What the PCC election results mean for firearms licensing

James with rifle

Following last week’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections across England and Wales, we take a look at BASC’s campaign to establish their views on shooting and what the results mean for the future of firearms licensing.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are important in influencing the effectiveness and efficiency of firearms licensing in their areas. This is because Chief Constables – who are responsible for firearms licensing – are accountable to PCCs. 

In addition, PCCs produce the budget and policing plan for their areas, which includes resources for firearms licensing departments and their operation.

BASC's campaign

Ahead of elections on 2 May, BASC wrote to the PCC candidates in 40 constituencies. We also facilitated and encouraged BASC members and the wider shooting community to do the same through our online PCC contact platform.

The campaign aimed to establish PCC candidates’ support and assurances that their firearms licensing department would process grants and renewals within 17 weeks. We also sought confirmation that they would set up an Independent Advisory Group for firearms owners and the police, as recommended in the College of Policing’s Associated Professional Practice.

The results

PCC infographic

The information gathered by BASC’s own and our members’ correspondence found that of the 40 elected PCCs, 28 declared themselves as supportive of shooting.

Of these, 22 said they would wish for their force to process grants and renewals within 17 weeks. Further more, 19 PCCs responded as saying they would encourage the setting up of an Independent Advisory Group in their force area.

Next steps

BASC will be meeting with PCCs to discuss the situation in their constabularies. 

We will prioritise 12 areas where firearms licensing is particularly inefficient. Within these areas, 10 of the newly elected PCCs are supportive of shooting. The position of the remaining two is unknown, but we will establish this as part of the process.

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