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UK Shooting Champion loses his firearms licence


UK Shooting Champion loses his firearms licence

A UK Shooting Champion who won appeal against police after lawyers failed to appear has case remitted Lord Glennie. A clay pigeon shot whose firearms certificates were taken from him by the police because of an internet post and who won his case at first instance because lawyers for the police failed to appear has had it remitted by a judge in the Court of Session. Jed Burn, from Jedburgh, won an appeal in the sheriff court after lawyers for the police failed to appear for hearings. However, a judge has ruled the decision should be remitted to the sheriff for reconsideration after the chief constable of Police Scotland, Sir Stephen House, sought a judicial review of the case. Lord Glennie, in the Court of Session, said: “The problems lay with a difficulty in internal communications within Police Scotland. I think that’s why we are here.” It became known to the police last year that Mr Burn had uploaded a video of himself to Facebook in which he performs a “neck nomination”. Police said he was dressed in underpants, boots and a flat cap while holding a shotgun. The added he pointed the gun at the sky, said he was shooting pigeons and then broke the gun open and placed it on the ground before drinking half a bottle of vodka. However, Mr Burn said he was drinking water and not vodka. On his behalf it was said: “The making of a Facebook video, even if it is of questionable humour or in questionable taste, is freedom of expression and does not make the respondent (Mr Burn) a danger to public safety or the peace.” He successfully challenged the decision at Jedburgh Sheriff Court but Sir Stephen had the orders made set aside and the case dealt with by means of judicial review. While Lord Glennie was satisfied the sheriff made the proper inquiries before allowing Mr Burn’s appeal, he said: “He did so in circumstances when he was not addressed on behalf of the chief constable.” He also disclosed at the outset of the hearing that he has a shotgun licence and said of the case: “I suppose this a matter of general public importance, the issue of firearms and shotgun certificates – a matter of public importance which should not be influenced by mishaps that occur from time to time.” Advocate Paul Davies, for Sir Stephen, said: “There is a dispute as to what the video shows or what the respondent was actually doing in the video.” However, he maintained the sheriff had erred by disposing of the matter “in effect on the basis of non-appearance of the petitioner (the chief constable) when he should have had a hearing on the merits”. Greg Sanders, advocate for Mr Burn, said the chief constable’s position was put before the court at the first hearing.


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