Thousands of Countryside Alliance members and supporters have played their part in contacting over 500 MPs regarding the chaotic and failing firearms licensing medical procedure. The Countryside Alliance is calling for a fair and consistent firearms licensing service and we are grateful for all those who participated in our eLobby, allowing our concerns to be made clear to Members of Parliament and the Home Office.
The medical procedure that was agreed by stakeholders, including the Countryside Alliance, in April 2016 with the aim of improving the licensing service and public safety has fallen into disarray. Since its introduction many Countryside Alliance members and other license holders have received a dreadful service, including delays in applications, GPs submitting unnecessary invoices to applicants, in some instances extorting payments, and police actively circumventing Home Office Guidance. We are requesting that the Medical Evidence Working Group that put the procedure together is urgently reconvened to avoid any further unwarranted costs and delays to the licensing system that the shooting community have had to bear for nearly two years. The Alliance launched the eLobby to allow our supporters to join this campaign and make their voices heard.
After a resounding success we are now closing our eLobby. Over 3000 people participated, reaching over 500 MPs with our message and letting the Home Office know how strongly the shooting community feels about the situation. Members of Parliament from all the major political parties have made direct representation to the Home Office following receipt of an eLobby from our members and supporters.
Liam Stokes, Head of Shooting at the Countryside Alliance, said: “For too long the shooting community has been unfairly disadvantaged by this postcode lottery system, the procedure is in urgent need of clarification and as a result of our eLobby we have got the Home Office listening to our concerns.
“Our thanks go to the thousands that have supported the cause and to the MPs who have contacted the Home Office on behalf of their constituents. This battle is far from over, and we will be keeping our supporters up to date as we move into the next phase of our campaign for fair and consistent licensing.”