BASC backs calls to improve national oversight of firearms licensing

BASC would support steps to improve national oversight of firearms licensing, the association said today in response to publication of a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC has made a number of recommendations following its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shootings of Christine and Lucy Lee by John Lowe in February 2014. The IPCC has called on the Home Office to review guidance on firearms licensing.

Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “The lack of national oversight and direction for firearms licensing compounds the lack of training for firearms enquiry officers at a local level. There is no national safeguard for any failing constabulary.

“The association agrees with the central theme of the IPCC report which states that there is no nationally-accredited training for anyone who works in firearms licensing, whatever their role, whether police officer or staff.

“Training is only delivered sporadically and, in BASC’s experience, lacks credibility and proper structure. The problem is further aggravated by the widespread inconsistency in firearms licensing administrative practice by police forces and the workload placed on officers and staff in those departments.

“BASC has vast experience in firearms licensing issues and, as the UK’s largest shooting organisation, will willingly support any steps which will improve licensing and enhance public safety.”

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