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manthing

Home office guide lines.

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How are they "enforced"? 

A Judge has to sentence a guilty person in line with the HO guide lines but it appears police forces can just ignore them. 

Surely if the highest authority in law has to work within the scope of them those that uphold and investigate breaches of the law have to operate within them. 

What's the official rules concerning HO guide lines? 

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14 minutes ago, manthing said:

How are they "enforced"? 

A Judge has to sentence a guilty person in line with the HO guide lines but it appears police forces can just ignore them. 

Surely if the highest authority in law has to work within the scope of them those that uphold and investigate breaches of the law have to operate within them. 

What's the official rules concerning HO guide lines? 

As far as I understand it they are exactly that - "guidelines".  The firearms act is what is law.

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Guidelines are guidelines not the law!........as I understand them, guidelines are open to (mis)interpretation....and cannot be enforced in law........so the police, GP's etc can ignore them, if they choose, as they have in Firearms licencing!

Edited by panoma1
Predictive text! 😡

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1 minute ago, panoma1 said:

Guidelines are guidelines not the law!........as I understand them, guidelines are open to (mis)interpretation....and cannot be enforced in law........so the police, GP's etc can ignore them, if they choose, as they have in Firearms licencing!

Agreed.  A judge would (should) sentence based on the act and not the guidelines.  Once a ruling has been made a precedence is set, but otherwise there are certain things within the act that remain untested.

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As said in another thread the cock up that some are having to go through with renewals and grants of sgc and fac will not change until someone takes the police to court. My feeling is that when or if someone does the police will be told that they will have to work within the guidelines.

I think most of us have seen and know what the guidelines are so why can some force work within the and some can't / won't.

Edited by bluesj

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I don't think they could be taken to court for not following guidelines.....but arguably they could for acting beyond their lawful authority/powers?

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7 minutes ago, panoma1 said:

I don't think they could be taken to court for not following guidelines.....but arguably they could for acting beyond their lawful authority/powers?

No not for not following guidelines but I would have thought they could for demanding more of you than is needed by the law, so basically not following the guidelines. the point of guidelines being to help them work with in the law, I haven't heard of any other situation where they can make it up us they go. Sure they can't do you for speeding if you travel at or less than the posted limit so I can't see how they can legally refuse you a sgc or fac because your doctor has not replied to them when the law does not require that a doctors certificate is needed.

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You absolutely can be taken to court for not following or having due regard to guidance. 

Ref Ali v London Borough of Newham

The case is also interesting as it does (sensibly) show there is a heirachy of guidance and more regard should be given the higher you go. Ie Home Office guidance trumps guidance from an individual police force. 

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Its a great shame that there isn't some sort of club or organization that could look after its members interests and may be take some sort of legal action on the members behalf 

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As I understand it the guidance on prosecution for being caught by speed cameras, is above five miles per hour, plus two MPH over the speed limit....but police can prosecute for one MPH above the speed limit, if they so choose? So much for guidence!

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11 minutes ago, bluesj said:

Its a great shame that there isn't some sort of club or organization that could look after its members interests and may be take some sort of legal action on the members behalf 

😂👍

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21 minutes ago, Lord v said:

You absolutely can be taken to court for not following or having due regard to guidance. 

Ref Ali v London Borough of Newham

The case is also interesting as it does (sensibly) show there is a heirachy of guidance and more regard should be given the higher you go. Ie Home Office guidance trumps guidance from an individual police force. 

That case isn't straightforward, it was bought because the local authority guidelines didn't follow national guidelines which in turn resulted in unlawful disability discrimination....I think the case turned on the discriminatory aspect not the failure to adhere to guidelines......if an able bodied person bought a similar case, would the result have been the same?

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13 minutes ago, panoma1 said:

As I understand it the guidance on prosecution for being caught by speed cameras, is above five miles per hour, plus two MPH over the speed limit....but police can prosecute for one MPH above the speed limit, if they so choose? So much for guidence!

By going 1 mph over the limit you are breaking the law but if your doctor has not or will not reply to the police no law has been broken.

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I think the ones who are setting them selves up for the biggest fall are the doctors that will not work with the police on this.

What will happen if someone is given their fac and then starts shooting people and it is found out that the persons doctor knew something relevant but refused to answer the polices request for information. After all on the initial request all the doctor has to do is factually answers   a yes / no question.

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15 minutes ago, bluesj said:

By going 1 mph over the limit you are breaking the law but if your doctor has not or will not reply to the police no law has been broken.

Yes the law is the law, but prosecution for travelling under five MPH plus 2MPH over the speed limit is contrary to guidance! But if your the one prosecuted at a speed above the speed limit and below the guidance threshold.....you can't do anything about it!

But if the police demand a GP's opinion or they will not grant a certificate, they are acting ultra vires in respect to HO guidelines, but not unlawfully!....so i imagine it would need a judicial review to determine the issue?

 

Edited by panoma1

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16 hours ago, manthing said:

How are they "enforced"? 

A Judge has to sentence a guilty person in line with the HO guide lines but it appears police forces can just ignore them. 

Surely if the highest authority in law has to work within the scope of them those that uphold and investigate breaches of the law have to operate within them. 

What's the official rules concerning HO guide lines? 

 

Quite simply they are just guidance notes and therefore not enforceable in law.

An explanation of their purpose and legal standing can be found on the government's own website which states................

This document provides consolidated guidance on firearms licensing legislation for anyone who is involved in firearms licensing or who has an interest in firearms or shotguns for either work or leisure purposes.

This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law, but a cohesive explanation of the often complex area of firearms licensing.

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40 minutes ago, CharlieT said:

 

Quite simply they are just guidance notes and therefore not enforceable in law.

An explanation of their purpose and legal standing can be found on the government's own website which states................

This document provides consolidated guidance on firearms licensing legislation for anyone who is involved in firearms licensing or who has an interest in firearms or shotguns for either work or leisure purposes.

This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law, but a cohesive explanation of the often complex area of firearms licensing.

These or any other guidance notes of a legal nature are nothing more than a get out clause for the powers that be. Instead of producing them, it would be far better to have written a clear cut meaning of the law. The powers that be can operate within those guidlines and all is well unless smeone who is adversely affected objects. Like all good Subjects we are subject to whatever is put upon us and it is ingrained in us that by and large we'll tolerate it. However, we are subject to the law not someone's idea of a guidline. If an objection is raised then the let out bit comes into effect and there's no come back on the organisation which attempted to introduce its own interpretation of the law. But what happens if some innocent little shooter has his collar felt and in his defence states that he was complying with the guidelines. Ah, says Plod, they're just guidance notes and are therefore not applicable or enforceable in law so you're guilty as charged.

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Just now, manthing said:

Some interesting replies, thanks. 

I used to be on the committee of a rifle club and discussions on the guidance used to do the rounds often.  The trouble was the amount of armchair experts all thinking they were correct.  In one instance I contacted one of the local FEO's and the Home Office and even their responses didn't tally - lol

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20 hours ago, panoma1 said:

Yes the law is the law, but prosecution for travelling under five MPH plus 2MPH over the speed limit is contrary to guidance! But if your the one prosecuted at a speed above the speed limit and below the guidance threshold.....you can't do anything about it!

But if the police demand a GP's opinion or they will not grant a certificate, they are acting ultra vires in respect to HO guidelines, but not unlawfully!....so i imagine it would need a judicial review to determine the issue?

 

I understood the guidance figure to be 10% + 2mph although it has no legal standing. 

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13 minutes ago, Brodie said:

I understood the guidance figure to be 10% + 2mph although it has no legal standing. 

I believe your right!! 👍....dunno where I got 5% from! Must be an age thing? lol!

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The Chief Constable of your area is responsible for issuing your FAC/SGC as I understand it, so there could potentially be over 40 different issuing authorities.  Each one can interpret the guidelines, or ignore them if they wish.  I think the future is going to be that some form of a medical report will be required if you want to hold an SGC.  Feel free to appeal it to a court.  In the current climate I believe that a judge would rule in favour of a medical report.  Home Office guidelines, which are just guidance and not legally binding, are likely to include this in the future.  It is another hurdle to cross, but I’m prepared to do it to renew my SGC.

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I personally would rather negotiations resulted in licencing being controlled by statute, so we all know where we stand and are all treated equally.......rather than the postcode lottery we now face, of plod interpreting "guidance" to suit themselves! Such as one police area demanding a GP's report.....costing whatever the doctor wants to charge, whilst another accepts a verbal report from the doctor!

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A national licensing authority would be the way forward.  Everything standardised and the authority could approach the relevant Police Forces and if necessary G.P. Surgeries for any relevant information held.  I’m sure Chief Constables would be happy to hand the task to another body.  They would of course still be able to block the issue of a certificate for those not suitable, in the same way they do now.  I’m sure though the cost would be greater than the current price of an FAC/SGC.

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