Disclosure Details

Firearms licensing - 123/13

Dated: 08 Mar 2013

Date of request:     08/02/2013

Date of response:   08/03/2013

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your letter received 8th February 2013 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

I would like to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the following information from your Force regarding shotgun and rifle licensing:

  1. The number of applications received in the last financial year for new licenses and renewals last year; how many of these applications for new licenses and renewals were successful. 

  2. The number of new licenses and renewals which were granted with a face-to-face interview and a telephone interview in the last financial year

  3. The total cost of administering firearms licensing, including staff employed, administrative expenses and appeal costs in the last financial year. 

  4. The number of appeals against firearm license refusals in the last financial year and how many of these appeals were successful in the last financial year. 

  5. Whether the force has produced a code of conduct or operating guidelines to help officers interpret Home Office guidance on firearms licenses. If so, please provide a copy. I would further like to ask when this guidance was first produced and when it was last updated. 

  6. Whether the force has operation guidelines on awarding firearms licenses in cases where allegations of domestic violence have been made and evidence of poor mental health is present.?

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Firearms Licensing Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

  1. As from 01/04/2011 to 31/03/2012 we received 275 rifle applications and 992 renewal applications. Of these, 265 grants and 991 renewals were succesful.
    In the same period we received 533 shot gun grant applications and 1863 renewal applications. Of these, 492 grants and 1861 renewals  were succesful.

  2. Every applicant has a face-to-face interview at their home address; this happens at the time of all grant, renewal and change of address/change of security applications.
    Please note that when coterminous applications are received one home visit would be conducted. 

  3. You were asked for clarification on this part of your request on 18th February, which was not supplied, however I can confirm that no information is held to enable a comprehensive response.  The information to enable us to fully respond to this part of your request is not collated, however I can advise that Police Staff Salaries and National Insurance  total £259,179 and Other Expenditure: £17493.53

  4. Between 01/04/2011 to 31/03/2012 there was one appeal notification against the refusal for a firearm grant application. It was unsuccesful.

  5. Northumbria Police use Firearms legislation and the Home Office Firearms Law - Guidance to the Police 2002 in all matters concerning firearms licensing.  This document is in the public domain and therefore freely available.

    I have provided the relevant link below.


  6. As per answer 5. 

Please note: We actively monitor intelligence in relation to firearms licence holders. Where there is a risk we do revoke licences outside of the renewal process.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103