Real life examples of how arms administration does not match the legislation
Police keep inaccurate records of firearms
16 April 2020
A licenced firearms owner (LFO) has an endorsement on his licence to own prohibited firearms such as MSSAs.
A Police officer from the Arms Act Service Delivery Group contacted him to enquire about the firearms on his endorsement.
Our LFO had dutifully relinquished some of the firearms as part of the Government’s confiscation and compensation scheme.
But the Police still had additional prohibited firearms registered under his name. The Police staff member emailed to ask whether he still had them. He looked through the Police record and noticed many mistakes. These included two semi-automatic rifles listed under his name that were never on any previous checklists – in fact, they had never been in his possession. Some parts remained listed on his record, despite him having disposed of the items previously and notifying Police about it at the time.
Police had failed to update their records after previous communications with the LFO to show that he had surrendered two prohibited firearms and one receiver as part of the probation.
They had two firearms listed on his licence that he had never held.
Police took the view that the discrepancy between their records and what firearms he claimed to hold, was his fault. They did not countenance the possibility that their own database might be incorrect.
What should have happened
Police ought to keep better records of licenced firearms owners with Prohibited Endorsements.
Given their poor track record of handling and actioning previous correspondence, Police should not have assumed that the LFO had done anything wrong
Guidance for the LFO community
Police are not good at keeping records, so make sure you keep copies of your correspondence with Police in a safe location that you can reference it again in situations like this one.
If they succeed with bringing in a firearms registry, this problem will only get worse.