Why do I need a medical check?

What is a medical check?

A medical check is a review of your medical records, to assess whether or not you have any conditions that might prevent you from holding or retaining a firearms licence. This check has to be conducted by a qualified medical professional, to the specifications of your individual firearms licensing authority, and the check should only be a factual summary of your history – never a statement of the reviewer’s opinion or reflection of personal bias. Only the police can decide whether or not you’re suitable to hold a licence.

Does everyone need a medical check?

No. Not all police forces require a medical report as part of your application or renewal. You can find out whether or not your local police force requires a check from the outset by visiting their website, or selecting your local force when ordering.

Although not everyone needs a medical check straight off, all applicants will be asked to provide details of their GP and any relevant medical conditions on the initial licence application/renewal form.

What are the relevant medical conditions?

As outlined by the Home Office, relevant medical conditions that might affect your suitability to hold a licence 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;
(iv) dementia;
(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.

Why should I use MedCert?

The medical certification system was initially designed so that applicant’s GPs would provide the necessary review of their records. GPs can, however, refuse to participate on the grounds of conscientious objection, or charge a fee that runs into the hundreds of pounds. Lack of GP participation can result in lengthy delays, the need for an applicant to use interim gun storage or even the loss of the licence, even though the applicant is not at fault.

MedCert exists to ensure that everyone can get a medical check for an affordable price, no matter what the stance of their GP. 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 and efficient alternative.

COVID-19 UPDATE FOR APPLICATIONS

The police, like the NHS, are on the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. As such, many forces are reassigning resources to the front line so they can best help and protect the UK at this extremely difficult time. This means that some firearms departments are putting new procedures in place.

Grants: A number of licensing authorities are not accepting applications for new licences during the pandemic. Whilst we are happy to provide a medical check for your future application we recommend you checking with your police force before using our service, as once complete medical reports are only valid for a certain period of time.

Renewals: At present firearms authorities are doing everything they can to deliver renewals in the normal manner, while also looking for ways to ease the strain this virus is putting on both their departments and individual applicants. They are aware that, due to the extraordinary and ever-changing situation at present, delays to every stage of the process may be inevitable. MedCert will, as always, not only keep you informed throughout the report process  but also keep up to date on each authority's changing requirements and follow their guidelines on your behalf.