The call comes after BASC accused Dyfed-Powys Police of ignoring Home Office guidance on applicants’ medical checks.

BASC was tipped off by a member that the force was making shotgun and firearm certificate applicants foot the bill for GPs’ letters and insisting the applicant request their own medical report direct from their GP.

BASC took action by writing to Dyfed-Powys Police and has been told by the force the changes have been made because of cost cutting.

BASC is concerned that other police forces, which are looking to cut costs, could follow suit.

The organisation will be at the forefront of protecting shooters’ interests in the licensing process.

BASC’s director of firearms, Bill Harriman, said: “We understand that there are serious staffing problems at Dyfed-Powys Police but that is no excuse to discriminate against applicants who are ill or who have a disability.”

“If you come across a police force which has done as the Dyfed-Powys Police force has done, then make a complaint and don’t be afraid to do so. Give us the details, we will take action. This is something which needs to be stopped as it is in breach of Home Office guidelines and police forces need to know they cannot get away with making up their own policies to save cash.”

BASC’s advice to members if they come across any other police force which is asking applicants to meet the cost of medical reports is to make a formal written complaint to that force’s professional standards or complaints and discipline department and to send BASC’s firearms department a copy of the letter and any response.

Talk about this in the Shooting UK forums!

  • Russell

    The Dyfed-Powys Police are only following a pattern set down by the Home Office in the 20th Century. As outlined in “22 Hamline L. Rev. 399-465 (1999).”

    “Having control over rifle and handgun owners through a licensing system, the police began inventing their own conditions to put on licenses. The police practice was not entirely legal, but it was generally accepted by a compliant public.”

    “From the 1930s through the 1960s, the security requirement simply meant that Firearms Certificate holders were told of their responsibility for secure storage. Starting in the early 1970s, the police began performing home inspections as part of the Firearms Certificate issuance in order to assess the applicant’s security. After the 1996 Dunblane shootings, some police forces began performing spot checks on persons who already held Firearms Certificates. Apparently the home searches were done to make sure that the firearms really were locked up.”

    “Parliament never granted the police home inspection authority, nor did Parliament enact legislation saying that a hardened safe is the only acceptable storage method. However, that is what the police in many jurisdictions require anyway. In fact, many gun owners who bought safes that the police said were acceptable are now being forced to buy new safes because the local police have arbitrarily changed the standards. In many districts, an “acceptable safe” is now one that can withstand a half-hour attack by a burglar who arrives with a full set of safe-opening tools.”

    A 1970 internal government document, the McKay Report was turned into a 1973 British government Green Paper. A secret draft of which contains this statement “a reduction in the number of firearms in private hands is a desirable end in itself.” While never turned into a formal proposal for a new law (a White Paper), it has still set the government’s agenda ever since. As Police Review magazine noted: “There is an easily identifiable police attitude towards the possession of guns by members of the public. Every possible difficulty should be put in their way.” The stated police position is “to reduce to an absolute minimum the number of firearms, including shotguns, in hands of members of the public.” Thus, without legal authority, the police have begun to phase out firearms collections by refusing new applications.