Yesterday I opened the letter box and found, to my surprise, a letter from Licencing.
No, it isn't about the firearms application I submitted on Monday (blogged about here), it was for the one I submitted PRIOR to the new system (blogged about here).
Now, just to give you a bit of background. Our Firearms Licence is an A4 sheet (or more depending how many firearms you have - I think each page can hold about 10 firearms). In addition to this we have a cute little plastic card which is a Firearms Extract and contains our photo (Firearms Licence doesn't have a photo on it).
To buy ammunition you need to produce the Firearms Licence and you're supposed to have the Licence with you when you're transporting guns anywhere. The Firearms Extract can be required to be produced at any time at the request of a Police Officer, other than that I'm not sure why we have it.
EDIT: Just checked the back of the card and licence, apparently you're supposed to carry both with you when you're transporting firearms.
Now, when I had the new firearm added to my licence on October 21st the police handwrote the details of the firearm at the bottom of the current list and signed it. This is how it has been done for a number of years. When you get your firearm licence renewal these are then included on that.
Anyway, this piece of paper (again A4) that I received in the post listed the new addition and contained the instruction that it is to be ATTACHED TO THE FIREARMS LICENCE. (It also had the date of addition as Dec 4th, rather than October 21st!).
I went scouring the police website for the new system and found, to my dismay, that this is how the new system is going to work. Rather then print a new Licence listing any additions / deletions each time, they are going to print only the addition / deletion information and then let us staple it to our Licence.
You can imagine that if you purchase a number of guns over the year (Licences are only valid for one year) you could end up with a stack of paper that you need to carry with you if you're purchasing ammo or transporting the guns.
I have registered a complaint with the responsible minister but I'm not holding my breath that it will change.