Chewing gum, maybe or Polo mints. A few cartridges. A bit of change. Arguably these are just some of the items that are likely found in the pockets of a typical shooting jacket. To our knowledge more exotic examples have included a pair of handcuffs, a cricket ball and a darning mushroom, not all in the same jacket we hasten to add. It is a rich variety of the mundane and the unusual; however, there is one essential item which is rarely to be found nestled along with these bits and pieces – the shooting licence.
It is easy to understand why. Many shooters do not want to risk losing it and hence most will leave theirs at home, stored away with the passport and other similarly valued documents. The problem arises in the event of the gun owner being asked to produce proof that they are in legal possession of a firearm. Fine if the individual concerned is at home where the document is easily made available, not so good when the request comes whilst for example out at a shoot. The law on this is clear. If you can’t prove you are legally entitled to have the gun, then a police officer can take it away from you until such time as you can.
The good news is that the ‘proof’ does not depend on being able to produce the original certificate, as a photocopy should suffice, not least because it allows the details to be verified speedily. One shooter of our acquaintance has rather cleverly had a copy of his certificate stitched into the lining of his shooting gear, but for those less inclined to go to such lengths, the answer is to find a simple plastic cover for the licence and tuck it away in an inside pocket.