A new government directive was sent out to the police forces in August. ShootCert understands this will become law before the end of the year.
As things stand at the moment approximately half of the Firearms Departments in the UK require a medical certificate for all licences. First-time grants and all renewals alike.
The other half only requires a medical certificate for First-time Grant applicants or a Renewal if the applicant declares a medical condition on his/her application.
This is changing so that there is uniformity right across the UK. In the future applicants will need a medical certificate to accompany ALL applications. That is ALL First-time Grants and ALL Renewals, regardless.
Clearly, it is sensible to have uniformity and in fact, this has been in the pipeline for some time. However, this may well have been advanced because of the recent tragic events that occurred in Plymouth.
ShootCert feels that this transparency is entirely logical and will be seen to help security in this country which should be welcomed and supported by all in order to protect our sport. We also believe that it is now highly unlikely that renewals will be extended to every 10 years and that the five-year renewal is here to stay.
The difficulty is that in the current climate it is unlikely that more resources will be allocated to the police for this additional work. This will inevitably lead to delays in the process.
Covid 19 looks here to stay and GPs will increasingly not want to engage in this process which will further add to the problem.
APPLY EARLY and to a reputable and preferred provider such as ShootCert. Allowing much more time it will mean getting access to your medical notes from the GP, which is the usual bottleneck in the process and is likely to become more so, and won’t end up as being a last-minute rush. The police will then have your application and medical certificate all in good time and minimise any delays.
We here at ShootCert have developed excellent relationships both with numerous GP practices up and down the country as well as individual Firearms Departments, and this is continuing all the time.
So the message is
APPLY EARLY TO SHOOTCERT.
Tape a large sign to the door of your gun safe. Write down on this the date of your licence renewal. That way you will be reminded of how long you have before expiry every time you open the door and get your gun out. It works for me!