Uniform firearm policy

Police forces have been instructed to remove unequal conditions on the use of lawful firearms.

While some forces include the condition that states Any Other Lawful Quarry (AOLQ) may be shot on land that they have permission to shoot on, certain police forces in England and Wales restrict licensed firearms to certain quarry species. This means that someone permitted to use a large calibre rifle for deer shooting could break the law if they shot a fox.

Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of Hampshire and lead in firearms licensing issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), sent new instructions to English and Welsh police forces about the use of conditions on firearms certificates, advising them to let certificate holders shoot AOLQ. He wrote: “I would like to encourage the use of the AOLQ condition on all firearms certificates with immediate effect.”

The Chief Constable also recommended that police forces re-evaluate conditions that can require certificate holders to be accompanied by a mentor during shooting trips. He added that training courses that shooting organisations such as BASC offer will be a better solution if an applicant requires more training.

BASC was relieved to learn that these unnecessary conditions are being advised against. Mike Eveleigh, senior firearms officer at BASC, said: “This is a common-sense and helpful move by Chief Constable Marsh and his staff.”

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