Have your say on potential changes to firearms licensing
Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is urging Essex residents to take part in a national survey and have their say on potential changes to the licensing of firearms and shotguns in England and Wales.
The survey has been organised by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and can be completed online here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5J7PV2K.
Roger said: “Essex has a strong history of countryside sports and a vibrant and economically important rural community. Safe firearms ownership is an integral part of this. It’s important that anyone who has a view of this, has their say so we can feed those views back to the Home Office.”
The Home Office is currently reviewing arrangements for the licensing of guns and will shortly be introducing new statutory guidance to be followed by all police forces. Essex Police have been working closely with the Home Office and License Holders to introduce the anticipated changes to the statutory guidance and are in a good place.
The APCC’s short survey asks for the public’s views on things like the amount of scrutiny of medical records and social media posts that police should undertake when granting or renewing a license; and whether or not an applicant should pay the full costs of having their request processed.
Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Marc Jones said: “We want to hear from everybody including people who are, or have previously been, a registered firearms licence or shotgun certificate holder. The public may be surprised to hear that there are more than half a million licence holders in England and Wales, who legally own nearly 2million firearms. We know the overwhelming majority do so safely and responsibly.
“So, while it is absolutely right that we have a discussion on licensing, we should be careful to ensure any changes to guidance or legislation are proportionate, reflect the public’s views, and above all are effective at keeping people safe.”
The survey, which can be completed online, takes just a few minutes and will remain open for responses until Wednesday 20 October.