Med­i­cal fees for gun own­ers face fresh chal­lenges

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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.”

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