Firearms licence applications
From 1st April 2016 new information sharing processes between the Police and GPs were introduced in an attempt to ensure those licensed to possess firearms are medically fit to carry arms. There has been ongoing discussion nationally between GPs, the Police, theNHS and the BMA (British Medical Association) about the medico-legal implications of GPs giving information to the Police with regards to patient’s health and fitness to have a firearms licence.
The latest guidelines from the BMA, NHS and the Police is that we do need to respond to initial letters we get from the Police with regards to patients having a firearms licence.
The process for somebody applying for a licence is that they pay a fee to the Police and after information is passed back to the Police, if appropriate, a licence will be issued and the registered GP will be informed about this and asked to write a report about whether or not they agree that the person is fit to hold a licence.
We have been advised that legally we need to reply to this request for a report. This is not part of the core services of GPs and therefore there will be a fee to the applicant for this letter. The fee from the practice for this letter will be £15. Therefore, when we receive a request, we will write to the patient to say that we need to send a report and that we will do this once we have received the fee. We will inform the Police that they will receive the report but only once we have received the fee from the patient concerned.
These guidelines are under review by the NHS, BMA and the Police and might well change within the next year but for the forseeable future this is how we will be managing and charging for this service.
If there is anything you need to ask the Practice about this process, please contact us.