British government’s back-door ban on shooters who have lived abroad

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The government’s new policy of granting gun certificates on production of medical records is penalising people who have lived abroad and don’t have medical records. Charlie Jacoby meets two people like that at the 2023 British Shooting Show.

David Taylor is a British citizen who has lived his life in South Africa, where doctors are not required to keep medical records. He is a keen target shot and has competed for South Africa in international shooting events.

David moved to the UK and put in for his FAC. He had to admit that he had not medical records prior to 2021. Hampshire Police firearms licensing said it was unable to process his application without medical records, a new provision that Priti Patel brought in in 2021. Even letters from David’s doctor in South Africa and from South Africa’s police are not enough.

Also from South Africa, Neil Lithgow is an airline pilot in the same situation. He has to pass regular health and mental tests for his work as a pilot but Thames Valley Police firearms licensing do not recognise them.

“How do you provide medical records from a country that does not keep medical records?” asks Neil.

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