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Sussex Police plan to allow gun owners to renew their firearms licences using an iPhone app.

The app will be part of a suite allowing the public to access news, appeals and other services form their iPhone.

The technology push is intended to save £3m, freeing up valuable cop time, but means firearms applicants won't have to see the police face-to-face, at the form-filling stage. There will still need to be an interview and home inspection down the line.

This step hasn't gone down well following so soon after Derrick Bird's shooting spree through Cumbria, when he killed 12 people. The Cumbrian forces' firearms procedures are being reviewed as a result.

Gun control campaigners including Mothers Against Murder and Aggression and the Gun Control Network have spoken out against the plan.

Currently firearms applications require applicants to fill out the paperwork at pre-arranged police station meetings.

The mobile phone app proposals will be discussed with forces across England and Wales at the Sussex Police's social media conference in Brighton on June 25. ®

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