Have your say on potential changes to firearms licensing
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is supporting a national survey inviting the public to have their say on potential changes to the licensing of firearms and shotguns in England and Wales.
Emily Spurrell is encouraging Merseyside residents to take part in a consultation launched by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).
The short online survey asks for your views on issues including 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.
Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners 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.”
Mr Jones added: “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.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “The tragic incident in Plymouth has once again brought the sensitive issue of firearms licensing into the public spotlight.
“People are rightly concerned about how licences are issued and managed. It is important as the Home Office reviews the existing guidance for police forces that your views are taken into account.
“As Police Commissioner, it is my job to be your voice on policing issues which is why I would encourage people across Merseyside to take part in this short survey. By having your say today, you can ensure the Home Office have an accurate understanding of your views on this issue.”
The survey, which can be completed online, takes just a few minutes and will remain open for responses until Wednesday 20 October.