Med­i­cal fees backed by the Home Of­fice

Sporting Shooter - - Shooting News -

New Home Of­fice pro­pos­als to make ev­ery gun owner pay a fee to their GP when ap­ply­ing for a shot­gun or firearm cer­tifi­cate have been op­posed by BASC.

Fol­low­ing a meet­ing with Nick Hurd, the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for firearm li­cens­ing, BASC’s un­der­stand­ing is that the Home Of­fice plans to aban­don the cur­rent sys­tem agreed in 2016.

Christo­pher Graf­fius, BASC’s di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said: “This will be re­garded by the shoot­ing com­mu­nity as a be­trayal by the govern­ment.

“It will dis­crim­i­nate against those who re­quire a firearm as a tool of their job, dam­age par­tic­i­pa­tion in shoot­ing sports and alien­ate a com­mu­nity which is a nat­u­ral sup­porter of the govern­ment a month be­fore the lo­cal elec­tions.”

The pro­pos­als will see the Home Of­fice re­nege on the agree­ment reached in 2016 which stated that ap­pli­cants were not re­quired to pay a fee to GPs for their re­sponse to an ini­tial po­lice med­i­cal let­ter sent on ap­pli­ca­tion. It en­sured that ap­pli­cants would not be dis­ad­van­taged by a GP’s re­fusal to pro­vide med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion.

It was also agreed that GPs would im­ple­ment a sys­tem that saw them add an en­coded ‘marker’ to the med­i­cal records of those who own guns. The shoot­ing com­mu­nity con­sid­ered this a good step to­wards en­sur­ing pub­lic safety.

While the Home Of­fice does not keep records, BASC be­lieves less than 1% of ini­tial firearms li­cens­ing ap­pli­cants are re­jected on med­i­cal grounds.

Mr Graf­fius added: “BASC has been told by the Home Of­fice that it is plan­ning to in­sist ev­ery firearms cer­tifi­cate holder con­sults their GP and pays a fee on ap­pli­ca­tion and re­newal of their cer­tifi­cate. The fig­ures are not yet clear, but this will be in ad­di­tion to the fee al­ready payable to the po­lice and could in­crease the to­tal cost of an ap­pli­ca­tion by more than 50%.

“This is an aban­don­ment of risk man­age­ment in the li­cens­ing sys­tem, may con­tra­vene Trea­sury rules and is com­pletely dis­pro­por­tion­ate. We be­lieve that less than 1% of cer­tifi­cates are re­jected on med­i­cal grounds.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.