A new online system for firearms licensing will go live in five areas at the end of this summer, Andy Marsh, the lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working Group (ACPO FELWG), has told Shooting Times.
Chief Constable Marsh gave an update on the roll-out of the service: “The online system is currently in its detailed design phase, and is due to be piloted in five forces from September this year, starting with Wiltshire, Surrey, Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and Hampshire, with a national roll-out in 2014.”
“The aim of the online system is to improve the interaction between the shooter and the police, allowing a customer to apply, track, make changes, and pay online, mirroring all the normal modern requirements that are available in the private sector, with the added ability to book and change home visits and inspections.”
“The system will automate an outdated manual system that is currently in place. This will include application submission and vetting with a development to monitor continually certificate holders nationally.”
“We are also currently working with the Home Office to look for changes to firearms rules to allow electronic declarations and photos to be submitted via the online system.”
The scheme aims to increase public safety through tougher risk assessments, as well as providing shooters with a more effective service.
The system should improve efficiency, in turn reducing the cost to the police force and the taxpayer.
Online firearms licensing to go live this summer