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Conditions for firearms licensing in the UK should be streamlined and only used if they are both “proportionate and necessary in reducing the risk to public safety or a statutory requirement”.

That is the view of Andy Marsh, Association of Chief Police Officers lead for the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working Group (ACPO FELWG), who has written to the chief of senior officers in charge of firearms licensing throughout the UK.

In his letter, Chief Constable Marsh mentions two conditions “of particular debate” — the Any Other Lawful Quarry (AOLQ) and the mentoring/accompanied conditions.

He wrote: “At present, some forces issue conditions which dictate what [AOLQ] quarry can be shot with a specific calibre, leading to requests to vary conditions thus making inefficient use of staff time, i.e. a shooter could hold a deerstalking rifle and not be allowed to shoot a fox with that same rifle as it breaches their condition.

“I would like to encourage the use of the AOLQ condition on all firearms certificates with immediate effect. A force should be satisfied that if an applicant is suitable to hold a firearm certificate and is deemed safe to do so, there is no requirement to restrict the quarry they shoot by the use of conditions.”

The rest of this article appears in the 29th May issue of Shooting Times.

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