Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report on firearms licensing

by Gill Marshall-Andrews on 15-09-2015


HMIC have today released the report of their inspection into how guns are licensed in this country, and it contains no surprises. We have known for years that:

  • Legally held guns are responsible for almost all the multiple shooting murders committed in this country over the last 30 years – Hungerford, Dunblane, Cumbria, and Horden being the most notorious.

  • Most women killed by a gun are killed by a firearms licence holder using a legal weapon.

  • The gun licensing system in this country is not fit for purpose - it puts the interests of the shooter before public safety, it is inconsistently applied, and even where there is official guidance this is often ignored.

Now at last these deficiencies have been recognised and clear recommendations have been made.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network says:

“We welcome this report which Stephen Otter has conducted with care and integrity. He has recognised that firearms licensing is not primarily a service for gun owners but a service to the general public – intended to keep them safe and ensure that only suitable people can own guns. He has ensured that the views of victims and their families have been heard and has made recommendations about how the licensing process should change.

 The question is – will the government implement these changes? There have been recommendations in the past which have been ignored. This government repeatedly refuses to implement measures which might constrain the shooting community, but which would undoubtedly improve the licensing system and save lives.

The government says it wants to keep Britain safe. This report outlines how it can be done.”