When you fill out your licensing paperwork, both for new applications and renewals, you will be asked to provide details of your GP and of any relevant medical conditions that might affect your suitability for a licence.
Relevant medical conditions of interest include:
(i) Acute Stress Reaction or an acute reaction to the stress caused by a trauma;
(ii) suicidal thoughts or self-harm;
(iii) depression or anxiety;
(v) mania, bipolar disorder or a psychotic illness;
(vi) a personality disorder;
(vii) a neurological condition: for example, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases, or epilepsy;
(viii) alcohol or drug abuse; and,
(ix) any other mental or physical condition which may affect the safe possession of firearms or shotguns.
The police will also provide guidance at the application stage on whether they will require a medical report from your GP, and on how they or you should pursue this. GPs are asked to review your records and provide a statement, although responsibility for the decision about whether a person is suitable to be granted a certificate lies entirely with the police, not the GP.
It is at this point that experiences of applicants vary hugely. Some GPs comply with no charge to the applicant, some GPs request payment for the service, some refuse on the grounds of conscientious objection or lack of mental health expertise, and many simply do not respond at all. Lack of GP participation can result on police refusing to grant the licence, even though the applicant is not at fault.
If you are worried about your licence application being held up by your GP, or the prospect of facing what in some cases is a three-figure fee, MedCert can provide a secure, fast and efficient alternative.