Smouldering Stoat wrote:By his own admission he committed an offence in relation to his registration. He is not of good character. He is a criminal. He knew the law, and he chose to ignore it. If he really thinks that failure to comply with his legal duties in relation to his firearms registration is a mere "clerical error" then he has displayed a contempt for the law which is incompatible with ownership of a cat. I mean, gun. The Police rightly decline to renew his certificate. Either that decision is confirmed by the Court (in which case he can hardly complain that the Police decision is unlawful), or he decides to accept the decision (in which case the same applies).
Two years pass. In the meantime he has taken the opportunity to show he is of good character by keeping out of trouble and helping old ladies across the road. The Police decide that he is now entitled to have his certificate returned.
Sorry, nothing unlawful there.
He is not a criminal, as he hasn't been convicted in court.
I think that really is taking things too far. Why do you say he has displayed a contempt for the law? If you forget your anniversary one year, have you displayed contempt for your wife? I don't know if he thinks that failing to comply with his legal duties is a mere clerical error as they were my words. This even if the police display an equal contempt for the law and practice of firearms management. Of course, if you disagree, then how would you feel if the police arbitrarily removed your car for an unspecified time for failing to sign your driving licence, clearly showing contempt for the law?
I would point out that prior to his clerical error he was of sufficiently good character to own firearms for many years. How do you know that he was of good character for two years rather than just not getting caught? That two years proves absolutely nothing. How do the police know you were of good character for the preceding two years? What if he had forgotten his wife's anniversary? Would that be sufficient reason for refusing his FAC? I doubt it.
If it mattered so much then the police should have prosecuted him. Instead they chose to act outside their authority, ignoring a perfectly viable prosecution which, IIRC, is a summary offence, so hardly expensive.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."