Pressure encourages firearms licensing improvements

A number of firearms licensing departments that had previously stopped grant applications have revised their policy after criticism from shooting organisations, press coverage and intervention by MPs.

Licensing departments in North Yorkshire, Thames Valley, Kent and Northamptonshire had all previously announced that grant applications for both firearm and shotgun certificates were put on hold due to a growing backlog in renewal applications.

However, following intervention from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and numerous individual complaints, their websites have now been updated.

The new wording for grant applications states that “if you do not have a completed GP form already, we recommend waiting until February before you apply.”

This means that those who have a completed GP form can move forward with the licensing process. BASC members can take advantage of the BASC medical panel to complete their forms if their GPs refuse to cooperate or charge excessive fees.

Bill Harriman, BASC director of firearms, said: “Having openly criticised forces that ceased accepting grant applications, BASC welcomes this change of policy.

“However, the does not allay our concerns that firearms licensing across England and Wales is close to collapsing. Delays are running into the months, with 8-week extensions and Section 7 temporary permits being increasingly issued, causing significant complications for certificate holders.

“BASC is writing to Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners and MPs to ensure that constabularies get a grip of the situation immediately. We are asking all those who are being disadvantaged by the delays to write to their MPs to make them aware of the unsatisfactory service they have received.”

Join Over 100,000 Fellow Attendees & Visitors

Sign up to our Newsletter today.