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Change to firearms licensing application process to be introduced by Thames Valley Police

| July 1, 2019

From Thursday 1st August 2019 Thames Valley Police is introducing a change to the firearms licensing application process.

The new changes will men that every application, including the renews of a licence, for a shotgun/firearm and/or Registered Firearms Dealer certificate will require the applicant to submit, along with their application, a completed medical screening proforma from their GP.

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim De Meyer, said: ‘From 1 August 2019, the responsibility for submitting a completed medical screening pro forma along with the relevant paperwork will be the responsibility of the applicant.

The decision to change this policy was not taken lightly, however, the current medical arrangements in place may leave a substantial gap in the available information and intelligence assessed at the point of grant or renewal and this has a direct impact on public safety.

Although the Home Office is due to open its consultation on firearms in July 2019, given the difficulties in negotiating a nationally binding position and the complexity of it, then these discussions may take some time. In the meantime, it is for me to address the overriding concern of public safety in the Thames Valley now and to do so while providing a fair and efficient service to the shooting community.

The public should be reassured that when firearms and/or shotgun certificates are issued to individuals, that appropriate steps have been taken to ensure the person is fit to hold the certificate. Pre-application medical screening is pivotal to police decision making.

Thames Valley Police and the Thames Valley Local Medical Council have worked in partnership to agree the content of the medical screening proforma. The content of the proforma will ensure that all relevant information as to the suitability of the applicant is assessed, by the police, prior to the grant or renewal of a certificate.

From 1 August 2019, any applications that are received without the required medical information will be returned to the applicant.

If an applicant has a medical condition it may not necessarily mean their application is refused. However, a false declaration could result in prosecution, the application being refused or the existing license being revoked and the applicants firearms or shotguns being seized.

The change to the application process will affect any application submitted from Thursday 1st August 2019.

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