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BMA and police hold talks on gun owner information scheme

16 June 2010

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Medical chiefs have confirmed talks are under way with the police about sharing information on gun owners so that patients who could be a danger to themselves or others are flagged up.

Discussions have started between the British Medical Association (BMA), the police and the Home Office on how such a system might operate. One suggestion is electronic tags being placed in medical records of patients who own a firearms or shotgun licence.

The move comes just two weeks after taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead 12 people and injured 11 others in Cumbria.

A BMA statement said: “Such a system can be appropriate, provided it is used as part of the ordinary care given to a patient. It can, for example, be a useful aide-mémoire, to remind doctors that the patient has, or may have, access to a firearm.

“Such a system should not, however, imply that the GP practice has taken on particular obligations to monitor or oversee the mental health of individuals holding firearms licences.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

British Medical Association