Thursday, 18 December 2003

18-Dec-03 - Work starts on national gun register

Work starts on national gun register

Firearms Licensing Management System will link to Police National Computer
Emma Nash, Computing 18 Dec 2003

Work has finally started on the national gun register, seven years after it was first recommended.

Systems integrator Anite is developing the Firearms Licensing Management System that will link into the Police National Computer (PNC), allowing police forces across the country to share information about licensed guns.

The system will replace individual databases used by forces across England and Wales, and meet regulations stipulated under the 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act.

"Forces will have an interface through the firearms licensing system that will link to a national certificate register on the PNC," said a Police IT Organisation (Pito) spokesman.

Anite has been working on the project for four months, and will roll it out in stages before it becomes fully operational in August 2004.

The supplier has submitted a proposed architecture to Pito and is now looking at commercially available components to implement the Firearms Licensing Management System.

"We expect there will be a database made available to forces by internet technologies," said Anite business development director Neil McIntyre.

"It will have the appropriate security controls to ensure the integrity of the information. At present there's a fragmented approach that is done on a force-by-force perspective.

"There's been a strong push by Pito and the government to provide information and intelligence across boundaries. Police will now have a national perspective."

A national firearms database was first recommended by the Association of Chief Police Officers in 1996, following the Dunblane massacre. It then appeared in the Firearms (Amendment) Act in 1997.