The Home Affairs Committee (HAC) last week quizzed representatives of the shooting community on controversial plans for GPs to share medical information about shotgun and firearms holders.

BASC?s senior firearms officer Mike Eveleigh, the Gun Trade Association?s director John Batley and Countryside Alliance shooting consultant Graham Downing presented evidence regarding the involvement of medical professionals in the licensing process. Responding to questioning, Mr Eveleigh and Mr Downing outlined the existing obligation GPs have regarding concerns over the health of their patients who are shooters. Mr Downing explained that placing a further onus on GPs within the licensing process would be counter to their primary role to ?give the best advice and to guard the confidences that their patients give to them?. He added: ?What I would like to see is competent, experienced firearms licensing managers with teams of competent, experienced firearms inquiry officers, who all know their parish and know and understand the certificate holders who they are working with. In that way, I would expect that the firearms licensing process would be strengthened.?

The rest of this article appears in 3rd November issue of Shooting Times.

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