Firearms Policy

1. Policy statement

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors and all others who may be affected by its activities.  

Imperial College Union recognises that good management of health, safety and welfare is essential to the success of the organisation and is a sign of a well-managed organisation.  

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring that procedures are in place to identify hazards, assess risk and set objectives to improve the management of health, safety and welfare.  

Imperial College Union acknowledges its duty to ensure that all relevant legislation regarding health, safety and welfare is adhered to and that resources are made available to ensure health, safety and welfare.  

Imperial College Union is committed to developing a positive safety culture, based on the involvement of staff and volunteers in health and safety management. Imperial College Union will therefore use consultative forums and mechanisms to involve staff and volunteers in health and safety management, and will endeavour to provide relevant training to all staff and students.  

Imperial College Union commits to reviewing this policy at least every 2 years, or as and when necessary, with approval for the policy to take place at the Board of Trustees.  

2. Introduction

This policy sets out the arrangements that must be followed for the safe storage and transport of firearms in Imperial College Union managed facilities. The Union will manage the safe storage of firearms in a responsible, authoritative, and accountable manner. As a consequence, the storage of firearms in Union managed spaces will only be enabled under approved conditions and rules. Any dereliction in duty may result in the loss of storage of firearms for all students. This storage of firearms is only available to registered students who are members of the Union’s Rifle and Pistol Club.  

Under the Firearms Rules 1998, a prescribed safekeeping condition is attached to all firearm and shotgun certificates issued to individuals. It is an offence not to comply with these conditions. The Union follows the guidance of the Home Office’s Firearms Security Handbook 2020 for the storing and transporting of firearms.  

The activities of the Rifle and Pistol Club will be risk assessed and managed in line with the Health and Safety management for clubs, societies and projects.

3. Responsibilities

The general responsibilities for Health and Safety at Imperial College Union are specified in the Union’s Umbrella Health and Safety Policy. Responsibilities specific to the firearm policy are detailed below. 

Managing Director 

The Union as the responsible authority will manage the safe storage of firearms. The Managing Director will be the senior authority of firearm matters. The Managing Director may delegate the day-to-day supervision of the firearm policy to other suitable members of Imperial College Union staff. 

4. Arrangements 

Under the Firearms Rules 1998 the safekeeping condition attached to firearms or shotgun certificates requires that guns and ammunition must be stored securely to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, unauthorised people taking or using them. Any person who does not hold a firearm or shotgun certificate is included in the term ‘unauthorised’. The Union will on a regular basis seek advice on firearm security arrangements from the local police firearms licensing department. 

  • Conditions

    All firearms must be licensed and registered in a legal and appropriate manner to be stored in the Union store. The firearm must be the property of the student and registered on their shotgun certificate. All firearms use and ownership must be within strict compliance with UK law.  

    Students must be a member of the Rifle and Pistol Club to receive consent to store a firearm at the Imperial College Union store. The student must be able to provide evidence of their firearm registration prior to access being granted to store use. The consent for storage must be approved by the Union’s Student Activities and Development Manager. The Union will keep a central record of all approved student users of the store.  

    When out of Imperial College Union storage, responsibility for management, safe and secure storage of the firearm, reverts to the student. Failure to comply with any conditions or arrangements may be deemed gross misconduct and result in Union or College disciplinary action. The Union may also refer students who fail to comply with conditions to the Police licensing authority.  

  • Secure Storage
    • Any firearm that is to be stored must be unarmed/unloaded and in a safe condition and fitted with a trigger lock to prevent unauthorised use. 

    • Firearms should be signed out and removed from the Union store at the end of the academic year and when a student ceases to be a full member of the Union. 

    • Firearms will not be accepted unless fitted with a trigger lock. 

    • Firearms may only be kept in vehicles for the minimum practical duration, for transportation to and from use. 

    • Firearms must never be left on view in an unattended vehicle. 

  • Access
    • Access to firearms and the Union store will only be permitted at the agreed times. 

    • Access times and availability to use the store will be at the discretion of the Union who will work with the Rifle and Pistol club to ensure a reasonable and manageable service. 

    • Access to the store will only be authorised by staff. 

    • The student will sign out the firearm and sign in the firearm on its return to the store. 

    • Students must provide relevant and accurate information whenever removing a firearm from the store. 

    • Failure to comply with Union requests on access may result in the loss of firearm storage provision for all students at the Union. 

    • The Union has a duty of care to report non-compliance with this policy or inappropriate behaviour in relation to firearm use and ownership to the Police. 

  • Logging Procedure and Tracking
    • Firearms will be securely stored within the Union store unless in use and firearms will only be removed from the store for the minimum practical period of time. 

    • The Union will have a record of relevant firearm and license information via the application to store a firearm form managed and overseen by the Student Activities Team. 

    • Whenever a firearm is received or removed from the store a record must be taken. 

    • When a student removes their firearm from the store, it will be expected to make a clear declaration regarding the proposed use of the gun and the proposed return time and date. 

    • The legal and legitimate storage arrangements away from the Union store will be the strict responsibility of the firearm owner. 

    • The firearm must be empty and trigger lock fitted on return to the store. 

  • Insurance

    Insurance arrangements for firearms is the responsibility of the Firearm owner. The Union may request evidence that a firearm is adequately insured before accepting the firearm into the Union store.

5. Review

The Policy Owner is responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of their policies at a minimum of every 3 years or as required to stay current with applicable laws and/or Imperial College Policies. 

The purpose of the review is to determine: 

  • if the policy is still necessary and accurate; 

  • if the policy should be combined with another policy or if it should be rescinded; 

  • if the policy is up to date with current laws and regulations and Imperial College policies; 

  • if changes are required to improve the effectiveness or clarity of the policy. 

6. Training

Health and safety legislation requires employers to provide adequate health and safety training.  

All relevant staff must undergo relevant induction and training before they can undertake duties related to the Union Firearm Store.  

The Union is to keep a central record of student members authorised to store firearms. 

Review date: August 2024