I have received a number of "round robin" emails from members of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, so have decided to publish the email and my response on this website for ease of access. The text of the email can be found below.
I confirm that I support the safe and legal use of firearms. I can also confirm that I expect the Chief Constable to run an effective and efficient firearms licencing department and that I hold him to account for doing so. In Hertfordshire we have a colloborated unit with Beds and Cambs police but Hertfordshire remains the lead force, responsible for the unit.
Dear Mr Lloyd
I am emailing you as a candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in my area to ask for your views on shooting.
There is a clear distinction between the lawful use of firearms for hunting or target sports and their use by criminals. The overwhelming majority of certified firearms owners behave lawfully and responsibly with the rate of certificate revocation across the UK standing at just 0.2% of certificates on issue in 2014 -15. Police forces provide firearms licensing for those who shoot, and this provision comes within the scope of the job of Police and Crime Commissioner
Shooting plays a key role in the economy and management of the countryside. For further information on the benefits of shooting click the link below:
Local police forces have an opportunity to facilitate lawful shooting and protect public safety by making sure that licensing departments are adequately resourced so that firearms license applications are processed efficiently.
Given this, I would be grateful if you could let me know if you support shooting conducted according to the law and the current codes of practice?
I would also be grateful if you could confirm that you are committed to ensuring an efficient licensing operation in your police force area that complies with Home Office guidance.
I will be letting the British Association for Shooting and Conservation know about your reply. They have a membership of more than 144,000 while at least 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets. BASC will be letting their members and others know where candidates stand. If you’d like to expand on your views further, please do so, and BASC will make arrangements for people to find out about your views in detail.
Thank you in advance for your response.