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New licensing guidelines to consider domestic abuse

The Home Office has announced new guidance on firearms licensing and domestic abuse. The document forms part of an overhaul of the Home Office guidance to licensing departments, started in 2012.

The guidance states: “When considering applications for the grant or renewal of firearm/shotgun certificates particular attention should be paid to domestic incidents, specifically violence and patterns of behaviour by the applicant that give cause for concern. An incident of domestic violence taking place should trigger a need for police to review whether the certificate holder can be permitted to possess the firearm or shotgun without causing a danger to public safety or to the peace.”

Fieldsports organisations have welcomed the new guidance, and both BASC and the Countryside Alliance are continuing to work with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Home Office on the further revisions of the guidance.

A spokesman for BASC told Shooting Times: “BASC welcomes the guidance as violence and firearms, particularly in a domestic setting, should never mix. The guidance will also aid consistency across police forces, which has long been a problem for BASC members, who often find the quality of the service to be a lottery when moving between forces. Whether the certificate holder has been convicted of an offence or not, there has always been a system for such checks by the licensing departments. The guidance codifies this.”

The rest of this article appears in the 7th August issue of Shooting Times.

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