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Have your say on potential changes to firearms licensing

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, is encouraging the public to have their say on potential changes to the licensing of firearms and shotguns in England and Wales.

The Association of Police & Crime Commissioner’s has today (30/9) opened a short survey to seek the public’s views on things like the amount of scrutiny of medical records and social media posts that police should undertake when granting or renewing a license; and whether or not an applicant should pay the full costs of having their request processed.

Matthew Barber said: “The APCC have today published an important survey, seeking views on potential changes to the licensing of firearms. We are keen to seek the thoughts of residents across the Thames Valley on any potential changes to the licensing of firearms.

“Results from this survey will feed into the Home Office review on the current arrangements for the licensing of guns.”

Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) Marc Jones said: “There has been heightened public concern following the recent shooting of five people in Plymouth. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my sympathies to all those affected by that tragic incident, and indeed to all victims of gun crime.

“The Home Office is currently reviewing arrangements for the licensing of guns and will shortly be introducing new statutory guidance to be followed by all police forces. Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to be the public’s voice in policing and so we want to hear what the public thinks about these issues, so we can feed those views to the Home Office.

“We want to hear all from sides including people who are, or have previously been, a registered firearms licence or shotgun certificate holder. The public may be surprised to hear that there are more than half a million licence holders in England and Wales, who legally own nearly 2million firearms. We know the overwhelming majority do so safely and responsibly.

“So, while it is absolutely right that we have a discussion on licensing, we should be careful to ensure any changes to guidance or legislation are proportionate, reflect the public’s views, and above all are effective at keeping people safe.”

The survey, which can be completed online, takes just a few minutes to complete and will close for responses at 5pm on Wednesday 20 October.