Obtaining a licence for a firearm or shotgun is not a simple process at the best of times. Most will anticipate that the Firearms Licensing process will be long and arduous and that they will be asked a multitude of questions about their background to determine whether they are suitable to be a licence holder – after all, you are applying for a licence to possess what amounts to a deadly weapon in the wrong hands!
What most do not realise, however, that is that it is not necessary to have a criminal conviction for your licence application to be refused. Something as seemingly minor as a previous history of mild or low-level mental health or medical issues, a report to police which has not resulted in any criminal proceedings, or even the way in which you have spoken to the police dealing with your application (e.g. if you have come across as frustrated or abrasive) could result in your licence application being refused.
Applications for firearms or shotgun certificates are made to the local police force for the area in which you live. In order for the police to grant the application, they must be satisfied that the applicant can be permitted to possess a lethal-barrelled weapon without danger to the public safety or to the peace. If for any reason the police think that this is not the case, then they will refuse the application.
Firearms Licensing Appeals Process
There is a right to appeal a decision to refuse a firearms/shotgun licensing certificate.
Appeals against police decisions to refuse firearms/shotgun licensing are made to the Crown Court. A notice that you intend to appeal the decision must be sent to the Crown Court within 21 days of the date on which you received the letter notifying you of the refusal.
As the appeal is made to the Crown Court, you shall require a barrister or solicitor advocate to represent you at any appeal hearing.
What can we do for you?
When a firearms licence application is refused, this often results in the applicant approaching a solicitor to request assistance. Many are already frustrated having waited for a considerable time for a response to their application and feel that the police have made adverse assumptions about their character or health with little or no justification. Many more are confused and do not understand the reasons why they have been refused.
It is for this reason that Reeds have teamed up with QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers to bring you the Firearms/Shotgun Licensing Triage Clinic.
If you have had an application for a firearms or shotgun certificate and it has been refused, we can provide you with a preliminary advice on appealing this decision.
All we will need from you is the following:
- The original application you submitted to police; and
- The refusal letter from the police.
You will then be booked in for a 1-hour virtual conference with a specialist firearms/shotgun licensing solicitor who will take your instructions. Following your conference, views will be sought from a specialist firearms/shotgun licensing barrister and you will receive a detailed letter of advice outlining your options and our advice so that you can decide how you wish to proceed.
You shall then be provided with a quote for ongoing work if you should decide you wish to appeal the decision. This shall include us lodging a notice of your intention to appeal with the relevant Crown Court.
What does it cost?
Fees for seeking advice on appeal for firearms/shotguns licensing refusals can vary dramatically between firms. We appreciate that most clients wish to have a clear idea of costs and it is with this in mind that the Firearms/Shotgun Licensing Triage Clinic has been set up.
For the preliminary advice on appeal, including the views of both a specialist firearms/shotgun licensing solicitor and barrister and a detailed letter of advice which clearly and simply sets out your options, we charge a fixed fee of £700 plus VAT. This means that you can seek the advice you require and ask all the questions you have without the fear of incurring additional fees.
Each firearms/shotgun licensing case is different and, depending on the facts, the overall fees can vary dramatically depending on the complexities of the individual case; however, in your detailed letter of advice we shall endeavour to provide you with a good understanding of how much the overall matter is likely to cost you, should you decide to appeal the decision.