Those of you involved in all forms of shooting, both in re-enactment and in the sporting world, will, no doubt be aware that applications for the grant, or renewal, of firearms and shotgun licenses will now require a medical report from your doctor. Through NAReS I have been made aware of difficulties faced by some re-enactors when trying to get reports from their local surgeries. I should add that this is not peculiar to re-enactors but firearms owners across the whole spectrum of shooting. I have heard stories of extreme time delays; horrendous charges levied for the report (to date the record appears to be £450+VAT!); and some surgeries refusing to do reports altogether. Through sheer frustration one re-enactor decided to give up his weapons as a result of difficulties obtaining a report. I decided that this should not happen and have looked at the issue.
Currently there is a huge disparity between police forces throughout the country but this is soon to change with them all falling into line with the same processes. There is also a problem in that the provision of medical reports falls outside the NHS and is, therefore deemed private medical work meaning that doctors can charge whatever they see fit for the work involved. This disparity is being looked at by shooting organizations at the highest level but medical reports are here to stay which means all re-enactors requiring firearms and, or, shotgun certificates will have to obtain doctor’s reports when applying for a grant or renewal.
I have discussed the matter with a number of firearms enquiry officers from different police areas and got similar responses. Therefore should any re-enactor require a medical report and, for whatever reason, do not wish to, or cannot, go through their local GP surgery I suggest using this company – firstname.lastname@example.org (Other companies are available) This company has a good track record with the police for obtaining medical reports from anywhere in the country. They charge a flat rate of £50 (standard rate in most surgeries) however if the re-enactor quotes brownbess10 in their application the company will give a 10% discount. This discount will be for the individual applicant only and NAReS will not gain any financial reward other than to know we do not need to lose members through the inability to get a report. This will mean that there is more than one route available should the applicant wish to use it.