Some firearms licensing departments have taken the decision to temporarily suspend any new grant applications.
The tragic shooting in Plymouth in 2021, when five people were killed, and two others injured by a man using a gun for which he had a licence, combined with the latest Firearms Licensing Statutory Guidance for Chief Officers of Police, published in February 2023 seem to be the reason.
As a consequence, the process of obtaining and retaining a Licence is now more robust with considerably greater checks. This new Home Office guidance involves the input of health professionals, social services, and others.
This has had a direct impact on Firearms Licensing nationally with a requirement to review cases, re-write policy and standard operating procedures and with a longer time taken to review grant applications. All at a time when the Firearms Departments face the problems of understaffing and underfunding.
ShootCert is established, experienced and specialises in providing quality Firearms Medical Reports to assist the Police in what is an increasingly complex process to ensure safe shooting in this country. Of concern is that several other companies have just come into the medical certificate market and appear to just add on this type of certificate for gun licences alongside their usual work. These are produced at a cut-price cost, which is concerning as a rushed certificate can easily omit or misinterpret vital details that ShootCert and the Police feel are necessary for the safe process of gun ownership. This could impact whether the Police can reach a decision on a case and further delay the application process.
This coincides with a time when the Police feel the process should become more robust so it makes sense to use a company that is tried, tested and trusted by the Police at this present time.
We would not for one moment suggest that a Shootcert certificate would fast-track your application, but we and our customers have found that, with our process, there are minimal delays in getting your licence.
Having discussed this with the appropriate authorities, the repeating comment I hear is that you get what you pay for. Safe gun ownership in this country is actually very cheap, and a Shootcert Certificate (for a five-year Licence) is the same cost as 1 pint of beer every four months. Worth every penny.