FA Licence and PTSD? Advice...

Stoney Creek - Purpose Built Shooting Clothing
Hi all,

A quick albeit complex question from those with experience.

As my intro details, I have significant firearms experience in the military and the police but have never held a FAL or SGL

As a result initial of mu operations in the ‘91 Gulf War and then some Police firearms operations, I was diagnosed a few years back with Complex PTSD.

I am about to apply to West Mercia Police for my initial FAL and wonder what my chances are based on the experience found here on this forum.

To paint a better picture I am happiest outdoors, I am passionate and happy with weapons and have never had any ‘issues’ to date, apart from my flashbacks.

Obviously a sensitive subject, but happy for responses to be honest and candid.

This wont stop me hunting but I may have to pursue it via my other love of birds of prey.

TIA
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Ring up your constabulary's licensing department and ask, only way to get a straight answer.

If you are being prescribed medication then I would talk to your GP as well.
 

Stalker1962

Well-Known Member
TSS,

Firstly I am sorry that you have been diagnosed with CPTSD.
It is (for example) one of the very reasons that the HO introduced the medical element to the applications for FAC/SGC.

All such applications now require input from your "medical history". If this is a negative or simple matter then in most cases "sign off" can be achieved through your GP or a 3rd Party Agent if the GPs decline to engage or charge excessive fees.

If however there is something within your records that requires further investigation; the applicant may have to provide a further report from a specialist.

Do make contact with your local FEO to discuss the matter. Do be upfront and honest with them. It will not be the FEO who makes the decision but their FLM (you are ex-Job so you know this). The FLM can only make a fair decision once they are in possession of all the facts and it is all you can to do provide them with those facts.

Along with all applications it will be based on all the evidence once that evidence has been collected. It should also be the case that each application is judged on its own merits.
Two individuals can have the same diagnosis but it will mean different things to each individual - for instance (rhetorical) are you on medications etc.

It is also heartening to see you are already thinking of other options to enjoy the countryside.

I wish you the best in your application (and retirement).
 

slider

Well-Known Member
If you are being treated and following you GP's advice and taking any prescribed drugs then it would be discriminatory to hold this against you.

Good luck and thank you for your service
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
Talk to your doctor - tell him/her what that you want to apply for an FAC and ask if they will support or oppose your application.
My daughter suffered from depression, but took up clay pigeon shooting (which helped her immensely)
We went together to see her GP and spoke it through.
The GP was very supportive because she recognised the benefits it was bringing to my daughters condition.
My daughter had to get (and pay for) a full medical report and her application went pretty far up the line before it was approved, but it was approved
If you have a supportive GP, it's difficult for the Police to refuse your application.

Cheers

Bruce
 

Kalahari

Well-Known Member
If you are a member of BASC contact @Ladygun on here. She may well be able to give you very good advice. I think that the unqualified should probably stay well clear of this so I will say nothing more.

David.

(Beyond happy new year to all.)
 

topscots1

Well-Known Member
Id echo the comments above. Get in touch with your doctor and your licensing department in that order.

The fact is as I’m sure you know most visits are conducted by community officers with little knowledge of firearms and firearm safety. They are also limited to there knowledge of PTSD and it’s many manifestations. It is likely they will jump to conclusions.

I have had one friend that I know off refused his certificate from a similar background to yours with the same condition. Your medical professionals opinion is key.
 

bfltd0

Well-Known Member
You may want to contact your firearms department to see if they are taking new applications at this point. Some constabularies are using the Covid situation to focus on renewals only.
 

Rob1562

Well-Known Member
Not a great deal to add to the above.
I'd start with your GP; as has been seen on previous similar posts, some are more "pro shooting" than others.....your GP will be contacted regardless, so better to find out early doors whether he/she is on side with your application.
Once the first hurdle is crossed then the next will be your FLM....as said above it will be harder to turn down your application on medical grounds when your GP supports your application.
Good luck with your application.
Regards, Rob.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Sound advice from all of the above Silver Sniper.
Perhaps a bit of a pedant but I would just mention two small points. The first is that the military and the police use the term weapon but sporting shooters always refer to them as firearms. The second is that it is a shotgun or firearm certificate and not a license. Apparently there is a significant legal difference which you being ex police would probably be far more familiar with than most of us. All the best with your application which should be fairly received by West Mercia as several of the FEOs are ex forces and police themselves.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I have no insight to offer on the specific issue, I'm afraid. However, as @8x57 says, West Mercia are a decent bunch of people with real-world experience. They will be sensible, pragmatic, and fair when dealing with you.

Good luck.

Carl
 

patrickt

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

A quick albeit complex question from those with experience.

As my intro details, I have significant firearms experience in the military and the police but have never held a FAL or SGL

As a result initial of mu operations in the ‘91 Gulf War and then some Police firearms operations, I was diagnosed a few years back with Complex PTSD.

I am about to apply to West Mercia Police for my initial FAL and wonder what my chances are based on the experience found here on this forum.

To paint a better picture I am happiest outdoors, I am passionate and happy with weapons and have never had any ‘issues’ to date, apart from my flashbacks.

Obviously a sensitive subject, but happy for responses to be honest and candid.

This wont stop me hunting but I may have to pursue it via my other love of birds of prey.

TIA
Have you been out shooting with friends who have firearms and or shotguns?, have you used any of their weapons whilst in their company etc. In other words have you been around when friends are using them, and had a shot or two. Maybe some photographic evidence or the like, If so you could disclose this useful information to the FL Manager for supportive evidence of being responsible in the presence of others whilst using their guns, gun safety etc. I don't think you can have too much positive information to submit to the FA Dept

You haven't said that you "A Prohibited Person" so you are allowed to use other friends weapons, in their presence of course, so even if the Police declined your first Application you could amass a lot of evidence of recent ongoing experience of using firearms in the presence of others, and...obtaining a letter from your friends in support of any application you are making either now or in the future. I wish you every success in your endeavours

Patrick
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
A close friend who had an FAC knew that he was on the way to a major dose of the Blues. He rang his FEO Met Police) who came round and he asked his FEO take his rifle into safe custody.

He went through a breakdown, including time in clinic and lots of treatment to get better.

After a year of treatment he recovered. Yes he has medication, but he is fully aware of his blues, how to avoid them and if he does start getting into deeper water, then where the lifejacket is, how to inflate it and how to get him back on an even keel.

Once he had finished his initial treatment he contacted the FEO again to arrange the transfer of his rifle onto my FAC. The Met Police wrote to him stating that for clarification he had voluntarily surrendered his rifle, and now that he had undergone successful treatment there is no reason why he should not again to hold an SC or FAC and even chooses not to renew his own FAC, he is not prohibited from using a firearm under the estate rifle facility etc.

So in answer to the OP, provided that you have been treated etc there is no good reason why you should not hold an FAC.

The fact that you are asking the question is probably sufficient demonstration of your suitability. For an FAC, the Chief Office of Police needs to satisfy that you are off good repute and that you have good reason for acquiring an FAC.

As stated above talk with your GP, and when you do apply, apply on the basis of full disclosure.

Also note big difference between a Firearms Certificate (FAC) and Shotgun Certicate (SC).

With an FAC applicant has to demonstrate good reason for the possession and use of the particular firearm to be acquired, as well as be of good repute.

With a SC, you just need to show that you are of good repute. The onus is more on the Police to demonstrate why you should not possess a SC. (caveat - the lines are becoming distinctly blurred in some police areas).

What is of much more concern to Police is the underlying and unrecognised mental illness that is self medicated by alcohol. One of the big issues with the medical note etc is that it potentially stops those who are suffering from seeking help sooner as they fear they will have their guns removed.
 
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Cranhill

Well-Known Member
I have no insight to offer on the specific issue, I'm afraid. However, as @8x57 says, West Mercia are a decent bunch of people with real-world experience. They will be sensible, pragmatic, and fair when dealing with you.

Good luck.

Carl
Sorry to negative but I found with my dealings with West Mercia to be to total the opposite.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
And also have a really good read of the Home Office Firearms Guidance manual. There is Sticky to link to this.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
"Weapons" is more a military term, indicating tools used to kill people, whereas what you would be applying for is sporting equipment. Perhaps not much of a difference and people can get pedantic about it on here, but worth noting all the same when you want to portray the right attitude. A small point really, but military jargon can be misinterpreted.

The specific issue in question here with having a firearms or shotgun certificate is the likelihood or otherwise of you sometime in the future using a firearm to cause danger to either yourself or anyone else. Pretty much, that likelihood has to be nil. They will take information and advice from any relevant source, including your doctor and make a decision on that. Any history of relevant incidents, not taking prescribed medication and the severity of any condition you might have will all have a bearing. As will any time that has elapsed since any such incident, obviously the longer the better.

It's not an exact science and people on here are rightfully reluctant to express an opinion. All you can do is apply and sit back and wait. In the event of a refusal, it'll be good to ask why and what has to be done to get certificates, to give you something to work on.

Thanks for your service and here's wishing you good luck.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
Sorry to negative but I found with my dealings with West Mercia to be to total the opposite.
I guess (unfortunately and wrongly) there's some luck and variability involved in any service. Our local post office are always lovely to me but my wife comes home from there ready to commit murder... :D
 

pheasant sniper 1

Well-Known Member
Youve nothing to loose applying and best of luck i sincerely hope it goes well for you.


If you look at it from an accountability point of view the Police will be allowing the purchase of a firearm and ammunition to somebody diagnosed with Complex PTSD.
If anything serious did happen the Chief of your area will be surrendering himself to undoubted criticism and possibly the end of his career

I guess black n white it comes down to how the person in question handles your application.

Wishing you the very best :tiphat:
 
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