Police jump the gun
Some police firearms departments are already writing automatically to GPs to inform them about the granting of a firearm or shotgun certificate, despite there being limited guidance for GPs about how they should deal with the letter, Shooting Times has learned.
Last year an agreement was made between the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the British Medical Association (BMA) that these notifications would take place after a certificate was issued in all cases.
It was felt that this addition to the licensing process would give GPs the opportunity to voice any concerns they might have, and, if necessary, allow the police to revoke the certificate. BASC?s senior firearms officer Mike Eveleigh said: ?It?s not every police force that is doing it but many are, including Hampshire and Sussex. So far this year we have had 143 complaints about it, so we are aware that our members are worried.
?They are saying that they would not go to their GP if they were suffering from some form of depression or stress, knowing that if they did, the GP would tell the police and their certificate could be revoked. That?s the opposite of the effect intended.? Mike Eveleigh has instigated talks on the subject between BASC, the BMA and ACPO to ensure that shooters’ voices are heard.
The rest of this article appears in the 19th October issue of Shooting Times.