HC Deb 07 February 2001 vol 362 c613W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representatives he has received on the length of time taken to process shotgun certificate renewal; what the average length of time taken to process shotgun certificate renewals in(a) England, (b) Wales and (c) North Yorkshire was in (i) 1996 and (ii) 2000; and how frequently local authority firearm consultative committees should meet. [148645]

Mr. Charles Clarke

The Home Office has received a number of representations about the time taken to renew shotgun certificates from a range of shooters and shooting bodies.

Figures for average renewal times are not collected centrally and were not so collected in 1996. We understand from information as is immediately available that the average time taken to renew a shotgun certificate is as follows, the 1996 figure being an estimate.

Average renewal time in weeks 1996 2000
England 4 7
Wales 2 9
North Yorkshire 3 8

The main reason for this increase in most forces is that following Lord Cullen's report into the Dunblane tragedy, most forces have moved from renewing shotgun certificates by post to visiting applicants personally prior to renewal.

The Home Office has not issued advice on how often local firearms consultative bodies should meet; nor have we received any representations on this issue in recent years. We understand that those forces that do hold such consultative meetings do so between two and four times a year.