Originally Posted by raygun
As I recall Terry Doe never explained the reason why a standard pellet could not be used. Perhaps it would have been better if he had then we could have all understood. The statement was thrown out because others had voiced an opinion for a standard pellet.
Now why it would be better for us not to have a "Standard Test" I don't know but would be interested in why legal advice was that it would be to our benefit.
The current situation is that there is no standard test and private forensic test labs can use any methods they wish. The Forensic Science Service criteria is that as long as these labs follow their own procedures then that's fine. How that helps us I don't know. The tester for one lab (Key Forensics) actually stated in Court that his job was to prove the rifle in question could shoot over power.
Terry is quite fond of making these statements but they are usually followed by no justification or explanation, we just have to believe him.
I have his number, we don't talk.
I've done a bit of digging ( I haven't phoned Terry - he's a nice bloke, but he can talk for hours
) and the net result is I think I pretty much remember the reasoning now.
And I've got to say, I think my opinion on the standard test and AT has changed now. I've 'almost' convinced myself that it's for the benefit of the shooter and is a good idea. - Bit of a shocker I know, I wasn't expecting it either.
So.. lets see if I can 'almost' convince you too .
The law is a bit woolly around the whole point of 'capable' and how you test for a gun being over the limit (including a little problem with which value you use for gravity too) - I'm sure you'll agree with this.
But... in practice, that woolliness actually works in the favour of responsible shooters and to the detriment of irresponsible shooters.
It means that the Police / CPS can have some leeway in how they prosecute. So they can decide not to prosecute based on the woolliness of the test or they can decide to prosecute to take a gun away from someone who they feel really shouldn't have one.
If there was a standard test written in stone, the Police / CPS would have no other option but to prosecute everyone with no leeway.
The net result of that would be far more prosecutions of responsible shooters for having a gun that was capable through no fault of their own.
AT works in a similar way - if you have AT fitted to your gun and it's tested and found to be over, the Police are far far more likely to use that leeway in your favour than if you didn't have AT fitted.
At the end of the day, it's a discretionary deal with the Police, and you have to trust they're not going to go mad and start using that leeway against us, but so far the number of prosecutions of responsible law abiding shooters has been very close to zero. Which does seem to suggest to me that the discretionary power we've entrusted to the Police / CPS is working (by and large).
In short - if you trust that the Police / CPS aren't out to get you, then not having a standard test and having AT is of benefit to us.
All of this is an unwritten agreement based on a nod and a wink. This isn't going to be written down anywhere you can get access to it with an FOI request and you won't get anyone to confirm it in writing either.
How can you trust it if it's not in black and white? - well, case history (or rather the lack of it) should give you some reassurance that this unwritten agreement is being honoured by the authorities.