Firearms update Jan 2019
Date sent: Tuesday 15 January 2019
Firearms Licencing- January 2019 update
Lincolnshire police’s policy of “no medical report, no licence” has been in action since April 2018. The police have told the LMC that this policy has proven to be very effective and has identified a significant number of cases in which firearms licences could have been issued inappropriately. The success of this policy has led to a number of forces across England adopting the same policy. The Lincolnshire constabulary has asked the LMC to thank practices for their ongoing support with this policy.
Lincolnshire police are changing slightly the process by which the medical reports will be requested. The applicant, and not the police, will now request from the practice that a medical report will be sent to the police. The applicant will send a standard letter to the practice, a copy of which is attached to this email. The police will not start the application process unless this report is received. The template report which the LMC previously circulated can still be used for this purpose. The usual fee can of course be requested from the patient for providing this report.
One of the features of the current policy which improves safety for patients is the “enduring marker” which practices place on patient’s record to show that they have a firearm. This allows clinicians to easily identify when a patient who is deteriorating also has a firearm. In this circumstance the clinician should inform the police that a change has occurred in the patient’s health that may affect their fitness to hold a licence. Lincolnshire police have had a number of such notifications and have withdrawn licences as a result. The LMC would like to emphasise the importance of placing these markers on the patient’s record.
Some patients who hold licences may not have the enduring marker on their notes, as the licence may have been granted or renewed before the requirement to use the marker came into force. The police are requesting that if a patient is identified as having a licence, and no marker is present, that the marker is then added.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Attached file: GP Verification Letter Template.doc