Firearms: Licensing

Home Office written question – answered on 1st December 2016.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, The Cotswolds

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what mechanisms there are to measure the performance of police forces when dealing with firearm and shotgun certificate applications.

Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, The Cotswolds

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will collect and publish data on performance in processing firearm and shotgun certificate applications which includes the time taken to process (a) initial firearm and shotgun licence grants and (b) firearm and shotgun licence renewals in England and Wales.

Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, The Cotswolds

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many section 7 temporary firearm and shotgun permits were issued in the last year for which figures are available in England and Wales.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service)

Under the Firearms Act 1968, which applies to England, Wales and Scotland, firearm and shotgun certificate administration is a matter for the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant lives.

The time taken to process a firearm or shotgun application can vary as the chief officer must take into account the need to manage risk and ensure public protection. The Government has no plans to collect and publish data on police performance in processing firearm and shotgun certificate applications.

The Policing and Crime Bill, which is before Parliament, introduces a power to issue statutory guidance to the police in relation to firearms licensing. This should lead to improved consistency in practice across forces.

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