In order to comply with European Union Directive 2008/51/EC, the Government must have established a computerised filing system to record and maintain details about the supply and ownership of legal firearms by the end of 2014.
We already have robust processes in place as firearms dealers are required to maintain their own register of firearms under the Firearms Act 1968, details of which are passed to the National Firearms Licensing Management System in England and Wales and Shogun in Scotland. Records and registers will now need to be kept for a minimum of twenty years and this will require an amendment to secondary legislation.
Although our original approach was for dealers to computerise their records, we recently announced that we would be continuing to use the existing centralised systems for the majority of the recorded transactions, as this reduces the impact on both police and firearms dealers. However, we will continue to recommend that dealers keep computerised records as a matter of best practice.