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Medical involvement in firearms licensing – policy updates

Cheshire Constabulary, Gwent Police, Kent Police, Lincolnshire Police, Merseyside Police and Nottinghamshire Police are making it mandatory for anyone applying for the grant or renewal of a shotgun or firearm certificate to have their medical declaration information verified by their GP.  These policy changes are in breach of Home Office guidance.

With the exception of Lincolnshire Police, these police forces have not identified a reasonable GP fee with Local Medical Councils. Without such an agreement firearm and shotgun certificate holders will be subject to a postcode lottery with many being disadvantaged by exorbitant fees.

South Yorkshire Police has made a policy change that affects applicants whose GP surgery responds to the initial police letter stating either that they are conscientious objectors or that the practice has decided not to participate in the medical information sharing process. If you are a BASC member and are affected by this policy change please contact our firearms team for advice.

Thames Valley Police has introduced a policy change that affects applicants whose GP surgery responds to the initial police letter by stating they are willing to share the information they hold but are unable to do so until the patient has paid an appropriate fee. As this implies that there is relevant information available, the police write to the applicant advising them that their application is in jeopardy unless the police receive the information. If you are a BASC member and are affected by this policy change please contact our firearms team for advice.

From 1 May 2019 Gloucestershire Constabulary are making it mandatory for anyone applying for the grant of a shotgun or firearm certificate to have their medical declaration information verified by their GP. We are writing to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable and local MPs to raise our concerns about this policy change.

What’s our position?

We are strongly opposed to the actions of these police forces and we are challenging these policy changes. Whilst we are working hard to find a political solution we reserve the right to take legal action as and when appropriate.

We want an efficient, cost-effective, robust system of firearms licensing that protects public safety and provides excellent service to the shooting community. We believe that all parties in the licensing process in England, Wales and Scotland should have statutory duties and must include GPs.

What are we doing?

We have been holding meetings with police forces, policy advisors, MPs and Ministers to raise our concerns about these and other issues around firearms licensing. We have also been encouraging people to write to their MPs to raise their concerns.

Find out more

Click here for more information on Cheshire Constabulary policy change

Click here for more information on Gloucestershire Constabulary policy change

Click here for more information on Gwent Police policy change

Click here for more information on Kent Police policy change

Click here for more information on Lincolnshire Police policy change

Click here for more information on Merseyside Police policy change

Click here for more information on Nottinghamshire Police policy change

How can I help?

If you live in Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Kent, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire or Thames Valley please write to your MP to raise your concerns.

We want to hear from all members who have experienced problems with medical involvement in firearms licensing. This will help us find solutions to these problems.

Click here to contact the firearms team.

This webpage will be updated with any new developments on medical involvement in firearms licensing.

If you have any comments on this briefing click here to email us.

Last updated 18 April 2019.

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