The five-year checks could now be done by post – raising fears about who could be holding a firearm.Which is more than a little disingenuous, because those checks (like your car’s MOT) only proves that on the day in question everything was hunky-dory.
It means firearms officers would no longer be able to assess the mental stability of the person on the doorstep or check how safely a gun is stored to reduce the likelihood of them being stolen in a raid.
There’s nothing to stop you going tonto and shooting up the high street, or leaving the gun safe door open, three days or three weeks or three hours after after the visit…
Former Labour Essex MP Angela Smith, now Baroness Smith of Basildon, said: “I think we’ve found with some of the people that have caused some problems with firearms and shotguns, it has been because there haven’t been appropriate checks taken.Really? Why, when the checks serve no useful purpose?
“You can’t just say to someone once they’ve got a firearms certificate that it’s forever, there have to be some checks along the way.”
And who’s going to check that, when I sit at the wheel of my ton of metal for a trip to the shops, I won’t suddenly have the urge to swing the wheel hard over and take out a bus queue of kiddiewinks just as easily as I could do with a shotgun (actually easier, since I’ve been driving cars for real for years, but only shoot on the Playstation!)?
Nothing, of course. So, why all the fuss over guns? Is it just their portability?
Or is this a way of pointing the finger at those dratted Tory cuts?
She is concerned Essex Police has no option to impose these changes because of Government cost-cutting.That’ll be a ‘Yes’ then…
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are looking at ways to save money, but also improve efficiency.Seems eminently sensible to me. Probably should have done it before, in fact.
“Home visits will continue for all new licence applications, but it’s proposed that a postal renewal service is used after five years which is when all licences have to be reconsidered.”
But I’m not a hoplophobe…