People who want firearms licences in Essex must now supply medical evidence
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Anyone wanting to apply for a firearms licence in Essex must now provide medical information verified by a GP following a policy change.
From today, people who wish to apply for a firearms or shotgun licence will be required to supply the evidence as part of the process regardless of medical conditions or not.
Chief Inspector Matt Cornish, head of firearms licensing at Essex Police, said the current process needed to be reviewed.
"The change to policy will enable us to make more informed decisions when processing the applications - our aim is to ensure the safety of the wider community and those with an interest in firearms," he said.
"The legislation under the Firearms Act 1968 and guidance from the Home Office states that before granting a firearms or shotgun certificate, the authorising officer must be satisfied that applicants can be permitted to hold the firearms or shotgun without danger to public safety.
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"We believe medical evidence is essential in our decision making and that the current process needed to be reviewed.
"This procedural change will also streamline and extradite the process for applicants given all available material will be available to an officer."
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CI Cornish added: "It the responsibility of the applicant to contact their GP to obtain this information.
"As this falls outside of the NHS remit, there will be a cost implication."
Forms for applicants can be downloaded here.