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Template letter to push back on firearms licence requests

Devon LMC has produced a template letter for practices to send to police to turn down requests for an opinion on patients applying for firearms licences because GPs are not properly qualified

Dear X,

Re: _______________________________________

Thank you for your request for a medical report on the above patient. You have asked me if I have any concerns regarding the issuing of a firearms licence to this individual, and you therefore seek my professional opinion rather than a simple report of the medical facts.

It is widely accepted that the major clinical issue giving rise to the improper use of firearms is the presence of a personality disorder. To give a professional opinion on such a diagnosis one would need to conduct a specific examination for personality disorder and have special expertise. Such expertise would, at a minimum, require approval under section 12 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007).

I regret to inform you that I am not approved under sec 12 MHA, nor have I conducted an examination appropriate for the diagnosis of personality disorder in this person. I am therefore not qualified to offer the expert professional opinion you seek and would suggest that you approach an appropriately qualified psychiatrist who may be able to help you in this regard.

Yours faithfully,


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