One month after Luke Pollard presented “Keyham’s Law” to Parliament, the Government have now confirmed they are making progress on one of the key asks, on linking gun certificates with medical records.
In answers to Written Parliamentary Questions from Luke Pollard MP, the Government has confirmed that applications for a licence to hold a firearm are to be linked to medical records. They also confirmed that progress is being made in linking IT systems used by GPs and primary care providers to enable this to happen.
The call to link gun licences to medical records comes after five people were tragically shot and killed in Keyham last August. The area’s MP Luke Pollard has been leading these calls, meeting with Ministers alongside community representatives, the victims and their families to ask that Ministers take action.
In answer to Mr Pollard’s Parliamentary questions, Health Minister Maria Caulfield MP confirmed officially for the first time that “the Department is working with the Home Office and NHS Digital to develop a national firearms digital marker for use within general practice.” It is hoped that these markers would stop those who could be a danger with a weapon from holding one.
This was backed up in an answer from another Parliamentary question, where Home Office Minister Kit Malthouse MP said that “the marker helps with monitoring of firearms certificate holders by alerting GPs to advise the police if there are any changes in relevant medical conditions” so that “the police force can assess whether a person remains suitable to possess a firearm certificate.”
Earlier this month, Luke Pollard presented a bill to Parliament that aims to the keeping of pump-action shotguns in homes, and link medical records with gun certificates, known as Keyham’s Law.
Luke Pollard said:
“This is a huge step forward in our campaign to get gun licenses and medical records linked.
“When I met with the Minister alongside the families of the victims from Keyham, he was very positive about making this happen. This is the first time we’ve had confirmation of this in black and white.
“No one experiencing a mental health crisis should have access to a firearm for the protection of themselves and other people. Linking medical records and gun certificates will help alert authorities to review their suitability to keep a gun if someone presents with a mental health problem. It is a step forward to stopping another incident like the Keyham shooting ever happening again.”