A recently published document from Dyfed-Powys Police has made it clear that the force will stick to the published Home Office Guidance on Firearms when it makes firearms licensing decisions.
Made available on the force website and dated February 2015, its firearms and explosives licensing policy sets out exactly what laws and policies the department will obey.
All applications will be dealt with on their own merits; in its day to day function Dyfed Powys Police will apply the principles of The Firearms Act 1968 along with its associated amendments. This also takes account of all associated Firearms Rules, along with the Explosives Regulations 2014.
Written by Helen Rees, the force’s firearms licensing manager, the document is noteworthy precisely because it states that the licensing department will obey the law and follow the guidance issued by the Home Office, as well as explosives licensing guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive.
Sad as it may be that a “police obey the law” story has become newsworthy in Britain, many firearms licensing departments and individual licensing officers around the country do not appear to understand the myriad of firearms licensing laws and prefer to implement what they want the law to say, rather than what it actually says.
Despite efforts by Chief Constable Andy Marsh, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ firearms licensing lead, to ensure that the Home Office Guidance is followed, regular reminders are still issued to police forces.
Indeed, Dyfed-Powys Police’s firearms licensing department, under Helen Rees, was the subject of a 2011 Shooting Times article where BASC accused them of ignoring the Home Office Guidance they have now publicly promised to follow.