HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 c89W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the Secretary of State (1) for the Home Department for what reason his Department requires information on physical disabilities from applicants renewing firearms certificates; [139006]

(2) if he will list the disabilities for those participating in shooting as a sport which are considered by his Department to put other shooters at risk. [139005]

Mr. Charles Clarke

One of the recommendations on firearms licensing made in Lord Cullen's Report into the Dunblane tragedy was that the police should be able to seek and consider information on the medical history of any person applying to possess firearms.

In order to implement this and other recommendations, the Firearms Rules were amended in 1998 to require applicants for the grant or renewal of a firearm or shot gun certificate to declare whether they suffer from any medical condition or disability including alcohol and drug related conditions, and if so to give details.

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of conditions or disabilities that might have a bearing on this issue. Were any such list to be attempted, there is a real risk that it would exclude conditions that might affect an individual's fitness to possess a firearm, if only because of the medication which may have to be taken. It is for the police to consider each applicant on an individual basis, seeking medical advice where appropriate. It is open to any applicant aggrieved by the refusal of a chief officer of police to grant or renew a certificate to appeal to the Crown Court or in Scotland, the Sheriff's Court.

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