The College of Policing has published new guidance to bring greater consistency to the governance of firearms licensing across the country. The guidance – known as Authorised Professional Practice (APP) – sets out what chief officers with responsibility for firearms licensing should consider in developing a robust, efficient and fair licensing process. National policing lead for firearms licensing, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said:
“The vast majority of certificate holders and registered firearms dealers are law-abiding and fully support the requirements for firearms licensing with public safety being paramount. This new guidance will help us to ensure that the service provided to them – from Cumbria to Cornwall – is more consistent than it has been in the past.” “The College of Policing is also seeking to develop a new nationally accredited training course so that officers and staff in this important area of policing work to the same high standards. This will further improve the service that we deliver to the licensed firearms community and help us to achieve greater consistency across England and Wales.”
College of Policing lead for the new firearms licensing APP, Dr Frank Pike, said:
“This new Authorised Professional Practice will help chief officers ensure that their firearms licensing processes are robust and rigorous while being cost efficient and fair.” “The College will continue to work with partners across policing and the licensed firearms community to ensure that we have the best guidance and training in place so that the police service can effectively manage the risks associated with firearms as well as provide a good service to law-abiding licensees and shotgun certificate holders.”
The guidance was consulted during autumn 2013 and complements the Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law.