The Home Office published the long-awaited consultation on firearms licensing on 23 July. While we are fully supportive of the Government’s desire to see a more efficient, coherent licensing process across all police forces, and to ensure public safety, the current draft statutory guidance is fundamentally flawed. The Countryside Alliance’s response can be found here.
The medical arrangements proposed still provide no certainty as to the fees GPs can charge; there is no obligation on GPs to co-operate with the police in delivering their statutory firearms licensing function; and no guarantee that GPs will place the enduring marker on a person’s medical record. As a result, it is hard to see how proper continuous monitoring can be achieved, public safety improved or how the Government will deliver on its commitment to moving to ten year licensing. While there has been some progress made, the current proposals are not robust and seem unduly weighted against the interests of one of the most law-abiding communities in society.
It is important that every person who shoots responds to the consultation. The consultation, and details of how to respond, can be found here.
Deadline for responses: 17 September 2019.