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TractorMaz

Shooting on rights of way - Scotland

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I want to know the correct law about shooting on public right of ways/footpaths.  And how far you legally have to be from residential properties and public roads in Scotland. Can someone point me in the right direction? Have been trawling the BASC website but can’t find anything definitive. Links would be much appreciated. Thanks. 

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Hi,

In scotland we have "reckless discharge of a firearm" on the books which is a sort of catch all piece of legislation.

The laws regarding certain distances from center of the roadway and having to prove that a road user was affected will be trumped by the reckless discharge which would apply in Scotland.

It would all depend on the circumstances if a complaint was made to the police.

I know of one shooter who found out to his cost that firing his cf close to kids and houses was not a clever thing to do despite him thinking he could because he had permission to shoot on the ground. 

Edited by bobthedug

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32 minutes ago, bobthedug said:

I know of one shooter who found out to his cost that firing his cf close to kids and houses was not a clever thing to do despite him thinking he could because he had permission to shoot on the ground. 

So what law did they break exactly if they were lawfully on that land and I hope taking safe shots? 

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2 hours ago, ShootingEgg said:

So what law did they break exactly if they were lawfully on that land and I hope taking safe shots? 

He was charged under common law for the reckless discharge of a firearm. There was doubt over the "safe shot" aspect. Hence police involvement

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2 hours ago, bobthedug said:

Hi,

In scotland we have "reckless discharge of a firearm" on the books which is a sort of catch all piece of legislation.

The laws regarding certain distances from center of the roadway and having to prove that a road user was affected will be trumped by the reckless discharge.

It would all depend on the circumstances if a complaint was made to the police.

I know of one shooter who found out to his cost that firing his cf close to kids and houses was not a clever thing to do despite him thinking he could because he had permission to shoot on the ground. 

So in essence what you’re saying is that regardless if you’re sticking to all the laws you’re still liable to get done under the “reckless discharge of a firearm”?

Is there anywhere online where there is a copy of Scottish shooting laws? I’ve always thought it strange that even with all the inspections and checks they do before issuing a shotgun certificate there is no need to show your understanding of safe shooting or that you know the laws around the use of a gun. 

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1 minute ago, TractorMaz said:

 

So in essence what you’re saying is that regardless if you’re sticking to all the laws you’re still liable to get done under the “reckless discharge of a firearm”?

Is there anywhere online where there is a copy of Scottish shooting laws? I’ve always thought it strange that even with all the inspections and checks they do before issuing a shotgun certificate there is no need to show your understanding of safe shooting or that you know the laws around the use of a gun. 

I see where you are coming from but simply having permission to shoot over ground doesn't mean "your sticking to all the laws" if you fire when there are kids close by .

The "reckless discharge"  crime would be appropriate in such circumstances. Its under Common law and not part of the Firearms Act.

I very much agree with you regarding the issue of shotgun certificates (and FACs) to people with little or no knowledge of safety and responsibility

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A lot of it is common sense thou, or put urself in those home owners shoes if u never shot, or even as a shooter would u be happy with someone taking a similar shot?

 

I know drives where on a big day a gun can fire a whole slab standing slap bang in the middle of a road, but i also know drives on smaller shoots that have changed over the years and as roads have got busier it's no longer very sensible to stand guns on the road anymore, even thou th elaw hasn't changed, just people attitudes as well as polis attitudes too

 

With all legals tuff ur as well to phone basc themselves (if a member) or ur org and get proper advice, as u don't want to get it wrong

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I know what you mean, I always err on the side of caution but it’s always good to know the rights and wrongs if you get a disgruntled dog walker trying to ruin your day. 

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7 hours ago, bobthedug said:

He was charged under common law for the reckless discharge of a firearm. There was doubt over the "safe shot" aspect. Hence police involvement

Sounds like a very tricky law though, how would they determine an unsafe shot unless he was aiming at the houses and then proof was shown? I have land that is near roads a few houses and a pub. Never shoot towards them yet that law could get me in trouble if someone called to say they can see someone shooting in the field next to them. 

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7 hours ago, TractorMaz said:

Is there anywhere online where there is a copy of Scottish shooting laws? I’ve always thought it strange that even with all the inspections and checks they do before issuing a shotgun certificate there is no need to show your understanding of safe shooting or that you know the laws around the use of a gun. 

The Metropolitan Police asked me for a letter from my club saying I was a safe shot.

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2 hours ago, ShootingEgg said:

Sounds like a very tricky law though, how would they determine an unsafe shot unless he was aiming at the houses and then proof was shown? I have land that is near roads a few houses and a pub. Never shoot towards them yet that law could get me in trouble if someone called to say they can see someone shooting in the field next to them. 

Not sure if you do your shooting in Scotland. Under the "reckless discharge/ reckless conduct" law which exists in Scotland, simply shooting in a field next to someone would not land you in hot water.

There would need to be an element of "reckless" about taking the shot. circumstances which could constitute "reckless" is pretty much infinite but I would like to think that if the police were called by some anti shooter who complained about a shooter in the field next to his house, if you were safe there would be nothing to worry about

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3 hours ago, bobthedug said:

Not sure if you do your shooting in Scotland. Under the "reckless discharge/ reckless conduct" law which exists in Scotland, simply shooting in a field next to someone would not land you in hot water.

There would need to be an element of "reckless" about taking the shot. circumstances which could constitute "reckless" is pretty much infinite but I would like to think that if the police were called by some anti shooter who complained about a shooter in the field next to his house, if you were safe there would be nothing to worry about

They could do you on noise .

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As we have right to roam in Scotland technically anyone can walk anywhere.

Reckless discharge would be in a built up area or deliberately at or over someone.

The rest is down to common sense I'm afraid!

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17 minutes ago, Perazzishot said:

As we have right to roam in Scotland technically anyone can walk anywhere.

Reckless discharge would be in a built up area or deliberately at or over someone.

The rest is down to common sense I'm afraid!

The right to roam , is still a very gray area .

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Just now, johnphilip said:

The right to roam , is still a very gray area .

No it isn't.

Listening to Radio Scotland yesterday and they were very clear, it also (except where bylaws exist) allows wild camping on any land in Scotland!

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1 minute ago, Perazzishot said:

 

No it isn't.

Listening to Radio Scotland yesterday and they were very clear, it also (except where bylaws exist) allows wild camping on any land in Scotland!

In your first post you said you can walk anywere , not true .

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11 minutes ago, johnphilip said:

In your first post you said you can walk anywere , not true .

on open land you can. MOD and Railways are covered by certain laws!

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28 minutes ago, Perazzishot said:

 

No it isn't.

Listening to Radio Scotland yesterday and they were very clear, it also (except where bylaws exist) allows wild camping on any land in Scotland!

I suspect that if you pitched your tent in wee Jimmy's garden you would find this is not the case

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13 hours ago, bobthedug said:

Not sure if you do your shooting in Scotland. Under the "reckless discharge/ reckless conduct" law which exists in Scotland, simply shooting in a field next to someone would not land you in hot water.

There would need to be an element of "reckless" about taking the shot. circumstances which could constitute "reckless" is pretty much infinite but I would like to think that if the police were called by some anti shooter who complained about a shooter in the field next to his house, if you were safe there would be nothing to worry about

I don't do my shooting in Scotland, your post said there were questions about his shooting, thst would of been his word against theirs, how would the police be able to pick a side? 

Not picking holes in your post, just interested in how you would police that law effectively and fairly. 

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6 minutes ago, ShootingEgg said:

I don't do my shooting in Scotland, your post said there were questions about his shooting, thst would of been his word against theirs, how would the police be able to pick a side? 

Not picking holes in your post, just interested in how you would police that law effectively and fairly. 

The police simply report the matter to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland. He would then make the decision to bin the matter or take it to court.

Happens all the time but for a report to be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal, there would normally be more than simply the word of one person.  

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Right to roam law in Scotland is pretty clear, the reason you can't walk through a farmers crop is that to do so would cause damage.

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Its more a right to 'responsibly' roam and not cause any damage.

 

Really u don't have to stick to paths in ur not damaging a crop, sy in a woodland or open hilll

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Scottish Outdoor Access code or SOAC outlines the right to responsible access.

Basically you have a right to responsible access. It gives responsible access to all. It doesn't give any rights to disturb or damage any crops , livestock or land management activities. 

So farmers and landowners can't restrict access unless their is reasonable grounds and access takers need to take access responsibly. 

Its based on common sense and tolerance . So you can cross arable farms by way of hedgerows and tracks but not stomp across newly sown winter barley. You can hike the hill but not through the middle of a fank or cattle crush. 

You can  hike the moors but not through the middle of a Grouse drive. 

You can cross farmland responsibly to access the shore for wildfowling. 

If it's a big shoot it should post signs explaining shooting is taking place prior to shooting and take signs down after. 

So if you want to shoot from or over a right of way you'd have to do it , if and when it wouldn't cause disturbance of be viewed as reckless. That could be putting signs and warning people or doing it when it's least likely to be used. But Rights of Way can only be closed after consultation.

Most Scottish councils have Access Officers that can advise 

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