§ The Earl of Lytton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether an applicant has the right of appeal against additional conditions (as opposed to mandatory conditions) imposed on the grant, renewal or variation of a firearm certificate and if not, why not; and whether they intend to ensure that in future certificate holders will be able to appeal against such conditions imposed by chief constables.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
A recent court decision held that conditions imposed by a chief constable cannot be varied on application and that no right of appeal existed. The court noted that in law there was a distinction between variation of conditions subject to which a certificate is held, and variation of the certificate. It concluded that Section 29(1) of the Firearms Act 1968, as amended, contains provisions for amending the conditions subject to which the certificate is held, while Section 29(2) contains provision for the amendment of the certificate itself. In the first case a chief constable has an unfettered right to vary a condition; only in the latter case has the applicant a right of appeal to the Crown Court if he is in disagreement with the chief constable's decision. We have no plans at present to amend the law on this issue.