BASC has criticised South Yorkshire Police for sending a letter to certificate holders in the county advising them to leave their gun cabinet keys with a friend if they are going away on holiday.

The advice in the letter goes against Home Office Firearm Security Guidance. Compliance with this guidance is important for all firearms owners because non-compliance can put your certificate at risk.

BASC’s director of communications, Christopher Graffius, said: “I was surprised by the letter and it is worrying that a police force should issue advice which is contrary to the Home Office guidance. We have spoken to South Yorkshire Police and have made the point that it would have been sensible for them to have consulted us on the content of the letter before sending it out. We have already received many calls from worried members and I can well understand their concern and distress over this letter.”

South Yorkshire Police say they sent the letter because there have been a number of gun thefts from certificate holders’ homes. BASC has submitted a Freedom of Information request to establish the exact number of such thefts.

Mike Eveleigh, BASC senior firearms officer, said: “It is a shame that this letter has been sent as it is a blot on the otherwise good record of service of the South Yorkshire Firearms Licensing department.”


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