A police force has introduced new rules forcing people in Gedling borough to provide an up-to-date assessment from their GP when applying for or renewing a licence.
Nottinghamshire Police today announced that every person who applies for a new firearms, shotgun or explosives licence will be required to provide the information with immediate effect.
The new requirement will also apply to renewals of licenses with effect from those certificates expiring from December 3, 2018.
Police say the change will enable them to make informed decisions which ‘will protect both gun users and the wider public’.
Current Home Office guidance states that if a police force does not receive a response to their request for medical information from the applicant’s GP, they should assume there are no medical issues and grant the applicant a licence.
The police say this means that across the country, licences to hold a firearm or shotgun are routinely granted without medical information being obtained by the police or consideration given to health issues that may increase risk to gun ownership.
Lincolnshire, Kent and Merseyside Police recently made the same policy changes.
Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “This new approach will give greater protection to the residents of Nottinghamshire. Individuals who due to medical conditions that are unsuitable to access and possess firearms, will no longer be able to do so.
“It will also allow us to have a greater understanding of those with a firearms licence. Previously if an applicant failed to provide medical information, an assumption was made, that they were safe to use firearms. We are no longer prepared to accept that risk.
“Our priority will always be to ensure the safety of everyone within Nottinghamshire. We believe these changes enable us to achieve this”
For more information on the changes of the policy and to find out details of how to apply for a firearms licence please visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/firearms