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Home Office stays silent on firearms consultation

Over 50,000 BASC members responded to the consultation.

In June 2023, Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp launched an eight-week consultation after dismissing calls for gun law reform. 

Prior to the public consultation, Mr Philp said the Government would not be taking on board a number of recommendations to tighten laws pertaining to shotgun licensing, claiming “shotguns are already subject to significant controls” and further changes to the Firearms Act were “unnecessary”. 

The consultation ended at the beginning of August and, in a recent update, the Home Office said it is still considering the matter and has announced further consultations. 

BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman commented: “The much vaunted Home Office consultation into firearms licensing closed in August last year. Since then, absolutely nothing has been heard from the Home Office,which has even declined to say how many people responded to it – although we know that more than 50,000 members and others responded through the BASC web link. Clearly, there is a political blockage. 

“The most likely explanation is that the Government has realised that the shooting community is deeply disenchanted by the chaos in firearms licensing, which could influence votes in an election year.