FAC - Firearm Certificate

It seems that the criteria that various Police Forces use in deciding whether or not to issue an individual with an FAC is lacking consistency.

It seems that the criteria that various Police Forces use in deciding whether or not to issue an individual with an FAC is lacking consistency.

I am well used to taking out beginners to deer stalking and as such often find myself offering advice to new stalkers on the best process to gain a Firearm Certificate.

Often I find myself replying to this simple question "it depends on your force and your enquiries officer" well that can't be right? It should not be a geographical lottery as to the ease or difficulty with whish you are granted a Certificate.

Don't get me wrong I am not anti Police, indeed I spent ten years serving with the Met' Police but there should be more attempts to insure consistency between forces.

I think the problem lies with the Home Office Guidelines which allow for certain ambiguity in the process, however this should not translate into an enquiry's officer being able to apply a personality test to the applicant based on their own perceptions of the persons character, or should it??

In this age of "computer says no" type mentality I have found myself questioning if actually this rare element of discretion that is granted to the Enquiries officer might be a very good approach.

Often in the Police I found that officer's intuition was a valuable if unquantifiable skill. Yes it will probably mean that many applicants have to wait longer and are required to pass more vigorous requirements but is this a bad thing?

Well as you can see from my rambling I am going to sit firmly on the fence with this one! Police officers and Enquiries Officers are not psychologists but in my experience they are often good judges of character. Yes they will make mistakes and frustrations will occur and yes some people will slip through the net but is this final line of defence something we would abolish?

I am sad to say that if the process becomes too formalised and Certificates are granted based on a 'tick box' formula I am concerned as to the consequences.

Yours truly a former Police Officer who already has a Certificate.....Oh the bias!!

Rigby

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