Medical fees for gun owners face fresh challenges
BASC and the Countryside Alliance have requested that the Home Office reconvene the Medical Evidence Working Group amid concerns that Lincolnshire Police and Lincolnshire Medical Council (LMC) are seeking to introduce non-statutory elements to the licensing process.
It follows the recent incident of a member in Lincolnshire receiving a letter from his GP threatening to write to the police and tell them they should assume he has a medical condition precluding him from holding a certificate, after he rightly refused to pay for the initial medical check. A statement subsequently appeared on the LMC website which read: “the police have asked that the LMC recommend a fee for the initial report which they request, so that this fee can be outlined to applicants in the application paperwork”.
BASC has already advised a number of GP practices in the county that they could be committing criminal offences by attempting to extract unnecessary fees from applicants, and has reported the individual practices and the LMC to the Fitness to Practise Directorate of the General Medical Council.
The Medical Evidence Working Group – which included BASC along with other shooting organisations, the police, the medical profession and the Information Commissioner’s Office – agreed the process involving the initial medical check and the 21-day period for the GP to submit the report, and at the last Working Group meeting the British Medical Association representative was recorded as being content that GPs should not receive a fee for this check.
BASC chairman, Peter Glenser, a barrister specialising in firearms law, said: “BASC will robustly challenge any attempt to introduce non-legislative requirements into the application process in Lincolnshire and elsewhere.”