North Yorkshire Police’s decision to halt all firearm and shotgun certificate grants has been described by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), as “a clear breach of their statutory duty”.
In correspondence with North Yorkshire MPs, BASC has asked that the force is scrutinised and that they resume all applications as a matter of urgency.
The move by North Yorkshire was made in a public statement by their firearms licensing manager, Dept Insp Andy Palmer. He claimed that the department is facing significant delays because of the new statutory guidance implemented on 1st November.
In England and Wales, the process of firearms licensing lies with each constabulary, it is the responsibility of the Chief Officer to decide on the merit of each application.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “The public are entitled to possess firearms providing they satisfy certain tests. Once the tests are passed, the Chief Officer must accept the application. Failure to do so is a clear breach of their statutory duty.
“Firearms certificates are crucial to rural jobs, conservation and the rural economy. The move by North Yorkshire Police is disadvantaging the shooting community who require firearms for their livelihoods and wish to partake in a legitimate sport.
“The statutory guidance has been in development for at least 18 months, its implementation did not come as a surprise to North Yorkshire Police. The decision to halt grants needs overturning with a matter of urgency.”