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 Post subject: I marched for my sport.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:02 am
Posts: 2011
Home club or Range: NRA
Whilst having a jolly good clear out of life's detritus I came across these in a drawer.
A little later I found I still retain the bulk of the paperwork surrounding the organized confiscation of legally held property known as
The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997
Arrangements For The Surrender Of Prohibited Firearms And Ammunition.


It brought back memories of the unfettered hatred of the media levelled against some of the most decent, trustworthy, and law-abiding citizens in the UK. I remember the police filming us all on the peaceful protest marches as if we were members of some violent activist group prone to acts of civil disorder.
I remember the politicians treading over the bodies of the slain at Dunblane to make political capital and further their sleazy careers. I remember all the bullshit we had to endure for the sake of one incompetent senior Scottish policeman.

For me 1997 marked the end of faith in democracy, fair play, due process, logic, our police, and the nonsense touted by the EU pertaining to the right of citizens to property as enshrined in Protocol 1 Article1 of the European Convention on Human Rights "Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions."
That protocol is immediately neutralized by the following words: "No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. "
Have you noticed every proposal to further infringe civil liberties is now suffixed by the words in the public interest?

The day I was scheduled to hand in my firearms was a particularly busy one for me. I had to hand in my LL.B dissertation that morning, then had to go to Witney to formally hand over my firearms and equipment. Immediately after that my girlfriend and I were off for a two week driving holiday in Cornwall. I planned to do it all in one rolling hit.

First stop was my college. In summer we had a manned police station on campus comprising at least two uniformed officers. I stopped off at the police station and explained I was on the way to hand in my firearms after dropping off papers at college. I asked if it would be possible to leave the huge holdall of firearms, ammunition, and sundry equipment. I showed the officers my letters and FAC and told them I would literally be five minutes - I just didn't want to leave them locked in the car with its flimsy roller-blind luggage cover (Porsche 944).

They declined. One was just off on patrol and the other was about to go to lunch. They were completely unperturbed by my cache of firearms and said it'd be fine for me to carry them across campus with ammunition. Depending on who you ask this was either confirmation on just how decent and law-abiding firearms owners actually are in the eyes of the police or an example of shocking negligence.

I was somewhat disappointed - it confirmed in my eyes that we were being railroaded out of political expediency and not genuinely considered a safety risk. Also try toting some twelve handguns, equipment, and umpteen boxes of ammunition on a hot summer's day for any distance - they are heavy. I REALLY would have appreciated them looking after them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Home club or Range: HPRP (UK) + Corsaires Malouins (France) + Czech Rep
Thanks for your post & sharing your memmories of this painful period :good:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Painful memories indeed. I have a paperclipping from the Daily Telegraph of me (and 20,000 others) standing in Trafalgar Square on the day of the march. Hand in day, I left it to the last minute and stood in a queue, straggling out the door and onto the street at Battle police station, for over an hour. Bitter to this day.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Location: Cambridgeshire
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Same here.. I still have one of those badges on my shooting cap...

On hand-in day, I was stood in the local Police HQ while one Bobby was documenting everything, I was chatting to another.... he said it was a shame, and wouldn't solve anything..


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Home club or Range: Manitoba Provincial Rifle Association (St. Charles range), Selkirk Game and Fish range.
I was there as well! I remember a friend handing in a very unique pistol at the time (I don't remember what it was?), but when he went to shoot his .22 rifle at a local police range a few months later, he swore that he saw a police man shooting the same pistol!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Yep - I was there. Sunday, so London was deserted - just a few Japanese tourists taking photos of us. If we ever do it again, it's got to be on a weekday - like the fox hunters did. Mind you - they lost as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Home club or Range: NRA
One of the direct consequences of the handgun ban was to see the end of one of the best equipped clubs in Oxfordshire - The Dunmore Shooting Centre. Excellent shop and shooting club in one. Cosy club rest area and an excellent pistol range.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/commun ... w_gun_club

I wish John had persevered and kept the club running. I think continuing gallery rifles and black powder pistols, along with the shotgun range in Drayton, would still have been a very viable proposition.

Happier days. I joined the moment it was open for business (still with lots of interior building work ongoing) my membership number being just after membership had nudged into the sixties.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/commun ... _gun_club/


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:47 am 
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Location: Reading
Home club or Range: Aldershot R & P Club
That's a harsh memory for me. My daughter was 7 yo at the time of Dunblane. I used to take her to school and several mums knew I was shooter. The looks on their faces said it all.
I went on all three marches.
The first one had a memorable moment for me. On approaching Trafalgar Square we had to walk across a pedestrian crossing.
Our group held back to let folk across it. As one guy crossed he said in a loud voice "Why don't you shoot your way through".
There was also the "discussion" programme on TV - ch 4 I think. Shooters and antis. It got very heated. One of the women in the anti group pointed at the shooters and said " you are all as responsible as Ryan for pulling the trigger".
As shooters we stood no chance. I hate to say it but it was the best thing that could have happened for T Bliar.
I still have a box of paper work from then. Probably just get chucked.
I wonder what would have happened if all the pistol owners had got together in one place and refused to hand them over.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:26 am 
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I remember watching tv reporters or people with press passes chucking. 22 lr rounds on the floor... Trying to make it look like us..

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Home club or Range: PSC, Bisley
Dark Skies wrote:
For me 1997 marked the end of faith in democracy, fair play, due process, logic, our police, and the nonsense touted by the EU pertaining to the right of citizens to property as enshrined in Protocol 1 Article1 of the European Convention on Human Rights "Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions."


Indeed.....and as a result, the last General Election I voted in was the one way back in 1992.


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