Should I lock up my moderator?

A selection of moderators

Where is the safest place to store a rifle moderator? - Credit: Alex Hatton

Should I lock away my moderator? Do moderators need to be kept in a safe like rifles? Alex Hatton offers expert advice on the subject of gun accessory storage

Question: I read somewhere recently that a moderator should be locked up. As they are just a piece of tubing, I am struggling to believe this is true.

ALEX HATTON replies: There are two answers to this question. With regard to shotgun moderators, they are not listed separately on your shotgun certificate, much like spare shotgun barrels, and so do not need to be locked up when not in use. This is different from Section 1 firearm moderators, which you do need to lock away when not in use. Your FAC reminds you of this in Condition 4 (a), which states: The firearms and ammunition to which the certificate relates must at all times (except in the circumstances set out in paragraph (b) below) be stored securely so as to prevent, so far as is reasonable practicable, access to the firearms or ammunition by an unauthorised person. Condition (b) goes on to give the reasons why it may not be locked up, such as being used or serviced, etc.

Although a moderator is not an actual firearm as we would know it, the Firearms Act 1968 defines what a firearm is and in the case of a moderator it is covered as an ‘accessory’ to a lethal barrelled weapon or prohibited weapon, where the accessory is adapted to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon.

There is some chatter about the potential for moderators to come off-ticket, but until such a time, it is your responsibility as the FAC holder to secure your firearms and accessories when they are not being used. Leaving them on a radiator where they can be accessed by an unauthorised person is not advisable.