Some advice to members about Firearm & Shotgun Certificates, Renewals & Applications
The most important fact to take on board is that applications and communications should wherever possible be done using the standard forms on the firearms website for Devon & Cornwall. These are processed more quickly than by any other means. Postal applications, letters and hand deliveries take much longer to deal with. All the standard electronic forms direct the information to the right desk/department.
Emails have accordingly reduced to a manageable number per day and they are all reviewed, each morning, by Officers to identify those requiring urgent attention. So put a bold heading on something urgent or important to highlight it but don’t exaggerate or make false claims or your missive will just join a queue.
When people fail to respond to police advice to store guns with an RFD etc they expect it to be done and them then notified that that has happened. This gets repeated as the expiry date approaches. Failure to respond or comments like “Come and get them!” will result in an Armed Response Vehicle turning up at any time day or night to remove the guns. The applicants have been previously warned! It is not the FEO’s job to go and collect firearms!
FEO published phone numbers don’t always work as they may not be on duty or out visiting applicants and there is no forwarding to anyone else. They are not all based at Middlemoor. The department is manned 6 days per week but not Sundays. Better to use email or standard electronic forms if you can.
Quite often the Police try to telephone an applicant to discuss their application or have a query but the phone is not answered as nobody likes taking calls from callers where the ‘phone number is withheld. So they have now introduced a process to follow up the phone call with a text so the applicant is aware of who the call was from.
Temporary permits near to their expiry will be extended automatically unless a problem has been discovered in which case they will expire and guns have to be lodged with an RFD etc. The police are trying to bring Temporary Permits to an end as they were not designed for this purpose and really only cover the holding of firearms and not their use hence the inability to buy ammunition by firearms holders as distinct to shotgun holders who can buy ammunition.
One advantage in Devon & Cornwall is that the new FAC or SGC is dated for 5 years from the date of approval and is not back dated to the renewal date or application date so shooters are getting free period to compensate for the delay. Instead of Temporary Permits and extensions to them they are trying to deal with the renewals wherever possible.
If you have a part-time paid role as a shooter of vermin, deer, badger culls etc then your main occupation e.g. plumber might mean that your application is not fast tracked. An email highlighting the fact that you are a key paid shooter may get your application fast tracked if there is sufficient supporting evidence.
Variation application times have come down and they should only now take just over one week.
There will likely be a large number of applications for Variations in the Autumn of 2023 due to .243/6mm becoming illegal to shoot deer due to the lead ban. Take a hint and get in early if you need to apply for anything.
The Police send out a reminder letter to apply to renew certificates 18 weeks in advance of the expiry date. I have heard it suggested that you need to start the process at 24 weeks by contacting your doctor for your medical report. If your doctor fails to action it, it is up to you to chase up your doctor.