While reading the 1972 McKay Report again, as UKSN prepares to release a fully digitised and searchable version, this little snippet on timetables for renewals sprung out at us.
Taken from page 55 of the report, the extract below states the timescales for renewal of shotgun certificates and what should happen if an SGC expires.
This matter was recently considered by the Association of Chief Police Officers, who recommended that generally shot gun certificate renewals should be dealt with as follows:-
- During the first 14 days of the month prior to the month of renewal all first reminder notices should be sent.
- In those cases where there is no response, 14 days after the date of expiry of the certificate a second reminder should be sent.
- If there is still no response, 14 days after the second reminder has been sent there should be a personal visit. (In those forces where the number of outstanding renewals does not justify a second reminder, the personal visit should be made instead of the second reminder).
How times have changed. On average, shooters are now recommended to submit their certificates for renewal 3 months prior to the expiry date, and there are plenty of cases on record where shooters with expired certificates have had armed police burst in at ungodly hours of the day.
The very idea of British police paying a polite visit to a shooter in 2016 to remind him to renew his certificates is completely alien. Hurrah for progress!