With barely a week to go until the 31 December deadline, the Home Office has announced that gun shops will not – contrary to what was previously indicated – have to keep their own electronic gun register.
The EU Firearms Directive, coming into force at the end of the year, requires that such a register is kept – but now the Home Office has decided that existing police systems will bear the responsibility, as opposed to individual gun dealers.
This follows a similar decision made earlier this year in Northern Ireland.
An update on the Home Office website says: “The Home Office has revisited its position on the implementation of article 4(4) of the EU Weapons Directive 2008/51 (amending Council Directive 91/477). We do appreciate that it is not ideal to be changing our approach at this late stage. However we have reconsidered the scope of the requirements and have decided that rather than mandating firearms dealers to computerise their records we will rely on the National Firearms Licensing Management System (England and Wales) and SHOGUN (Scotland), with both the police and firearms dealers continuing to record current information.”