They could make life a whole lot simpler for shooters
Certain police forces now require a medical report as part of your firearms or shotgun application or renewal. This is a review of your medical records, to assess whether or not you have any conditions that might prevent you from holding or retaining a firearms licence.
The check has to be conducted by a qualified medical professional, to the specifications of your individual firearms licensing authority, and the check should only be a factual summary of your history – never a statement of the reviewer’s opinion or reflection of personal bias. Only the police can decide whether or not you’re suitable to hold a licence.
The medical certification system was initially designed so that applicant’s GPs would provide the necessary review of their records. GPs can, however, refuse to participate on the grounds of conscientious objection, or charge a fee that runs into the hundreds of pounds. Lack of GP participation can result in lengthy delays, the need for an applicant to use interim gun storage or even the loss of the licence, even though the applicant is not at fault.
To help shooters with the review, there are now two services, MedCert and ShootCert to facilitate the process which ensure that everyone can get a medical check for an affordable price, no matter what the stance of their GP.
MedCert was the first to help shooters deal with these issues and assist their clients all the way through the process. Once you apply to MedCert, online or via post, the company takes care of everything, from requesting your records to helping you navigate all the steps in the firearms licensing process. The service costs £60, with discounts to members of shooting organisations, including the CPSA, Countryside Alliance, NRA and NGO
Another company called ShootCert also is available to assist and charges a £50 fee, for which an independent doctor will scrutinise the applicant’s medical notes and then provide the relevant medical forms required by the firearms department to help get certification.
Founder of ShootCert, Dr Chris Garrett advises: “Since 2016 anybody renewing their shotgun or firearms certificate has required verification or medical input from their GP in their application to the police Firearms Department.
“Initially this was agreed between the Home Office and the British Medical Association but recently the BMA have withdrawn from that agreement meaning that GPs now have no compulsion to provide any Medical Proforma. The police forces however increasingly demand it.
BASC warns: “A number of police forces in England and Wales have departed from Home Office guidance by imposing mandatory GP screening for all applications for shotgun, firearm and explosives certificates.
“If you do not follow your police force’s instructions for GP involvement then your application will not proceed.”