We talk to clients frequently about the possibility of them installing a specialist safe to store items of jewellery and valuables. One of the more common responses we are met with is, “it’s OK, we have a gun safe and we keep the odd bits and pieces in there”. But really, could this put your gun licence at risk?
This seems like a reasonable solution on the surface, after all your gun safe has to be securely affixed to a wall in the house, ideally in a position that is not easily accessible to all and sundry so it really does make an ideal place to store a few bits of jewellery.
Or does it?
The home office issue guidelines relating to the safe storage and transportation of shotguns and firearms. The very first paragraph in the opening page reads:
“PART 1: INTRODUCTION & PRINCIPLES RELATING TO THE SECURE STORAGE OF FIREARMS
1.1 It is a condition of the issue of a firearm certificate that the firearms and shotguns to which the certificate relates must be stored securely at all times (except in certain circumstances) so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, access to the guns by unauthorised persons…”
And the very next section:
“1.2 The term “unauthorised persons” means any person who does not have a certificate allowing them to possess the guns of the holder.”
So here is the scenario – you are the sole shotgun licence holder in the household and you and your partner store a couple of watches and rings etc. in the gun safe, after all you really don’t want to spend £160 on a specialist jewellery safe.
You are off out for the evening so you give the cabinet keys to your partner to go and get some pieces out but they don’t lock it properly afterwards. Whilst you are out, your house is broken into, the shotguns and remaining pieces of jewellery are stolen.
You ring your insurers to report the claim, they find out that it wasn’t you who accessed the safe so they turn down your claim.
The stolen guns are then used in an armed robbery, the police investigate and you lose your shotgun licence.
It might sound like a rather far-fetched scenario but similar events have occurred and people, albeit whilst trying act in an honest fashion, have had their shotgun licences revoked.
The easiest way around this is to purchase a small jewellery safe to keep your precious items in, and keep only your guns in the gun safe!
If you would like to have a chat with one of our Art & Private Client specialists about suitable safes please contact Robin using the details below.
Author: Robin Nathan
Tel: 07557 562868
Reference – Home office Firearms Security Handbook, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/117636/firearms-security-handbook.pdf