atticus wrote:The time to challenge this was when the decision was made to withdraw the licence. The OP's friend could have sought a judicial review of the initial decision at that time. He is now very much out of time.
He's not my friend, just someone I know, distantly. I have been told that the cost of a JR is likely to be a minimum £3,000 with no chance of getting any cash back if it succeeds. I may have been misinformed. Equally, the person in question could have appealed the decision not to allow the issue of a firearms certificate, for which there is a process in place that may be cheaper. The big 'but' is that he would likely have been prosecuted instead and his challenging the police would have almost certainly resulted in him being refused a firearms certificate for good. If he had been prosecuted to begin with then the police animosity would not be so aroused and he would be much more likely to have got his FAC back, possibly quicker than he did, if indeed, he would have lost it in the first place.
But none of the above is relevant to the main issue, which is, should the police be allowed to circumvent the rules of law in such a fashion? My view is that if they felt that the person's omission was serious enough to warrant action then there is a straightforward offence to charge him with and let the courts deal with it. If it was not so serious as to warrant court action then why take such severe action, which is outside their authority anyway? It would be more understandable if they just refused his licence full stop. At least that makes some sort of sense. When the police have a good case to make for a prosecution but they duck it and take an alternative and unfair action instead then anyone who supports the rule of law should be asking questions.