Opinion Former Article

Another record year for BASC firearms team

BASC’s firearms team has broken its own record for the number of calls and queries dealt with in a year.

Last year had been the busiest year on record as the team dealt with more than 10,000 calls and queries.

But that number was topped earlier this month – at the height of the shooting season and with several weeks of 2017 still to go.

Problems with the involvement of the medical profession in firearms and shotgun licensing proved to be the main issue BASC members reported, with 894 requests for help and advice in this area so far this year.

Bill Harriman, BASC’s director firearms, said: “Since 1998 the BASC firearms team has been keeping records of the number of requests for help and advice we receive from our members and since 2010 the numbers have increased every single year – from 5,029 then to 10,038 in 2016.

“The second most-reported problem the team has to deal with is that of delays in the process of licensing firearms and shotguns. It seems clear that many police force firearms licensing departments are struggling to cope with the demand and some clearly need more resources and better training.

“We will continue to press for efficiency improvements in firearms licensing – in particular in the area of online certificate applications. We at BASC are always ready to help and advise if we are asked.”

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “BASC is justifiably proud of the excellence of its specialist firearms team who have an unrivalled reputation as experts in their field.”

BASC is the only UK shooting organisation with a full-time firearms team, with its staff providing expert help and advice to members on all aspects of firearms ownership including technical, legal, practical and forensic. The team offers confidential advice based on settled law or sustainable legal opinion and can also assist with accessing services available through BASC’s legal expenses insurance.

The team was boosted this year with the addition of two new additional members of staff.

The firearms team can be reached on 01244 573010, with members urged to leave a message if they struggle to get through. For more details of the team’s services, click here: https://basc.org.uk/firearms/

ENDS

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