Manifesto for gun licensing reform

by Gun Control Network on 22-08-2021

This manifesto is based on three premises: 

  • The more guns there are in circulation, the more they will be misused.
  • There are too many guns in circulation in Great Britain.  1.5 million shotguns cannot be necessary or desirable. 
  • Obtaining a gun licence is currently cheap and easy, whereas it should be expensive and difficult. 

This manifesto is designed to limit the number of guns and gun licences, so as to reduce the risk of guns falling into the hands of unstable people or criminals.

1. The licensing regime must be adequately resourced and the licence fees raised significantly so as to provide full-cost recovery.


2. Shotguns should be subject to the same rigorous licensing as rifles, i.e. they should all be brought under Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968. Each gun would then be licensed separately.


3. Licences should last for 2 years not 5.


4. GPs should maintain a marker on the records of gun owners and inform police of material changes to patients’ mental health.  Applicants should be responsible for paying fees to GPs for this service.


5. Spouses, partners and household members should be consulted when there is an application for a gun licence.


6. Other sources of relevant information, including social media postings, should be included in background checks.


7. The court costs of revocation of a licence should not fall to the individual police force.


8. A ‘good reason’ to have a gun should be re-defined so as to limit the number of guns someone can hold.  The current average is 4.


9. Closer scrutiny of gun clubs, including their relationship with their members, is necessary.


10. An independent element representing ‘the public’ should be introduced into the licensing process so as to monitor relationships between shooters and Firearms Licensing Officers.


11. A gun hotline should be established for those who are concerned about the behaviour of a gun owner, including their online activity.                 

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