A NORTH Somerset councillor and Bristol magistrate who allegedly breached his firearms licence is due to appear in court.

Cllr Tim Marter had guns and ammunition seized by police at his Banwell home in December and has been summonsed to appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges on March 12.

Cllr Marter has not been arrested or charged and says he had taken the ammunition from a concerned constituent who had found it.

He says he was intending to dispose of it with an official firearms dealer and had even made an appointment to do so days later.

He said: “It is a situation that has come about because I was doing nothing other than my public and civic duty by removing ammunition out of circulation pending disposal.

“I sincerely hope that common sense prevails and that the police on reflection see that what occurred was an action of necessity to remove ammunition out of the public domain.

“And because of my good character and exceptional public standing – it cannot be seen any way other than that I was doing the right thing in protecting the public.”

Cllr Marter says he had locked the ammunition in a firearms safe after picking it up, then made an appointment to dispose of it with an official firearms dealer, which was as soon as possible.

But two days later, on his birthday, police turned up at his property and took his licensed guns, along with the ammunition.

Cllr Marter says he seized the ammunition as a necessity in order to avoid a crime.

He says he voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by police.

Cllr Marter, who also acts as a Bristol magistrate, says he will stand down temporarily from those duties pending the court hearing next month.