the path - So, how did the passer by see you with the gun, or did they only see the dead rat and use that to report? Because, if they can see your gun, you can hit them with the gun.

    I guess the police would want to stress the importance of possibilities which could end up hurting someone. Wether the chances are ridiculously small or not in actually injuring someone, either through fluke with a ricochet, a chance shot through a hole in a fence... etc etc, and the fact the walker by will be blatently pushing the "kid card" the polices' way, they may want you to, and request that you cease firing. If the distance is under 50ft from the exact point you fire from, and the closest part the footpath comes to that point of your gun firing, then tell the passer by to beat it.
     
  7. Eye2i

    Eye2i Member

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    "A.) Do you know the firing line from the exact point you fire from in your bathroom, from end of barrel to the path, is over 50ft? If it is, yer grand."

    The minimum distance from my rifle to the closest part of the path is 45 foot. I shoot at a different angle >50 foot. I could shoot with difficulty at the 45 foot point but dont


    "B.) You say you couldn't hit anyone if you tried, in relation to the fence and the position of the path - So, how did the passer by see you with the gun, or did they only see the dead rat and use that to report? Because, if they can see your gun, you can hit them with the gun."

    I cannot be seen from the end of the property. the path goes for a few hundred yards in the visible area, so someone can see me shoot further along the path, but NOT from the point behind my property.
     
  8. Buzz

    Buzz Banned

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    This is not strictly true. They can, and will take your gun, until such a time as the whole thing is sorted to their satisfaction one way or the other. If you're found to be perfectly within your rights to shoot as you do, then you'll get a warning. If you're found to be in the wrong, then you'll not only not get your gun back but you could face a fine, prison or both.
    The problem with shooting in a situation like yours is that the Police and Courts don't actually care what you ARE doing, they are more interested in what you COULD do.
    The only thing I can suggest is to phone your local Fire Arms Officer and ask his advice, be prepared to get an answer you don't want to hear, but once having heard it you'll have to be prepared to obey it or suffer the consequences.
     
  9. Darren Petts

    Darren Petts Temporarily Alive

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    It's worth putting the whole quote of the law in here

    "It is an offence to fire an air gun within 50 feet of the centre of a public highway, if by doing so you cause any member of the public using that highway to be injured, interrupted or endangered."

    Note the part from IF....

    You are within 50' of the path (just the bit you're aiming at doesn't count) AND causing someone concern so you're technically in the doodoo. A better approach would have been (and may well still be) to shoot from ground level, subject to backstops, so that nobody on the path could see you as it's perfectly acceptable to be within 50' so long as nobody complains.
     
  10. Eye2i

    Eye2i Member

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    Clarification

    I rang the firearms department today, and suprisingly the people that were available didn't really know that much about the details of airgun law. (only FAC Law)
    they gave me a mobile number and name of the person who specialises in this field, and goes to peoples house checking weapons (FAC and otherwise) and informing people in the field about uses and issues.

    He was very good and informative. basically he says that I have no problem in doing what i am doing, and although 45 foot is not 50 foot, he says that it doesnt really matter in my forces eyes. Its about there and don't worry about it.
    Just make sure that no-one is walking along the path at the time of shooting and try not too be too much of a nuicance.(common sense)
    he said that if i am shooting within my own properties borders then im fine.
    There maybe reports to police about person firing weapons, you know what people are like, some are great, and some cant wait to moan, and if so i may get a visit, but as far as the firearms department are concerned i have the authority to can carry on as i am.

    I have the officers mobile and name if i need it in future. So i thought i'd let you guys know.

    Ps, this is Derbyshire Police
     
  11. chiz

    chiz Engaging Member

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    Some people will object to us shooting, whether it's 50 feet or 500 feet away.

    Anyway, I'm pleased it came out well for you.
     
  12. shipto

    shipto Active Member

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    I think it depends on the officer you get the actual law is:
    So in theory as long as your not causing a nuisance or letting your pellets stray over the border you can shoot closer than that.
     
  13. chiz

    chiz Engaging Member

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    I found a good technique to keep my neighbours happy.....

    A silencer.
     
  14. mikeguitar

    mikeguitar Member

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    That's great it worked out for you and they saw that you're in no way doing anything wrong.

    People are knobheads sometimes, and just enjoy p*****g other people off for the sake of it.

    Well played :up:
     
  15. Buzz

    Buzz Banned

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    Yes, it certainly was a good result..strike one for common sense. Contacting the Fire Arms Officer was certainly the right approach, as it made them aware that you just wanted to do what is right and safe....they like that.....and if anybody does complain in the future you can tell them to contact the local Fire Arms Officer with the certain knowledge that they're already fully aware of your situation.

    Welldone !!
     
  16. andyhawkx3

    andyhawkx3 Major Poster

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    if a person is using a public footpath "see's", and reports " THE FACT THAT THEY COULD "SEE" A PERSON IS POINTING A FIRARM OUT OF A UPSTAIR WINDOW,(NO MATTER WHAT U R AIMING AT) to the Police, from a upstair window, the old bill(Police) will turn up with gun's drawn,
    "l think porsonaly you should stop firing from this place, and go downstair's, and make a very good back stop!
     
  17. EX Mod Cog

    EX Mod Cog Keyboard Hero

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    Shooting from an upstairs window is never a very good idea to be honest.

    Go downstairs and make a good backstop as has been said, even if the fence doesn't let pellets through, because you want to look as responsible as you can.
     
  18. mikeguitar

    mikeguitar Member

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    That's a good point - Because the passer by is most likely just going to assume it's a real rifle. And the cops don't like taking chances...

    So to be on the safe side, get out of view.
     
  19. Eye2i

    Eye2i Member

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    Update

    Hi guys.

    Chiz, about the silencer, i was going to buy A tx200 then a silencer. I found a good deal on the prosport and got that instead, which has a sort of silenced barrel. i cant add an extra silencer too it, or at least i haven't found a way.

    UPDATE:

    I rang the bloke who advised me to call the firearms department in the first place. This acquantance is also a local councillor (don't i pick em). Well i must have called the blokes bluff and did as he requested. He was expecting a decline not acceptance, and he went off his head.
    he even accused me of shooting onto/over the footpath and shooting at someone which is a load of B***ox. talk about slander.

    Well, he is higher in the community than me (but a lower person IMO), and was going to make formal complaints to the police from the councils perspective.

    Well i thought i'd get in their first, I rang the firearms department again, explaining about the lies and what he was intending to find out my legal position. I was told again that i was in the right, and not to worry.

    About the shooting over, they asked if i have (which i havn't) and they say fine, then he's got to prove it.

    Eventually the councillor ended up speaking to the firearms officer that i have be liasing with, and he told him that i am in the right, and i can carry on as i am doing. the firearms officer rang me back with this info.

    So like you guys have said, one for common sense.
    Not sure if the topics ended yet, but ill go to the next council meeting and see if it gets up on the agenda. Talk about personnal vendetta.

    I only bought the gun last week, and only shot enough shots to zero the sight in, and 3 rats.

    ., People...
    Anyway, thought id let you know the updated results. Thanks for your help...

    Mike
     
  20. chiz

    chiz Engaging Member

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    Keep us all posted mate.

    Interesting to hear how this is unfolding.

    As for silencers, my Daystate has one built in, as well as a screw fitment for an aftermarket item, still haven't decided on one yet.

    My old co2 rifle had an aftermarket silencer so my neighbours weren't even aware I was shooting most of the time.

    My Remington springer is way too loud to be shooting anywhere near where I live!!
     

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