The Archers radio series traces it’s roots back to Morse Code, when underemployed telegraph operators looked for a way to bore each other to death. [/sarcasm] Nowadays, fans of the farm-based radio series take it so seriously they complain if a fictional character breaks British gun laws. “In the latest plot line Matt Crawford [not shown], a wheeler dealer property speculator who has recently got out of prison, is featured joining in at the first shoot of the season,” telegraph.co.uk reports, for those of us who missed the last 66 years of riveting radio drama. “Annoyed listeners have pointed out that as a convicted criminal it would be impossible for him to gain a gun licence and therefore use a shotgun.” Furthermore . . .
Brian Alridge, the organiser of the shoot, should know better than to lend such a person a dangerous weapon.
Indeed any character at the shoot, who should all be familiar with the law if they have their own gun licences, would have pointed out the problem, say the exasperated shooting fraternity.
Quite right. It’s important to let the non-shooting world know that the good little farmers are following all the firearms restrictions imposed upon them by their jack-booted government.
Yes but—-according to the hive mind at wikipedia, “Any person who has been sentenced to three years or more in prison is automatically banned for life from obtaining a firearms licence.”
As any faithful listener of The Archers will tell you (even if you don’t ask), Mr Crawford was indicted for fraud in 2009 and served about six months in prison. According to the shotgun folk . . .
Under the Fire Arms Act any person who has been in prison for more than three months is prohibited from possessing shotguns for a period of five years from the date of release.
The same Act also states it is an offence to knowingly transfer a shotgun to a prohibited person.
Three months or three years minimum? No points for erring on the side of draconian. I know! Maybe the Beeb should use a shotgun-related spree killing as story line in The Archers and see what the moaning minnies make of it. After spending a decade in The Land of Hope and Glory, I can think of at least ten characters I’d nominate for dramatic martyrdom. Just sayin’ . . .
[Click here to peruse the palaver involved in obtaining a license to purchase a shotgun (including a mental health check), adhering to the registration and storage laws (subject to random police checks) and observing the limitations on ammunition purchases.]