BASC has written to the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police to seek clarification of the force’s position on the medical involvement in firearms licensing following comments made on the BBC’s Countryfile programme.

During the programme, a senior officer from the force insisted Lincolnshire would now operate a licensing process which falls outside guidelines issued by the Home Office in April 2016.

Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “Comments made by Lincolnshire Police’s representative on the programme are not in line with Home Office guidance on firearms law.

“I have written to the Chief Constable, Bill Shelly, to request clarification of the force’s position. We are available to assist the force with any advice and clarification on the Home Office guidance.

“If the comments made on the programme regarding an insistence on a medical report for every grant or renewal do indeed reflect force policy, we would strongly urge Lincolnshire Police to reconsider.”

BASC advised the BBC extensively prior to Sunday’s episode after making the broadcaster aware of escalating problems for the association’s members in Lincolnshire following repeated changes in the advice issued by the British Medical Association (BMA) to GPs.

Mr Harriman added: “BASC provided the BBC with a member in Lincolnshire who was happy to be interviewed for Countryfile to explain the difficulties he was having with his GP. We also helped with the BBC’s wider research for the programme and pointed them towards key national contacts in the police.

“As the UK’s largest shooting organisation, we have challenged the BMA and GPs from the moment it became obvious the BMA were backtracking on agreements which formed part of the medical scheme introduced in 2016.

“This is an issue throughout the country, not just in Lincolnshire, and BASC is pleased that by encouraging Countryfile to take up the story, the problems facing the shooting community have now received further national exposure.”

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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