New statutory guidance around firearms licensing for chief officers of Police was issued on 1st November 2021. Following the publication of this guidance applicants are now required, at their own expense, to obtain a medical report as part of this new application process.
It is now the responsibility of the applicant for both grant, renewal, or variation to complete a medical proforma (usually downloaded from the local Police firearms licensing website) and submit this to their GP (or another suitably qualified doctor) to the police firearms licensing department dealing with their application.
When the medical information is being provided to the police by a doctor from a private company, the doctor must receive the applicant’s full medical record direct from the GP practice and not via the applicant.
GPs have a professional and moral duty to protect the public by facilitating the Police with the firearms licensing process.
As this work falls outside of NHS contractual obligations, practices may charge a reasonable fee for providing medical information to support an application.
GPs can refuse to engage in the firearms certification process on grounds of conscientious objection because of religious or ethical beliefs. They must inform the police.
GPs need to take reasonable steps to notify their patients of their conscientious objection in advance. We would advise doctors to put a clear statement on their website and on notices in the practice.