Multiple firearms licences were revoked by Lancashire Police in Lancashire last year, new figures show
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Home Office figures show three firearms licences were revoked by Lancashire Constabulary in the year to March – though this was down from nine in 2021-22.
Across England and Wales, a record number of licences were removed from firearms users, with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation praising the vetting process for catching unsuitable gun owners.
Action on Armed Violence, a campaign group that aims to end armed violence, said the UK's gun laws "work", with firearms deaths lower nationally than in many other countries.
In 2008-09, when records first began, 12 firearms were revoked.
Meanwhile, a further 13 shotgun licences were revoked last year.
Lancashire Police said the licences were revoked as they must be satisfied the applicant can be permitted to possess a firearm without danger to public.
Across England and Wales, there were 418 firearms revocations in 2022-23 – up from 385 the year before and the highest figure on record, which nationally began in 1992.
Some 1,161 shotgun licences were removed, the highest figure in the last six years.
The BASC praised the vetting process individuals must pass when applying for a licence due to the small percentage of overall certificate holders that have their licence revoked.
Martin Parker, head of firearms at the association, said the reason for the record numbers is "almost certainly the introduction of statutory guidance on suitability checks of certificate holders in 2021", which the BASC assisted in creating to improve consistency across police forces in England and Wales.
Mr Parker added: "Shooting is an incredibly popular activity, incorporating tens of thousands of jobs, highly competitive target and clay pigeon shooting, and essential wildlife management."
Iain Overton, executive director of AOAV, said the figures "can be viewed two ways: the first is, reassuringly, in that there are attempts to assure that firearms in the UK are only held by those capable of using them legally. The second is a cause of concern, that the numbers are rising".
"The truth is that we, compared to many countries, are a remarkably safe nation for firearm deaths. Ultimately, we should be more concerned with knife crime than gun crime. In an imperfect world, our gun laws work," he added.
The figures also show 522 firearms and shotguns were lost or stolen across England and Wales in 2022-23 – 19% higher than the year before and 43% higher than two years ago.
In Lancashire, three firearms or shotguns were lost or stolen – though this was down from four in 2020-21.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "When issuing firearms licences to anyone we follow strict guidelines set out by the Home Office, with the most recent guidance being updated in February 2023.
“Prior to a licence being issued or renewed we conduct thorough safety checks into both the background of the applicant, and anyone they live with, and into the location or locations where the firearm will be stored and used. Up-to-date medical reports are also requested.
“We must satisfy ourselves that the applicant can be permitted to possess a firearm without danger to public safety and if there is any doubt about this, a licence will not be issued, or will be revoked if it has been held previously.
“The figures may change from year to year as a result.
“More information about how we issue firearm and shotgun licences can be found on our website at lancashire.police.uk/contact-us/firearms-licensing.”