Fire Arms

Requests for fire arm licences are uncommon in Greater Glasgow & Clyde , However ensuring the correct advice is provide is essential.

The BMA has an agreement with ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) that when someone has been granted a firearms certificate, or an existing certificate has been renewed, the police will contact their GP to enquire whether there is any medical information that might have a bearing on the applicant’s suitability to hold a firearm; such enquiries should be kept in patient records. This was agreed in principle in November 2010.

Doctors are not obliged to deal with these requests. If they don’t intend to do so, however, they should let the police know. Otherwise, it will be assumed there is nothing relevant on the medical record.

When doctors are happy to respond, consent to the disclosure of information should be sought, as the letter does not currently indicate that consent has been given. Ordinarily, patients’ withholding of consent should be respected, although the police must be informed of that.

If the doctor believes the patient presents an immediate risk of serious harm to themselves or others, information should be disclosed even in the face of an explicit refusal.