BASC is challenging a Nottinghamshire Police decision to change its firearm licensing procedures.

The force has announced today that all applications for the grant and renewal of firearm and shotgun certificates must be supported by a GP’s letter. The change affects new applicants with immediate effect and applies to renewals from 3 December this year.

Notts, which currently has responsibility for around 10,000 licences, has amended their policy in line with changes made by police in Lincolnshire, Kent and Merseyside.

This is despite current Home Office guidance stating that if a police force does not receive a response to their initial request for medical information from an applicant’s GP, they should assume there are no medical issues and grant a licence.

BASC is requesting meetings with the Chief Constable of Notts Police, Craig Gilford, and the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, to raise concerns about the policy change. The UK’s largest shooting organisation is also writing to the county’s 11 MPs.

Christopher Graffius, BASC’s executive director of communications and public affairs, said: “BASC wants an efficient, cost-effective and robust system of firearms licensing that protects public safety and provides excellent service to the shooting community. We believe that is best provided by police forces following the agreed protocols laid down by the Home Office.

“We will be asking Nottinghamshire Police why it has not consulted with the 10,000 firearm and shotgun certificate holders who will be impacted by this change in policy.

“We also want to raise our fears that GPs will not be consistent in the fees they may charge for medical checks and we want assurances that a system will be put in place to ensure GPs put an encoded reminder on certificate holders’ medical notes in case medical issues arise during the life of the certificate.”

BASC is also writing to all of its members in Nottinghamshire to highlight the change in policy and to encourage them to contact their MP.

For the latest policy updates on the medical involvement in firearms licensing in England, Wales and Scotland, click here.

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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