In order of reciept from mail posted last night 9/11 - these are the two independent candidates - nothing from the political ones yet - if they post i will update
I know where my vote is going
I am writing to you as a candidate for the Nottinghamshire Police Commissioners position.
I would specifically like to know your position on firearms, as i am the holder of both a shotgun and firearms licence.
What is your attitude to the public ownership of guns and do you believe that the legislation is reasonable as it stands ? If so why and if not how would you like to see it amended ? Are you for more red tape or for relaxing the bureaucracy, which to my mind serves no purpose in preventing gun crime and also is needlessly complex.
You will not be aware, but it can take months for a simple variation of a firearm certificate to be processed. An application for a specific firearm can take longer and to apply for a first licence even longer. One of my shooting colleagues has been waiting in excess of 6 months for his application for a shotgun certificate to be processed. You will know that a British citizen has the right to own a shotgun and the Police have to show good reason why he should not possess one. I consider these delays to be unacceptable especially when it is a public service and shooters have to pay for the privilege.
Recently the Nottingham firearms department have started to impose conditions on the application for and ownership of firearms which are not set out in the Home Office guidelines. Personally i have had no knowledge of this, but friends have encountered them. Inter alia, calibre restrictions that are unreasonable and do not relate to the usage of the firearm in question and conditions about holding one sort of firearm before being allowed to hold another. Provided a shooter can demonstrate a requirement to hold a gun he is entitled to do so. The conditions are therefore unreasonable. Some people will not challenge the restrictions for fear of blotting their copybook and these restrictions become more unreasonable and unrealistic
I would however like to say that overall i am happy with the service provided by the Nottingham Firearms Department, notwithstanding the above. I suspect that the delays are due to underfunding and have always found the staff to be helpful and courteous.
I would like to hear how you intend to deal with the above specifically and also how you intend to deal with firearms, applications and your general attitude to firearms in general
Please note that your replies will be disseminated to other shooters and posted on various shooting websites so that your voters are aware of your position.
I look forward to reading your reply with interest.
I am of opinion that the present legislation is quite reasonable.
As a GP I used to sign several requests, and none have encountered any difficuly. Have you approached your own GP?
After the election is over, if I win please get in touch with me.
Dear Andrew Grant
Thank you for e-mailing me.
Firearms held legally for both recreational and work purposes are not the firearms that cause me any great concern, the vast majority of these are used and stored in a safe and responsible manner.
However I am extremely concerned by the large number of firearms that are held illegally being used for criminal activities. I have no problem with any activity field sports or otherwise that are undertaken in a legal manner. To this end the attention needs to be focussed there and not legislating to further restrict responsible use.
The last knee jerk reaction to further restrict such use should be reconsidered. While it is impossible to legislate for a ‘rogue’ individual suddenly ‘flipping’ I do feel that legislation may be amended to ensure a better scrutiny as to the psychological profile of owners of firearms with these being checked on periodic renewals of the licence perhaps more intrusively than now.
One of the key features of my campaign is to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in the Police to both free up officers to spend more time out of the stations and also to speed up the processes.
Be assured this approach will apply to all aspects of Nottinghamshire Police’s activities including Firearms licencing.
I am pleased to hear of your general satisfaction with the service provided by firearms licencing
I confess to a lack of knowledge as regards firearms and the legislation you mention, but again be assured if this is pure bureaucracy and not in any way necessary for public safety (which must be paramount) then it will fall under the axe should I be elected. I hope I have answered your points and my confessed lack of in depth knowledge hasn’t led me to miss some of your points
For further information on me and to read my manifesto please visit my website www.malcolmspencer4pcc.co.uk
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Malcolm Spencer LLB
Independent candidate for PCC