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Digital Firearms Marker enabled in GP practices across UK

Will this help or hinder Firearms License Certificates in the UK?

The UK's first digital firearms marker has been enabled in certain GP practices across the country, to enhance safety in firearms certification across the UK. As of 6th February 2023, practices using an EMIS Web System can now add this SNOMED code to patients' records in a bid to increase safety mechanisms within UK firearms licensing. The scheme is scheduled for Cegedim/Vision systems in March 2023. 


How the digital firearms marker works

The digital firearms marker is added to a patient's record when GPs receive a notification of a firearms certificate application or when a certificate is granted. The SNOMED code will then create alerts for any potentially relevant health conditions identified throughout the process, GPs must make sure police are promptly informed with updated information where necessary.


Why is this being rolled out?

The UK government's decision to equip GP practices across the country with digital firearms markers is a bold move to promote safety and security. The advanced digital tracking system will assist local licensing forces with approving firearms licenses, providing vital information to current and potential owners. In addition, digitally marked records can help conduct more efficient background checks, potentially making it easier for police forces nationwide to grant licenses quickly to those with no relevant conditions.

This initiative was created through collaboration with NHS Digital, British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Home Office. In order to ensure lives are safeguarded while ensuring fairness towards those licensed by legal access to guns and ammunition.

How will this affect the firearms community?

This initiative is one of the first steps in modernising firearm security in the UK, with the potential replacement of the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) incoming in the years ahead.

However, with the extended wait and backlog in firearms licensing - with some owners waiting years for even a renewal - could this initiative be just another blocker in the firearms community?

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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