In response to the coronavirus outbreak a review of firearms licensing priorities has been undertaken.
Unfortunately we are not able to deal with any non-urgent requests at this time and this includes all grant applications and variations.
We will continue to process renewal applications and will ensure certificate holders are covered.
We would ask that all communication is sent to the department by email only, this includes notifications of sales and change of address.
Please bear with us during this unprecedented time.
If you have an urgent enquiry please email the department and a member of the team will contact you: Firearms.firstname.lastname@example.org
Your cooperation and assistance is much appreciated.
The primary objective of South Wales Police Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department is to protect the public from harm. In addition, we have a duty of care to protect the wider community from firearms misuse by preventing unsuitable people from possessing firearms licences. This is an ethos to which we adhere, and necessitates us carrying out in depth vetting and risk assessments, which often makes this a time consuming process.
Applying for a firearm / shot gun certificate / Dealer Registration
South Wales Police are making changes to the application process and the requirement for medical information.
Applicants will be required to provide medical information verified by a GP for all firearm and shot gun applications, or applications to register as a firearms dealer – this includes renewals. This applies to any application, whether declaring a medical condition or not. The change is being implemented to enable the Police to make informed decisions which will protect both the shooting community and the wider public. The change will mean a consistent and fair process for all applicants and will assist in improving application processing times.
When will this new medical process start?
This change will commence on the 1st April 2020. This will affect all certificate holders with a certificate due to expire from the 1st April 2020
What does this mean for you, the applicant?
On applying for the grant of renewal of a firearm and/or shot gun certificate, or registration as a firearms dealer, all applicants will be required to submit with their application form a completed GP pro forma. This pro forma will be available on the South Wales Police website.
The fact you have a medical condition may not necessarily mean your application is refused. However, a false declaration could result in your prosecution, your application being refused, or your existing certificate being revoked and your firearms or shot guns being seized.
Who contacts my GP?
Applicants will be responsible for contacting their GP for this information.
What happens if I do not submit the pre-medical screening information?
Applications received without the applicant’s medical information (GP pro forma) will be returned to the applicant with a request to submit this information. If the application is received again without this supporting documentation the application will be refused.
Why are South Wales Police implementing this change in policy?
The Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) and the Home Office Guidance states that before granting or renewing a firearm and/or shot gun certificate the Chief Officer of Police must be satisfied that applicants can be permitted to have firearms, shot guns and ammunition in their possession without danger to public safety or to the peace. Details that are required in order to make an informed decision on an applicant’s suitability, includes information relating to their medical history.
The current medical process in place may leave a substantial gap in the available information and intelligence assessed at the point of grant or renewal. Medical evidence is pivotal to police decision making.
The introduction of pre-application medical screening will ensure that the firearms licensing department has all the relevant available information as to the suitability of the applicant prior to grant or renewal. This will help to mitigate risk as far as reasonably practicable. This single process will also make the process more streamlined and quicker for applicants, as the police will no longer have to contact the GP and await a reply.
Why is South Wales Police not complying with Home Office Guidance on this matter?
Whilst Home Office Guidance is intended to assist with consistency of practice between forces it is Chief Officers who are ultimately responsible for the administration of firearms licensing in their force area. Home Office Guidance acknowledges and understands that it may be necessary for forces to depart from the guidance when each case is assessed on its merits and the circumstances justify such a course of action.
Home Office Guidance also has no statutory footing and our legal advice is that if harm was done as a result of the police issuing a certificate, the responsibility for failing to properly manage the risk, would from a legal perspective fall to the police.
Will my GP charge for this report?
Guidance from the British Medical Association is very clear that this type of work falls outside of the NHS remit and as such surgeries will request a fee from the applicant.
The amendments made under the Firearms Acts introduce changes to the controls on firearms relating to:
Once a completed application has been received at the Firearms Licensing Department, your payment will be processed and the application forwarded to a Firearms Enquiry Officer for allocation.
You should expect to have initial contact within 5 weeks of receipt of your completed application, if not, please e-mail: email@example.com
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