Question

If the police say they wish to revoke my firearms certificate, what are my options?

Answer

There are actually quite a lot of options open to you. This post is designed simply to spell out some of the major ones. The short answer though is yes, it is possible to negotiate.

1. It is possible to appeal a revocation of a firearms license to a crown court.

2. It is possible to negotiate with the police. A good compromise is if the police can be persuaded to impose conditions on your firearms license. This would allow you to carry on possessing your license and your firearms so long as you complied with one or two extra requirements.

3. It is possible to ask that the licensing authority simply reconsider the revocation of a firearms license. They do have discretion to restore without you going to a full appeal.

I have represented many people who have either been refused a firearms license or had an existing firearms license revoked. The fact that you have received a revocation or refusal notice does not have to be the end of the story.

Some people think there is no point trying to challenge a decision made on behalf of the chief of police. I have found however that many of these decisions can be challenged one way or another.

Examples

Appeal a firearms license revocation or refusal to the crown court

This has the advantage of taking the decision out of the hands of the police entirely. Usually a Judge and two magistrates will decide on appeal whether your firearms license should be granted or restored. Police may try to persuade you that you have no hope of winning an appeal. Police (and FEO’s) are often not trained in the procedure at a firearms licensing appeal and may not be qualified to comment.

Have a lawyer write to the police and try to persuade them that the original decision was wrong

This is a cheaper way of challenging the refusal or revocation of a firearms license. An appeal can be costly and some people prefer the cheaper option of having a specialist firearms solicitor spending 1-2 hours trying to change the mind of the firearms licensing officers.

Try to negotiate a condition be imposed on my license instead of taking it away completely

With firearms licenses the police have other options than revoking or refusing a firearms license. It might be worth having a solicitor talk to the police to see if a compromise can be agreed.

Re-applying after a period of time

The police try to encourage this option. The problem with it is that there are no guarantees that your application for a firearms license would be granted if you agree to wait one or two years.

The above list of options is not exhaustive. If your firearms license is refused or revoked then you should always seek the advice of a specialist firearms solicitor.

When challenging a decision of police firearms licensing officers, it is always important to consider costs. A specialist lawyer will be able to advise you which option is the best for your budget. Contact Farleys’ firearms law specialists on 0845 287 0939 or get in touch by email to discuss your situation further.