Gun owners urged to respond to major firearms consultation

Minister for crime and policing Chris Philp has launched a new eight-week consultation looking into firearms and shotgun licensing, in a move that has been branded by rural sports organisations as “the most important in 35 years”.

Key recommendations made by the minister include the mandatory involvement of GPs in approving licence applications, and a review of the length of firearms certificates.

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The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has welcomed the consultation, and has urged members to respond so that the voice of the shooting community is represented in the decisions that will have an impact on the years, if not decades, to come. 

BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman said: “This is the most significant and important firearms licensing consultation in 35 years. It is essential that the shooting community respond and feed in their views.

“People must not be silent and think others will do the work for them. The shooting community must respond in numbers. Make sure you have your say.”

Mr Harriman added that, while BASC supports many of the suggestions within the consultation, “proposals must be evidence-led and proven to enhance public safety, without disproportionately hindering legitimate shooting activities”.

The organisation has also welcomed news that an additional £500,000 will be granted to fund the training of police firearms licensing personnel, and that this training will become mandatory for all police firearms licensing teams in the near future.

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