Firearms Licensing Dept

Alert message sent 25/04/2020 21:41:00

Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary


Good evening all,
Hope you are all well and safe in these troublesome times.
Just to update you all.
Derbyshire Firearms Licensing Team are still operating at maximum capacity.
There is no staff sickness. We have stopped all Grants and Variations since the lock down.
This has given us the ability to concentrate on renewal applications. As we are currently a paper process, all caseworker staff have to attend Ripley Headquarters to conduct the renewal process.
The Firearms Enquiry Officers (FEOs) are busy conducting telephone renewals.
The GP Verification process is still firmly in place as per the requirements of the Chief Constable. I have spoken to the Local Medical Council who support this process and the vast majority of the 115 GP surgeries are still engaged in supplying verification letters.
There are a number of surgeries who have suspended this service due to the COVID -19 restrictions which is fully understandable.
MEDCERT provides a GP Verification letter service for a set fee and can be found on line. I prefer a letter from your GP but this service is available for a set fee and may save money. Please view online.
Renewals are still being processed and I can tell you that we are working to ensure no certificate holders expire.
Should your GP take a while or their service is suspended, we will check with the Surgery and continue the application process.
All safeguard checks will continue to be made and you will be contacted by your FEO. As long as all checks are good and you are low risk you will be renewed on the system in order to maintain legal possession.
You will receive a letter from myself stating that your certificate will be released once a positive response is received from your GP. You must still contact your GP with the verification letter.
This is the most important check we conduct to ensure public safety and that the applicant is a fit and proper person.
Apart from persons legitimately conducting crop and animal protection there is no legitimate activity taking place and most Registered Firearms Dealers and all Clubs are closed.
I have had to warn some persons for buying and selling firearms with no good reason during this lock down period. This puts people in danger and is not an essential activity. We all watch the daily figures with horror.
Our Department want people renewing to make full use of the online application and payment service. It is fast and secure with no margin for errors.
A reminder that our Finance Dept does not accept cash or postal orders any more.
If you intend to apply using paper, all cheques are made payable to
‘The Police and Crime Commissioner’.
Our website is full of information, please email rather than phone to allow staff to continue their vital work.
It is so important to get your renewals in early. The renewal packs are sent out 17 weeks before expiry and if no response a reminder letter is sent 10 weeks before expiry.
And yet we still have folk who submit late and even worse allow their certificates to expire and become in illegal possession which is a criminal offence.
A late application is one that is received less than 8 weeks before expiry.
Make sure you disclose all relevant medical issues and previous convictions/cautions.
Failure to disclose in these areas is still the biggest issue of the day and creates so many refusals. It is an offence to fail to disclose.
Any problems then contact the office via email.
Remember, all RFDs are closed, all police enquiry offices are closed. There is nowhere to safely lodge.
We are working hard to avoid this.
Please ensure your cabinets are bolted to a solid wall and if necessary floor. In the last 6 months we have had burglaries in Derbyshire mirrored across the country where the cabinets are ripped from the wall.
Fortunately, at the moment burglaries are rare due to folk being at home. 
We always recommend house alarms and enforce this if you have more than 12 firearms as per the 2019 Security handbook.
If you have any questions about your renewal please contact the office. There seems to be a trend to write to your MP supported by BASC.
This serves no purpose apart from me writing to the MP reiterating the Chief Constable’s stance regarding our process. I am always happy to explain this via email and if necessary by phone
Stay safe
Many thanks
Malc Bibbings
 
Message sent by
Malcolm Bibbings (Police,Firearms Licensing Manager,Derbyshire Firearms licenced holders)

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