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Northern Ireland Firearms Branch update

In June Countryside Alliance Ireland received an update from the new Head of Firearms Branch, Ms Morrison (previously Deputy Head of Branch) to confirm that Dr Howarth had moved on to pastures new.

Ms Morrison said that it is business as usual in the Firearms and Explosives Branch (FEB) and wanted to thank those who have taken the time to pass on appreciation to the FEB team members for the good work they have been doing to progress applications and queries as quickly as possible.

FEB said everyone has noticed that the system they implemented last year to manage and answer your queries is working very well. The inbox is fully staffed every day and it remains the best way to ensure that your query is recorded and delegated to the correct team member.  

The queue for applications awaiting processing is moving down and currently the number is half of what it was this time last year. FEB make every effort to use the limited resources in the most efficient way to try and help as many Firearms Certificate (FAC) holders and applicants as possible. They appreciate your understanding of the challenges in these matters in recent years.

Countryside Alliance Ireland Director Gary McCartney said: “Countryside Alliance Ireland welcomes and commends the progress made by FEB however, with likely more complex cases to process it still may be some time before we see processing time at Senior Manager level improve, so we need FEB to redouble their efforts to tackle this issue”.

He added: “We are also very concerned about the cuts to the PSNI budget. This will have, by their own words, 'noticeable impacts', with substantial back logs still in the system. PSNI should not use manpower from FEB to fill other operational gaps within policing”.

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