Bridgewater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has had to hand in his guns after neglecting to renew his firearms licence after a reminder.
The MP has accused Avon and Somerset police of ‘utter incompetence’ after learning it will take a minimum of 16 weeks for a new issue although he was sent a courtesy reminder by the force that the certificate for his rifles and shotguns had expired.
Mr Liddell-Grainer commented: “Forgetting to check and renew a licence in time is a simple mistake that anyone can make – and I make mistakes like everyone else,”.
“I’ve told the police I am handing the guns in for safe keeping and they are happy with that. But I cannot believe how long it’s going take to deal with a simple renewal of an existing certificate.
“I’ve got the form and I’ve filled it in but you cannot simply hand these things in at your local police station any more: they have to be posted off. When I rang the police to see how long it would take to get the new permit I was absolutely appalled.
“An unrealistically long time”
“Sixteen weeks to complete one piece of paperwork looks like utter incompetence. I told the officer I thought it was an unrealistically long time and he just said the police had lots of other things to do. I could almost hear the shrug down the phone.
“When I mentioned the fact that I was a MP it was suggested that if the Government gave the force some more money they might be able to get these things done more quickly.”
“It’s not so serious for me because I only shoot for a hobby. But for gamekeepers or farmers with vermin problems who could easily find themselves in a similar situation 16 weeks is a totally unacceptable delay,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr Liddell-Grainger says he plans to raise the matter with Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Sadly he will also miss out on the shooting season.
As in our last report, the City of London offers the shortest waiting times for receiving a new (or renewal…
It now seems unbelievable that in 1916 you could buy and own as many guns as you liked without let or hindrance. That…