by Deborah Hadfield and Charlie Jacoby
Nigel Doney from Cornwall has been shooting for 40 years. He had an unexpected police visit after he sold one of his guns. Nigel says that officers took his remaining gun because he couldn’t produce his certificate. It was away being processed by the police.
He is the latest victim of a crackdown on gun ownership in the South-West.
Armed police knocking on doors, in the dark, in order to seize guns in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall is becoming an all-too-common story.
The shooters feel the police are punishing them, as a knee jerk reaction to a shooting in Plymouth last August. Jake Davison, who had a shotgun certificate, killed five people in Keyham in six-minutes before turning his shotgun on himself.
Nigel says: “I was absolutely gutted because it messed up all my plans for this month as we were supposed to be going away stalking with a friend in Cambridgeshire.
“I’m just concerned for what reason they took it. That’s what confused me as I haven’t done anything wrong, and I haven’t been involved with anything.”
Cornish gun shop Ian Hodge Fieldsports purchased Nigel’s gun. Owner Ian Hodge says: “We’ve noticed since Christmas a dramatic increase in new customers phoning up randomly saying my guns are going to be taken away. The police have been banging on the door wanting to take my guns away, seemingly for no real reason. Maybe for something that happened 10 or 15 years ago.’
The Independent Office for Police Conduct issued two disciplinary notices to Devon & Cornwall Constabulary staff for issuing the mass-murderer with a shotgun certificate. Now, shooters believe that police are taking it out on them.
The gun seizures are having an effect on Ian’s business. He says: “It’s getting ridiculous now. We can hardly take any more guns in. We’re holding guns while their [owners are] appealing. Some people just want to give up. As an industry we are losing a tremendous amount of people, which does make you wonder if there is an ulterior motive.”
Ian says as well as problems such as Nigel’s, the police action is making country people nervous. He says: “Normally, people come in to look at a rifle and say I’ll get a variation to get that. Then they realise it’s going to take anything from six weeks to six months, so they leave it. So, we’ve lost a sale.
“Shotgun licences are taking a long time and people are getting fed up waiting. It’s just not correct. Something needs to be done.”
More of our Devon & Cornwall police gun grab coverage:
Breakdown in Devon & Cornwall gun licensing puts businesses at risk
youtu.be/c-VlnQpCK0Q With police firearms licensing across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset in meltdown, local country and gun shops are having to diversify. Martin and Chris Lamb
Firearms licensing crisis warning
youtu.be/EjbfeeA0utk With the firearms licensing system in crisis, barrister Nick Doherty fears there’s an increased risk of a tragic incident. Nick, who wrote The Firearms
BASC firearms licensing overhaul
youtu.be/GCi5JQRX0Sc by Deborah Hadfield It’s time to scrap the existing gun certificate system across England and Wales and replace it with another. That’s the conclusion
The Metropolitan Police’s head of firearms licensing – FieldsportsChannel Podcast, episode 62
www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfCT4_dvQQ4 There are 30,000 legal gun-owners in London. Chris Downs, head of SCO 19 at the Met, and Daryn Hufton-Rees from Medcert, which provides medical
Police delay firearms licensing as livestock and wildlife suffer
by Deborah Hadfield Daniel Holmes from Bodmin Moor in Cornwall submitted his gun certificates renewal applications on January 2022. His firearms and shotguns certificates were
Gun grab and gun surrender: two extremes of British police gun policy
by Charlie Jacoby You can see the relief on Gary Ivey’s face. Until eight months ago, he had been a firearm certificate holder. He was
Nottinghamshire police gun grab cock-up
youtu.be/Q9SrEoqVFcY Armed officers from Nottinghamshire Police arrived at the home of gundog trainer Karl Sawyer last August. When he refused to hand his shotguns over
Gun licensing shambles in England
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyR1vxdXE6U by Deborah Hadfield The firearms licensing system in England and Wales is in crisis. Shooters claim the fiasco has made getting a grant, renewal,
Police gun grabs: a former Met detective advises…
by Deborah Hadfield and Charlie Jacoby Former Metropolitan police detective Ian Jensen says police have limited legal rights to take a gun. He says: “The
Gun grab victim: a serving police officer writes…
A serving police officer wrote this for Fieldsports News on condition of anonymity I, too, have been duped into coercively handing over my legally and
Police offer compensation to gun grab victim
www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4xkgjLhVB4 by Deborah Hadfield and Charlie Jacoby Many shooters have lost their guns to police in the South-West of England since the shooting in Plymouth
Paul Cox: Devon & Cornwall gun grab victim
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEctbsFPXbA by Deborah Hadfield and Charlie Jacoby Paul Cox is a respected member of his community, a deerstalker and captain of the local shoot. Devon