Ad hoc firearms order

Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March 2021

The principal human rights issue in relation to firearms legislation is whether it is compliant
with the duty on the state to protect the right to life, arising from such standards as Article 2
of the European Convention. The draft Order, although maintaining a slightly different
regime from that applying in Great Britain, seems to us to provide adequate safeguards in
that respect. The new requirement for a fresh application for a certificate, rather than routine
renewal, and in particular the requirement to give the Chief Constable permission to seek
relevant medical information, strengthen the protection against firearms remaining in the
possession of a certificate holder who has become unfit. We agree that in the present
circumstances a handgun ban would be inappropriate. We have not identified any important
problem, from a human rights perspective, with any other provisions of the Order.