If the CWC buy something from non public funds, then it is owned by them effectively and if someone wants to take it away for no reason than they want to take it away, the squadron has to be compensated for the financial loss.
That’s a pretty good summary of the situation. However the squadron could also “possess” the locally purchased firerarms under S11(4) of the Firerarms Act, Miniature Rifle Ranges, as they are the “operator” of a miniature rifle range. In this case, the key words as far as firearms law is concerned, are “possess” and “operator”.
The NSRA has a reasonable description of S11.4 on its website. It’s not a get of jail free card and it does require careful study before invoking it. However it does provide organisations;such as cadet units;who are unable to fulfil the Home Office Approval criteria for Rifle Clubs to legally obtain smallbore firearms.
The organisation isn’t really taking them away though - they are rescinding permission to hold them where they were held up to now and requiring them to be held elsewhere. If that elsewhere is the storage unit of a FAC holder or another, better-secured MOD armoury probably doesn’t matter so long as it is legal and documented.
The issue with having them stored by a FAC holder is that they would have to be brought onto the Nationa lFirearms Licencing Management System (NFLMS) and the certificate holder’s FAC.
That’s not a straightforward process.
The fact that S11(4) firearms and those held on other exemptions are not logged on NFLMS is seen as an issue in some quarters.
By my understanding via mates who own firearms, they would need to inform the police if they took them in.
If the rifles were needed to be added to any “civilian” FAC, then the relevant variations would have to be gained in advance. For a typical rifle club, they might already have several “purchase / acquire” slots available on their club FAC = much quicker process. Obviously a Registered Firearms Dealer would be able to assist, but normally at a cost.
It’s considerably more involved than that. As I said earlier, not a straightforward process.
But as Teflon has agreed, any weapons at a Unit are owned by the CWC, who make them available for Cadet use. They may not be the holders of a firearms certificate, but as owners of the weapons, I should have a thought it a matter of common courtesy that they are consulted directly and not third hand. After all their remit is about encouraging a wide range of activities is it not?.
I am not saying that the Civcom are not the operator of such weapons, but what about them being licenced under S11A, and then lending the weapons for use within a ‘private estate’, after all you dont go shooting in public do you?
However exmpa has referred to S11(4) which is interesting as that refers to indoor ranges and air rifles without the need for any certificate, which with the benefit hindsight makes me now think the ACO or some elements thereof, make things up as they go along.
Whatever has caused the jitters on security, it all pales into insignificance when one reads about British Nationals involved in committing fraud of several billion pounds which was then funnelled into supporting terrorism, the HMRC were aware of the individuals involved but made no disclosure to the security services because of client confidentiality!!!
So often the case … and not entirely surprising given the size of the operation.
For me this is a legacy situation where rifles were not even on the radar when the charity laws changed in 2006. It is potentially a serious situation - one that probably needs a visible response to demonstrate responsibility and so you have one.
Act first … think later (when you have time to concoct something viable).
As regards ownership, there are only two entities involved - the MOD and the CivCom. The squadron proper holds for the MOD and has primary use and access to the locally paid for assets. Donations to ‘the squadron’ are charitable in nature.
If you are having problems with keeping WHTs current, I suggest you contact your local CCF. This hasn’t affected us (yet?) as we have secure armouries holding live L98A2, rather than less secure storage for L103 or L144 only. You popping over for an hour to do WHTs wouldn’t be a major pain for most CCFs. We might even be able to help conduct them.
If you aren’t in contact with your local CCF, ask and I may be able to help.
So we have a situation where a body or legal entity ie the Civcom Charity, owns the weapons but is not authorised to use them, and at the same time individuals who are not the owners and who are not part of a legal entity, being authorised to use them.
So how does the ACO define ownership, and how are the legal owners absolved from legal responsibility- as I recall there is no signed loan agreement, so technically if a CFAV went AWOL with a weapon, the Civcom would not have a defence because it is not party to any agreement, based upon the lack of consultation.
And the Firearms Act is Statute, so superior to anything the ACO produces, so in theory is the guiding light for a civilian organisation. But moving things to an RAF Armoury means that the storage of weapons is then under the control of the RAFP or RAF Regiment, which if you have not noticed,are NOT civilian in nature, so does the MOD now believe it has control over civilian owned property?
As is common, where we once could see clear lines of demarcation the position has become clouded and to my knowledge there is no legally qualified member sitting on the ACMB.
And tmmorris refers to CCFs - here the school will own the weapons that their unit uses - no legal owership issues whatsoever. But it is worth commenting that all public schools have charitable status, therefore all weapons are owned by that charity.
And if you care to notice they all have secure armouries within private property which do not appear to have restricted access beyond a notice about Private Property -rather different to the average RFCA provided shared ACF/ATC sites.
Ive deleted my post as i think im straying too much into things that should not be spoken about on a public forum.
@Aries , you are arguing about something you know little about. Ownership is not changing, they are being moved to a secure unit temporarily to safeguard against lethal weapons getting into the wrong peoples hands. Once this is sorted they will be returned.
I am sure the committee cares more about them being safe and secure than standing in the dock after they are stolen because they refused to allow them to be moved due to “ownership” issues,
And, by the way, even if this was feasible (I have my doubts), from all the fall-out from the Offensive Weapons Bill (firearms clauses) that I have been rather deeply involved with for 15+ months, this aspect is likely to be included in a proposed consultation this summer.
Quite a few “anti-gun” MPs are against S11A as they see it as open “un-vetted” access. I believe that this was one such range run under S11A.
A quick “health warning”:
Novel or innovative interpretation of the Firearms Act usually results in an appearance at Crown Court. Even if it’s an either way offence, magistrates are loath to try or sentence on firearms charges.
In order to comply with S11(4) you require a range, that range must be insured for the purpose (legal requirement) and the insurers will require a safety inspection by a qualified person. To shoot on the basis of 11(4) you must be the operator of the range, no one else may operate it on your behalf.
At no time has Civcom had authority to possess any firearms, they may however provide the finance for the cadet unit who do have such an authority to legally aquire and use them.
Not just “anti-gun” MPs, various sections of the police have been wittering on about this for years. Some of their concerns could be easily met but they seem bent on the removal of S11(4) completely. This would effectively shut down the small number of commercial pay-to-play ranges that have based their business model upon, make life unnecessarily more complicated for a very small number of rifle clubs who still rely solely upon it and lastly, but most importantly, severely disadvantage groups such as cadet units and scouts who because of their structure cannot meet the HO approval criteria but operate safely and responsibly under S11(4).
A few individuals have tried to invoke a “liberal” interpretation of S11(4), the current going rate seems to be 6 months suspended for 18 months.
I think this is the moment that you need to point out that who owns them is irrelevant as they are only authorised to hold them on an ACF 20 by the Wing Commander who can revoke that authorisation if the Civ Com/Unit wanted to be a pain in the backside about things. Then meaning they would have to sell or destroy said rifles.
My suggestion would be that they accept a little bit of a move to a nice secure armoury for a short time and crack on with organising some activities or funding opportunities to use cadets time while the rifles are out of use.
If it’s the same timescale as gliding (or even a proportion thereof), heaven help us!!
There is already a timescale and plan in place for a lot of the work that needs doing anyway on the basis that the project was underway. I can’t see it being too long a period, but that is relative and reliant on the contractors in the area doing the work in sensible time frames.
It’s gone 1st April so finding can’t be an excuse lol
My Squadrons LPW are in a local Gunsmiths for safe secure keeping, and have been since before all this happened.
I see it very simply - if a Squadron purchases it own LPW, you must accept the risk that regardless of the fact the Squadrons hard raised cash paid for the LPW, there is always a risk this might happen and you have to accept it. Don’t like that fact, don’t buy them, or explore the options of how else they might be held in accrodance with the law.
There is too much being made about them being nicked from a squadron TBH.
These have sat in cade HQs for donkey’s with over the years many, many people knowing the weapons are there. How many cadet HQs have been broken into over many decades and weapons stolen? I would say none, because if one had, the brown stuff would have been flying around and weapons withdrawn and storage in “secure” sites ages ago. I am pretty certain that Wings, Counties etc wlil know which units hold ‘private’ weapons, so an email or letter to the OCs explaining the situation, but no that’s far too easy and sensible.
All this story in its irresponsible recklessness has done is highlight the fact and potentially make cadet huts a very, very soft target. We don’t hold weapons, but that wouldn’t stop someone scumbag thinking “they’ll have some rifles, let’s do a job on them” and create mayhem in the process. Fancy getting to your HQ which doesn’t hold weapons, to find that some detritus has broken in an ransacked it? Because there was a story about cadet HQs having rifles in them.
Can I put a sign up saying “no weapons in here”, like those signs you see on plumber, chippy, sparks etc vans saying no tools left overnight?
If any cadet HQ is broken into I think that the MOD should replace everything damaged or stolen on a new for old basis.
The question is why now? Why after all the years of nothing happening, has this become a thing? Is it another case of people looking to give themselves or enhancing a job as they are facing the chop.