|Update on the Firearms Licensing COVID-19 Contingency plan|
Strategic Stakeholder Meeting
In my last update I informed you that our May meeting had been cancelled due to the current circumstances. Another date has been set for the end of September and I would encourage you, if you are a member of a shooting organisation, to contact them with any feedback (positive or otherwise) on the level of service that you have received from us during the lockdown period.
We are still prioritising renewal applications and would strongly advise certificate holders to start the renewal process as soon as they receive the renewal letter (we send these out 4 months prior to the certificate expiry date) or sooner. If your application is received a week prior to your expiry date we will extend your current certificate for a further 8 weeks.
During the lockdown period we made the decision to process all renewal applications and wait for the GP pro forma to be submitted. This process has worked well throughout lockdown in terms of not overloading the GP’s and keeping our certificate holders in legal possession, which has been our priority. Our stats over the four month period (March – June) show that we renewed 84% of applications with a GP pro forma.
From 17 August 2020 our medical verification policy will revert back to the procedure in place prior to lockdown. Any applications received on or after the 17 August 2020 without a GP pro forma will be returned to you, the applicant.
The advice from the Firearms Licensing Department and Local Medical Committee is to approach your GP or a private medical company as soon as you receive your renewal letter. My team will continue to work with applicants who experience any problems with obtaining this information and reassure you that any delay by the GP will not affect your renewal application, if you have applied for your medical information in good time.
Grant applications have been suspended until further notice. If you submit a grant application it will be returned.
With the relaxation of the Government restrictions we are reviewing our current position. We want to restart processing grant applications as much as you want us to, however, the safety of my staff and the public is of paramount importance. I am currently working alongside our Health and Safety Department to ensure that my team have in place a robust risk assessment (for you and them), including the necessary PPE. As soon as I have an update I will let you know.
Other types of enquiries
Our telephone lines are still open between 08.00 – 10.00 hours, however, due to the current Government restrictions there may be a delay in answering your call due to limited staff in the office. Our preferred method of contact is via email:
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and I may need to make some changes to the way in which we work if there are any localised lockdowns or change in Government guidance. As always, I will update our shooting community via this email alert system.
This is still a very challenging time for everyone and we need to work together - please help us to help you.