The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has requested a meeting with the Home Office and the National Police Improvement Agency to discuss how to resolve ongoing problems with government figures on firearms and shotgun certificates.
For two years now, neither the police nor the Home Office appear to have been able to tell how many firearms are in legal possession, neither can they say how many people legally own firearms in England & Wales.
BASC’s senior firearms officer, Mike Eveleigh, said: “In the past these figures were produced by hand and were published about eight months after being gathered. Given that we’re now in the ‘IT age’ it’s odd that figures for all of 2006/7 are still not available, and large sections of information are missing, and others appear to be inaccurate. It seems to be a case of ‘poorer data later,’ not ‘better data sooner’.”
“The release of these figures is disappointing and gives us little faith in the National Firearms Licensing (computer) System which is meant to provide an accurate and useful service to the police, the Home Office and the general public who have paid for it. If the law-abiding sports shooters of the UK were to keep records of their guns in this way, they would be prosecuted, and rightly so.”