The move is hoped to reduce the existing backlog in renewals
Shooters can now receive an eight-week extension to firearm and shotgun certificate renewals under certain circumstances, in a move that it is hoped will reduce the existing backlog in renewals.
The new extension, brought in through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, will allow licensing departments to take extra time to ensure that they have made an informed decision about an applicant’s ability to hold a certificate, without having to issue a Section 7 temporary permit.
The extension will apply only when applications for a certificate renewal are made to the police at least eight weeks before it is due to expire, but when police are unable to decide on the application before the certificate expires.
This will allow those who need to use their firearms on a daily basis, such as gamekeepers, to continue with their jobs while a decision is being made.
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Backlog in renewals addressed
Liam Stokes, head of shooting at the Countryside Alliance (CA), commented: “The CA pushed hard for an extension to the validity of a certificate if the renewal was submitted on time.
“This eight-week extension is the result, and though serious problems remain in the firearms licensing system, we are pleased that the Government has taken this step to address the backlog in renewals. We look forward to seeing this amendment implemented by forces throughout England and Wales.”