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Medical involvement in firearms licensing – policy updates

Introduction

Cheshire Constabulary, 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 firearms 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.

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.

Read below for more information on the timeline and process being operated by each police force.

Cheshire Constabulary

Change in firearms licensing policy will take effect as follows:

  • all new applications made on or after 22 October 2018
  • all renewals due to expire on or after 21 January 2019

Click here for more information on Cheshire Constabulary policy change

Kent Police

Change in firearms licensing policy took effect as follows:

  • all new applications made on or after 31 May 2018
  • all renewals due to expire on or after 1 October 2018

Click here for more information on Kent Police policy change

Lincolnshire Police

Change in firearms licensing policy took effect as follows:

  • all new applications made on or after 4 April 2018
  • all renewals due to expire on or after 1 August 2018

Lincolnshire Medical Council has stated that a reasonable GP fee would be in the region of £40-50 plus VAT. Lincolnshire Police have written to every GP surgery requesting that they take part in the new firearms licensing policy and to charge a fee of no more than £40.

Click here for more information on Lincolnshire Police policy change

Merseyside Police

Change in firearms licensing policy took effect as follows:

  • all new applications made on or after 1 May 2018
  • all renewals due to expire on or after 1 August 2018

Click here for more information on Merseyside Police policy change

Nottinghamshire Police

Change in firearms licensing policy will take effect as follows:

  • all new applications made on or after 3 September 2018
  • all renewals due to expire on or after 3 December 2018

Click here for more information on Nottinghamshire Police policy change

How can I help?

If you live in Cheshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Merseyside or Nottinghamshire 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 October 2018.

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