I have been a firearms licence holder for 15 years and thought I would take up clay-pigeon shooting as a new challenge. I applied for a shotgun certificate, and my application was received by Merseyside Police Firearms Department on 3 October 2017. They cashed my cheque for £79.50 on the 23 October, so I assumed the process was under way. How naive can one be?
After two months I was informed that my application was not even in their system yet and it could take up to six months to complete because they are short staffed. Since then I have had one visit from a firearms inspector to check out my premises and security in March this year. When he saw the date of my application on the form he was genuinely embarrassed and apologised for the delay. He informed me my background checks were completed in January – which, in his opinion, was pointless because I was already checked out for my FAC.
It is now May 2018, more than seven months into my application and I am still waiting for my shotgun certificate. I have always supported the police for the difficult job they have to do but short staffed or not this is a disgraceful service from Merseyside Police.
I’m afraid your story is not unique – many people are waiting up to a year for their certificate.