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“Postcode Lottery” on Firearms Licensing

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Article first appeared at Ammo Land.

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London, UK -(AmmoLand.com)- Following concerns raised by members struggling to renew their firearms licences in many parts of the country our shooting team has carried out research on the number of temporary permits issued by police forces.

Section 7 temporary permits are issued almost exclusively when licensing departments are unable to renew full licences before they have expired and as such are a good barometer of how well those departments are running.

In 2015 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) published a report entitled ‘Targeting the Risk’, which revealed that seven out of the eleven forces questioned admitted their firearms licensing teams were under pressure, and we wanted to explore the extent of this problem and assess how it might be affecting the shooting community. We therefore used the Freedom of Information Act to ask all police forces how many Section 7 permits had been issued over the last five years and how many are live now.

The results showed staggering regional disparities, with police force areas such as Cleveland and Derbyshire issuing no Section 7 permits at all in 2015 while Essex, the worst performer, issued 5,219. In total six licensing teams were revealed as performing particularly poorly in 2015: Kent, with 3,008; Thames Valley, with 2,516; Hampshire, with 1,205; Dyfed Powys, with 993; and North Wales, with 816. The full responses from all forces are available here www.countryside-alliance.org/13087.

This is a real postcode lottery. The quality of service a legal gun owner is likely to receive changes dramatically depending on where in the country their licensing team is based. This is totally unacceptable, and it is for the new Police and Crime Commissioners, who will be elected on 5th May, to hold their licensing departments to account. It also emphasizes once again how important those elections are, especially to rural communities, so it is incumbent on all of us to use our vote. You can find out more about the elections and candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner in your area here www.choosemypcc.org.uk

Tim Bonner
Chief Executive
Follow on Twitter @CA_TimB

About Countryside Alliance:

The Countryside Alliance is known for its work on wildlife and management, but its agenda is far broader than that incorporating food & farming, local businesses and services and the injustices of poor mobile phone signal and broadband in the countryside. We are anything but a single issue organisation and represent the interests of country people from all backgrounds and geographical locations. With around 100,000 members the Countryside Alliance promotes and protects rural life at Parliament, in the media and on the ground. Our vision is a future for the countryside which both preserves its traditional values and promotes a thriving rural community and economy; a countryside sustainably managed and sustainably enjoyed; a countryside where rural communities have equal access to the facilities and services enjoyed in urban communities; a countryside where people can pursue their businesses, activities and lives in a society that appreciates and understands their way of life.

Join the voice of rural Britain today at www.Countryside-Alliance.org.

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