GP involvement in FAC/SGC renewal process

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
This may affect Scottish members since there does not appear to be much consistency in how English and Welsh Police forces handle medical checks
Because Police Scotland instituted their "no GP letter = no certificate" policy in April 2016, we have now reached the stage where all renewals will be for people who have already gone through the medical check system.
From information received from several FEOs during the past 3 or 4 years, it has been my understanding that if there is a marker on their medical record and their GP has not contacted the police with medical concerns during the validity of the certificate(s), that an applicant renewing their certificate(s) will not require any GP involvement (and therefore no additional expense)
However, within the last week I have spoken to one person who is at present going through the renewal process who has been told by his FEO that he must obtain another letter from his GP (which he did at a cost of £35) and yesterday talked to an FEO who said that his instructions are that all renewal applications must include a GP letter.
In an effort to clarify the situation, I e mailed Police Scotland yesterday and today received an official reply from Inspector Bruce Crawford from National Firearms and Explosive licensing.
The relevant part of his response is:
"I have made some enquiries into your email and can confirm that as long as a GP marker is in place, as things currently stand, Firearm Enquiry Officers should not be asking for further contact with a GP at renewal stages. There may of course be certain circumstances when contact is necessary for a variety of reasons but this should not routinely be the case if the GP marker is in place. Any such contact would be for individual specific purposes.
I am led to believe that statutory changes may be afoot that will require contact with GP's at renewal stages but as this is not yet in legislation it is not to be acted upon.
I have asked my Firearms Licensing Department colleagues in your area to clarify this with their officers and trust that this will aid any confusion that may have arisen. If however there are any further problems please let me know, ideally with details of the FEO and I will make some further enquiries."


That was a pleasant surprise!
The potential statutory changes he mentions come from para 2.55 of the Draft Firearms Statutory Guidance
Specifically, it states that "medical checks apply to renewals as to grants"

So, for the moment at least, anyone in Scotland renewing and FAC/SGC should not be required to provide a letter from a GP

Cheers

Bruce
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
If this policy is universally followed, i.e. that the doctor part of the application process is a one-time thing, then it makes it not only more reasonable, but more palatable for the applicant. But how does this work if you used a doctor service that isn't your regular GP (because they are anti, or want to charge the GDP of a small African country). Then, because there's no marker on your GP records, will it have to be done every renewal?
 

slider

Well-Known Member
If this policy is universally followed, i.e. that the doctor part of the application process is a one-time thing, then it makes it not only more reasonable, but more palatable for the applicant. But how does this work if you used a doctor service that isn't your regular GP (because they are anti, or want to charge the GDP of a small African country). Then, because there's no marker on your GP records, will it have to be done every renewal?
It is part of the whole GP letter/marker process that a marker is added to your records. If you use a third party medical service as I did, the FEO instructs the GP to add a marker to your licence.
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
It's my understanding that if you use Medcert or Shootcert to get a GP letter then, for renewals, where a medical record they receive does not have a marker on it, they will put a marker on it.
For initial grants, the GP or Medcert should NOT put a marker on the applicants medical records because at that stage no-one knows if the application will be successful.
if it is successful, the police are supposed to inform the now certificate holders GP to put a marker on the record.
I have 2 issues with that:
1. Do the police always contact the GP to tell them to put a marker on a record ?
2. If and when informed by the Police, is the GP obliged to put a marker on a record?
Frankly I doubt it because GP involvement in the process is entirely voluntary


Cheers

Bruce
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
If the GP has a marker on the medical record surely the onus is on them to inform the FLD of any concerns that they might have regardless of any renewals. If the FLD is asking for a further GP reference on renewal doesn't that indicate that the marker serves no useful purpose?
 
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