The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced a power to enable the Secretary of State to issue statutory guidance to the police on their firearms licensing functions. Before issuing the statutory guidance, the Secretary of State must consult the National Police Chief’s Council and the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland, and we will also consult publicly on the guidance before it is published. We plan to begin the consultation shortly.
We have been in discussions with the police, the relevant medical bodies, and representatives of shooting organisations about improving the arrangements for providing medical information as part of the firearms licensing process and how greater consistency can be achieved across England and Wales. The new statutory guidance, when it is published, will apply to firearms licensing functions including the medical arrangements, and the police will be required to have regard to this guidance.