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Firearms licensing has become a postcode lottery with police forces making up their own rules and some GPs charging extortionate fees.

To make matters worse the Home Office wants to introduce statutory firearms licensing guidance for England, Wales and Scotland that will lead to even more chaos and confusion.

A consultation on the proposals ends at 11:45pm on 17 September 2019.

BASC has submitted and published its response and is urging all shooters to email their views to the Home Office at firearmsconsultations@homeoffice.gov.uk telling them that the proposals are not fit for purpose.

If the government approves these proposals this could result in:

  • a potential loss of tens of thousands of firearms owners over the next 5 years with serious knock-on impacts on businesses
  • the creation of a multi-million pound medical record checks industry funded by the shooting community with no benefit to that community or to public safety
  • mandatory GP involvement in firearms licensing being rolled out nationwide with no safeguards in place to protect applicants from GPs refusing to take part or charging extortionate fees
  • police interviewing applicants’ neighbours on their suitability to own guns thereby putting certificate holders at risk
  • police seeking credit or other financial tests on applicants and considering debt as a factor in decision making.

The Home Office proposals are neither evidence-led nor fit for purpose. The proposals will encourage police forces in England, Wales and Scotland to continue to make up their own rules and this will be largely to the disadvantage of firearm owners. Existing and prospective firearms owners will be treated poorly and will be regarded as people who may be dealt with in any way that the police or doctors wish.

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