HL Deb 07 June 2000 vol 613 c164WA
The Earl Of Shrewsbury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the police should issue a permit under Section 7(1) of the Firearms Act 1968 where an application for renewal of a firearms or shotgun certificate has been submitted in good time, but where the issue of the certificate is delayed beyond the expiry date of the existing certificate. [HL2686]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

The decision as to whether or not to issue a permit in these circumstances is in law a matter for the discretion of the chief officer of police of the area concerned.

Home Office guidance to the police for many years on the issue of such permits is that they are intended primarily for use in cases where the issue of a firearm or shotgun certificate is not considered appropriate. This might, for example, be to allow for the temporary possession of an inherited firearm prior to its disposal. We would be reluctant to encourage chief officers to issue temporary permits in circumstances where full certificates, with their attendant background checks and conditions, would be more appropriate.