The Home Office is seeking to replace its National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in a £20 million deal. The new system, which has yet to be named, will improve the way that gun licenses are issued and tracked. It is thought that this could spell the end of traditional paper gun registers, as online gun registers could be exclusively used instead. This move comes after years of criticism for NFLMS, which has been deemed slow and inefficient.
The NFLMS was started in the mid-2000s in response to the Dunblane primary school shooting in 1997, yet has had many issues in its time. Over time, the technology powering the NFLMS has improved, with the system now also reading the Police National Computer and Police National Database. However, this new contract would streamline the system further – potentially eliminating paper gun registers completely.
More strict firearms licensing was kickstarted in 2015 by the European Union adopting new measures to make difficult to acquire firearms in the European Union. Whilst the UK is no longer part of the EU, it seems this rigid attitude is continuing further with this new bid.
Whilst some registered firearms dealers (RFDs) have adopted this online approach, using either software or online spreadsheets, others will struggle to break free from relying on the traditional pen and paper gun register. Some RFDs have been speaking of this change on online forums, one stating “with my luck on PCs I’d crash it and get struck off on my first inspection”, showing the fears some dealers have with this potential change.
So, what do you think? Is this the end of paper gun registers? Let us know in the comments below.