BASC is advising members in Lincolnshire of the latest advice on firearms licensing from the county’s local medical council (LMC).
The association is making members in the county aware that certificates may be granted regardless of whether a fee is paid.
In a post on the LMC’s website entitled ‘Firearms – Change to LMC Advice’, reference is made to Lincolnshire Police looking to implement a policy where no licences are granted or renewed without a medical report being available.
With this proposed change in mind, the LMC statement says the police have asked that the LMC recommend a fee for the initial report which they request, so the fee can be outlined to applicants in the application paperwork. A fee of £40 – £50 plus VAT has been suggested as “a reasonable fee for the initial factual report”. Any further, more in-depth, reports would attract another fee, the website says.
The website says: “Between now and when this new process is established, the LMC suggests that practices complete firearms reports for all patients as soon as they are received, as this is the best way to safeguard the patient and public. A fee can still be levied for this report, but non-payment should not prevent the report being sent to the police. The LMC will issue updated guidance when the new process is established.”
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “BASC welcomes the LMC advice that irrespective of whether the fee is paid, the report should still be sent. This is the correct stance and I am glad that the Lincolnshire LMC has put public safety ahead of monetary gain. GPs have a civic duty to participate in this scheme. The benefit to the public good must not become subordinate to making money.”
Mr Harriman added: “Our advice on medical fees remains. Those applying for and renewing shotgun or firearm certificates should, in accordance with the agreement between medical representatives and the government, not pay any fee demanded by their GP for responding to the initial police medical letter.”
BASC wrote to the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police in January to seek clarification of the force’s position on the medical involvement in firearms licensing but has, as yet, not received a reply.