|This week I am asking you to take part in the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) survey on potential changes to the licensing of firearms and shotguns in England and Wales.|
The survey asks for the public’s views on things like the amount of scrutiny of medical records and social media posts that police should undertake when granting or renewing a licence; and whether or not an applicant should pay the full costs of having their request processed.
Following on from public concerns after the recent tragic events in Keyham, where 5 people lost their lives, 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.
The public may be surprised to hear that there just over 10,000 licence holders in Dorset, and more than half a million licence holders in England and Wales, who legally own nearly 2million firearms and we know that the overwhelming majority do so safely and responsibly.
Our county is home to both urban and rural communities and so there are going to be many differing opinions on this subject – I know many farmers who see owning a gun as an essential part of their job and I know that there are many residents across the county who are members of a gun club and shoot as a pastime.
Equally, I know many people who simply cannot understand why any form of gun ownership is necessary and so it is important that all these voices, all these opinions are heard.
I very much welcome this survey, it is absolutely right that there is a public discussion on this issue and even more important that any changes to guidance and legislation are, well thought-out, proportionate and most of all ensure that the very highest levels of public safety are met.
The survey, which can be completed online, takes just a few minutes and will remain open for responses until Wednesday 20 October.
Here is the link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5J7PV2K
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset