In 2019 the Home Office signed a memorandum with the National Police Chiefs Council recognising that whilst the legal responsibility for monitoring firearms or shotgun certificate holders rests with the police, doctors should use reasonable endeavours to support the process.
An increasing number of police forces in the UK now require a medical report from a GP, click below to find out if you require a mandatory medical.
FirearmsMedicals quickly became a necessity due to the number of NHS GPs refusing to complete medical verification either on the grounds of conscientious objection, or because they do not see firearms/shotgun medical verification as a service they should prioritise, a choice they have as it is deemed a ‘non NHS’ service.
Complete our online referral form uploading your medical proforma and consent for us to obtain your medical records, or get in touch by phone or email.
We’ll obtain your medical records from your GP surgery (can take up to 30 days), then allocate your case to our GPs who will review your medical records and compile the report within 2 days.
We’ll send the report back to you or directly to the firearms licensing officer depending on the force requirements. We’ll also notify your GP surgery that the police may request a firearms marker be added to your medical records.
An increasing number of forces have imposed a mandatory medical verification for anyone applying for or renewing a shotgun or firearms licence, despite many NHS GPs not providing medicals as they are not contractually obliged to offer the service. A number of other police forces require the same medical if you disclose a medical condition on your application, or your GP notifies your firearms licensing officer of a medical condition.
The following police forces require a mandatory medical to our knowledge (your police force will confirm):
It is expected that soon all UK police forces will require a medical verification for shotgun and firearms certificate holders and applicants.
Our service was founded to assist BASC (British Association of Shooting and Conservation) members but our GPs provide reports for all firearms and shotgun licence holders and applicants.
The medical verification process involves a GP reviewing your full medical records to assist the police in determining whether you currently or previously have had any of the following medical conditions:
This information will then be shared with you and or the necessary police force (this varies force by force) responsible for the granting or renewal of your licence. We aim to complete the whole process within a maximum period of 33 days but it’s usually much sooner. Your GP surgery is allowed up to 30 days to send your medical records to us, but in our experience, they usually do this quicker. We only take a maximum of 3 days to complete your report once in receipt of your medical records, but this is often turned around on the same day due to the number of Doctors on our panel available at a moment’s notice.
Once your report is complete and sent to you or the police force, we will write to your GP surgery to request that a firearms marker is added to your patient records, as required by the Home Office.
The medical reports we provide are requested by the police, and only the police make the decision on whether to grant or renew a firearms or shotgun certificate.
Using your medical records our GPs provide a factual report for the relevant police constabulary but we do not make any recommendations on your suitability to own a firearm.
The responsibility and decision on the granting or refusal of a licence lies with the police constabulary. Our role is solely to provide information by way of statement of fact to assist them in their decision.
As long as you consent to us obtaining your medical records from your GP surgery, our GPs are able to complete your medical record verification.
An increasing number of NHS GPs do not offer a shotgun or firearms medical verification service but if your GP surgery does provide the service, there is often a wait associated with this due to GP surgeries not deeming shotgun/firearm medicals as a critical service, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. You must also consider that the service is classed as ‘non NHS’ and therefore often warrants an eye watering fee. That being said some firearms licensing officers have advised us that most GP surgeries in their force area are ‘playing ball’.
We are experienced in medical reporting work and understand that your application is important to your livelihood, so we make every effort to ensure your medical verification is conducted promptly and efficiently. Our price competitive fees are set by our founder who is a GP and BASC member.
There is no requirement for the Doctor to know you personally as they have access to your full medical records, and they are not passing any opinion on your fitness to hold a firearms licence, only conducting a check of the facts and relaying them to the relevant police force to take into consideration.
We usually complete reports within 48 hours of receiving medical records.
Bear in mind however that your GP surgery can legally take up to 30 days to produce your medical records, so we recommend that you self-refer to our team as soon as you can, allowing plenty of time before your renewal date (if you are renewing).
Once we have your medical records, we are able to conduct the review and produce a report for you within three working days but usually on the same day due to our vast network of medical experts. The fastest and most efficient way to apply for your medical verification with FirearmsMedicals is to complete our online referral form.
Alternatively you can email us or post the paper application and consent form (click here to obtain a copy) and to: FirearmsMedicals, Ryminster, Building 1, Charlesworth Court, Knights Way, Shrewsbury SY1 3AB.
Once our GP completes your verification and report it will immediately be sent to your designated firearms officer at the relevant police constabulary to allow them to consider your application, or back to you depending on the force requirements.
A number of police forces we work with have advised FirearmsMedicals that they prefer us to obtain your medical records directly from your GP surgery (with your consent), as this is is a more robust and reliable method. We have therefore made the decision to follow this process for all police forces and this leg work for our team is included in your £59 fee, meaning you do not have to contact your GP surgery directly unless they want you to verify our request for medical records.
Everything relevant will be included in the report, including any entries relating to the list below.
Should any of these areas be included, a Firearms Officer will discuss these with you during an interview as part of the process for issuing your certificate. They may also request a further specialist report from your own GP in some cases which the police will cover the cost of.
It is important to bear in mind that only the police have the power to make the decision on whether to grant you your shotgun and/or firearms licence, and our Doctors only provide a factual report on whether any medical conditions are present.
Once your report is completed and sent back to you and/or the relevant police force, we will retain a copy of your referral form (online or paper) as well as the report (the completed medical proforma) but we will destroy your medical records.
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