Shooters stand ground over ongoing GP fees dispute
Shooting organisations are holding the Government and police to account as the debate around the role of GPs in the firearms licensing process rumbles on.
The Countryside Alliance (CA) has given Nick Hurd MP, the Home Office minister responsible for firearms licensing, five conditions that it believes must be met before any change is made to the currently agreed system.
Highlighting failings in the current process, the CA says the shooting community should not be left to pay for a system that does not work.
GP fees and charges
These conditions include:
- Consistency in the application of any agreed fee across the UK;
- That such a fee must be one-off; a mechanism to ensure that GPs apply the marker to medical records;
- To ensure that they are not to be allowed to refuse to co-operate with the police
- If an agreed system of continual monitoring is introduced, it must lead to the implementation of 10-year licences.
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BASC has instructed a specialist barrister to advise on whether a chief constable is legally permitted to insist that medical reports or statements are submitted as part of the firearms licensing application process, following the recent statement by Lincolnshire Police that it would be seeking them.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “We are doing this because Lincolnshire’s policy totally ignores the agreed medical system set out in the Home Office guide on firearms licensing law.
“When we receive the legal opinion, we will make a decision as to whether to apply for a judicial review.”