Scottish Affairs Committee makes recommendations on Firearms Licensing

by on 22-12-2022

Gun Control Network 

The Gun Control Network congratulates the Scottish Affairs Committee on their balanced and sensible recommendations on Firearms Licensing in the aftermath of the tragic multiple shootings on the Isle of Sky in August. It was clear to them that current licensing arrangements are not fit for purpose for several reasons.

 *They involve a substantial cost to the taxpayer.

*They do not involve those closest to the applicant.

*They operate differently for shotguns and firearms.

*They do not adequately monitor the mental health of gun owners.

The Committee’s recommendations set out to remedy these shortcomings. They are simple and fair – as they should be.

A two-tier fee system, which allows those who really need a gun for their work, e.g. farmers, to pay less than full cost while those who want a gun for sport or ‘games’ to pay the full cost, is fair and would, to some extent, protect the public purse.

The application process can easily involve those closest to the applicant. This would undoubtedly alert the police to some potentially unfit gun owners.

The Sec 1 licensing system should apply to all dangerous guns, including shotguns which are currently subject to much looser control. That would be simple and more rigorous.

As almost all multiple shootings are perpetrated by unstable men, the need to monitor the mental health of gun owners should be obvious. The Government is being asked to review current licensing arrangements to find ways in which this could be improved. This might involve a buddy system or more regular information from GPs which would of course have to be paid for by the applicant.

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

 “At last we have a committee of MPs who have seen the shortcomings of the current gun licensing system and suggested some simple remedies. The Government has so far been far too complacent about emerging threats and the Scottish Affairs Committee recommendations should be welcomed and implemented in full.”