Leaflet launched offering mental health support to firearms licence holders

A leaflet providing information on mental health support for firearms license holders has been released by the Scottish Firearms Licensing Practitioners Group.

The group is composed of organisations who represent those with shooting interests, the Scottish Government and Police Scotland.

The leaflet aims to highlight the support that is available to certificate holders and encourages people with concerns to come forward and seek help.

The organisations involved will endeavour to support certificate holders and while it may be necessary to remove guns on occasion, the police will work with certificate holders and all options will be considered.

The publication contains practical advice to both certificate holders and their close relatives and friends signposting to where help can be found.

Dr Colin Shedden, BASC Scotland director and chair of the Scottish Firearms Licensing Practitioners Group, said: “It is imperative that people get the help they require via the proper channels.

“Whilst stringent ongoing checks are carried out throughout the lives of certificate holders by the police, there are a lot of myths surrounding mental health and firearms, such as the police will automatically seize guns on learning of a mental health challenge. 

“This in turn can lead to people not seeking help to deal with their mental health illness as they fear the police will remove the guns.  This leaflet is designed to address these issues and debunk myths.”

Helen Benson of the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust said: “This publication provides important information and guidance for those who are concerned for their mental wellbeing.

“It is imperative that support can be sought without fear of removal of essential tools of the trade. There is nothing more vital to us all than health and we hope this clear advice will provide reassurance for anyone who seek support. There are sensible options available.”

Jim Hume of the Rural Mental Health Forum added: “Everyone can experience poor mental health at some point in their life and it is important that you get support as quickly as possible.

“This leaflet gives you all the information on where to go to for advice and help. It is okay to not be okay and it is everyone’s business to tackle mental health, so we can all lead our lives to the full and carry on with the activities and work that we love”

Firearms and mental health leaflet

Mental ill health can and does affect anyone. It is important to talk this through and seek the help you need and we can assist. It is ok to tell us that you’re not ok.