Ad­vice from BASC on changes to li­cens­ing process

Sporting Shooter - - News -

BASC has re­leased a state­ment bring­ing to the at­ten­tion of its mem­bers changes in the way po­lice and GPs in Eng­land and Wales share in­for­ma­tion on the is­sue of shot­gun and firearms li­cences.

The po­lice will now con­tact an ap­pli­cant’s GP to re­quest med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion im­me­di­ately upon re­ceiv­ing their ap­pli­ca­tion, rather than re­quest­ing the in­for­ma­tion once the cer­tifi­cate has been is­sued.

BASC has also re­it­er­ated its ad­vice to shoot­ers not to pay any fees re­quested by their GPs for re­spond­ing to the ini­tial po­lice con­tact; fees should only be paid if the po­lice re­quest fur­ther med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion as a re­sult of the ap­pli­cant declar­ing a med­i­cal con­di­tion, or if the GP in­di­cates that they have any con­cerns re­lat­ing to a med­i­cal con­di­tion and re­quire more in­for­ma­tion.

The po­lice have also re­moved the pro-forma, which GPs were re­quired to com­plete be­fore re­turn­ing, from the ap­pli­ca­tion process.

Paul Dale, a mem­ber of BASC’s firearms team who has led on this is­sue for the as­so­ci­a­tion, com­mented: “These wel­come changes to the ar­range­ments should im­prove the ser­vice be­ing of­fered to ap­pli­cants.

“It has now been made quite clear that GPs should only re­spond to the ini­tial po­lice let­ter if they have con­cerns about the ap­pli­cant. The po­lice re­quest that any such re­sponse is for­warded within 21 days [oth­er­wise] it will be as­sumed they have no rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion and there­fore the ap­pli­ca­tion will be granted.”

BASC chair­man Peter Glenser, a bar­ris­ter spe­cial­is­ing in firearms leg­is­la­tion, added: “This is com­mon sense fine-tun­ing of the process. It should speed up ap­pli­ca­tions while also help­ing GPs deal with their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties more ef­fi­ciently.

“It is im­por­tant for pub­lic safety that the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion gets fully be­hind the process. It helps no­body if GPs and other med­i­cal bod­ies throw ob­sta­cles in the way of a le­git­i­mate process which had pre­vi­ously been agreed by all stake­hold­ers.”

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