Licensing set to rise up to £200.

BASC has criticised suggestions by the Government that shooters could soon be asked to pay up to £200 for their firearms and shotgun licensing ? an increase of 300%.

Crime prevention minister, James Brokenshire, announced last week a review of fees was under way to ensure the cost of the licensing scheme was met by shooters.

He said: ?We have been working on an urgent review around the licence fees so they are on a full-cost-recovery basis. It doesn?t seem right the police should be bearing a number of those costs.?

BASC?s director of firearms, Bill Harriman, said: ?We want a consistent approach so all police forces follow Home Office guidelines. This is not being done across the board. They cannot ask for ?full cost recovery? on licence fees before they show that they are efficient, that costs are minimised and that a standardised approach to licensing is applied across the country.?

The cost of a firearm or shotgun certificate is £50 with a renewal cost of £40.

An unnamed firearms licensing officer told the BBC that police forces recovered only a quarter of the cost of the work involved in licensing and renewals from the cost of the licence.

However, Bill Harriman said that his experience of working with BASC?s members showed that approaches by police firearms licensing departments were often inconsistent and inefficient.

He said: ?Police inefficiency must not be rewarded by the Government. We want a full and thorough examination of licensing procedures across every police force in the country to make sure they are adhering to Home Office guidelines and applying a consistent and practical approach to firearms licensing.?

?Firearms licensing has to do two things. It has to protect public safety and the peace, and to allow the continued lawful use of firearms. Protecting public safety is a public good, therefore it is not unreasonable that part of the cost should be borne by the public purse.?

The Countryside Alliance?s deputy chief executive, Rob Gray, agreed.

He said: ?Fees have not risen for more than 10 years, so a review is unsurprising, but it is our view the level of fees must reflect the balance that exists within the firearms licensing process.?

?Any suggestion the entire cost burden should fall on the certificate holder is wrong. While licensing provides a service to those who wish legitimately to possess firearms, it also provides a service to the public in terms of ensuring safety and controlling crime, so we are continually told. Therefore, the public safety element of the licensing process rightly falls on the public purse and must continue to do so.?

Mr Brokenshire also criticised the three police forces that recently announced they would scrap automatic face-to-face renewal interviews.

He said: ?We expect every police force to make full checks on all those applying for or renewing licences. Chief constables have a duty to provide assurance to the communities they serve that the public will be protected.?

Talk about this in the Shooting UK forums!

  • Peter Jones

    An increase to £200 would be fair IF drunken brawlers pay for the cost of the ambulance and hospital fees. Drug overdosers pay for again the ambulance and hospital treatment and the cost of detox. Drivers who break the law pay for police time, cost of administration and court costs. If we are going to “cover the costs” the we all pay for whatever the reason. This is just another way of ‘discouraging’ the use of firearms/shotguns by the back door. If all police forces had a standard code of practice then the costs would be much reduced.

  • Richard

    ShootingUK – whilst I largely agree with the sentiment of the article, you do yourselves no favours with that blatantly twisted graphic at the bottom. Do us a favour and make it a like-for-like comparison instead of insulting our intelligence.
    A rod licence may cost £27, but over 5 years that’s £135.
    Considering a ticket requires background checks, home visits, etc, the £65 premium (from your estimated £200/time fee), looks rather good value for the amount of work that goes into processing each application.
    Also, whilst £200 is still a lot of money, we must remember that if the fees had been tagged to inflation when they were set (and at 3-yearly intervals), they’d be at ~£100 now anyway. We’ve done well over the past 20 years.

  • Paul Healy

    I am part of a group of friends who shoot full bore (informal) targets once a month and a bit of pest control (shotguns)for a local farmer a couple of times a month.
    We are all on low incomes and stuggle to meet the rising cost of ammo,range/marker fees and fuel getting to the shoots so a massive rise in certificate fees might just tip the scales a bit too much and so bring our much loved sport to an end for us.
    When the firearms review started I said to my buddies “if they don`t ban our guns they will make it more expensive for everyone to shoot”,I hate being right all of the time.
    Not all shooters own their own estates and have massive bank balances,I think someone needs to tell the government this.
    My best regards to all of Britains law abiding shooters,we are a dying breed.

  • Steven McKenzie

    The Future of shooting in Scotland is down to younger generations and alot of people like myself who spend time at college learning and spend time working for nothing but experience, of all the things we need a keepers gun licence is an almost essential thing. Students and others will struggle to get their gun licences if raised to £200. i dont think this is can be helpful to the Scottish Economy

  • Greg Drew

    Hello to whomever you are,

    My “personal” reflection towards this article may hold no “personal” relevance to you, but, on the other hand, maybe it will.

    If it doesn’t, so be it, and I accept that there are differing opinions on shooting, I also recognise the opinions of folk towards the rights and wrongs to shooting and hunting, but that is not the debate at the moment.

    The question raised is, ” should the cost of certificating a Shotgun or Licencing a Firearm be increased by 300%.

    My story…….

    A close and dear friend of mine sent me the link to this article posted on ShootingUK, as he is aware of my personal circumstances, income, hours of work, and limited availability to shoot.

    I have shot since an early age, and owned my own shotgun certificate for approximately 20 years, but not had the opportunity to shoot very much during most of this time as my dad was the person who had access to the shooting that I enjoyed as a youngster and since sadly passed away.

    I have however in the last 5 years been fortunate enough to gaine the opportunity to shoot only a few times a year with the friend who sent me this article.

    This amounts to usually less than 3-5 times during any season, and, these oportunies are only through being invited to shoot on farmland that he has gained permission to shoot upon.

    I now own a 5 gun cabinate for which I paid £125.00 in a sale, 3 shotguns, a single Cooey I bought when I gained my certificate because that was the same gun my Dad owned, A spanish SbS Sierra I bought at auction, , the most expensive was actually bought for me as a leaving present from the staff at a position I once held at a very special place in my heart, and I thank them all dearly for it, took a 30 odd yard high Mallard with a No5 32oz with my very first shot through it, and between the 3 of them they have cost less than £100.00.

    I shoot less than 100 cartridges in any season, usually between 25 and 50 which equates to approximately £10.00, and obviously the cost of renewing my certificate that over the last 20 years has cost me approximately £250.00.

    This is what I can afford for my shooting due to my circumstances. It may sound a bit like why do I bother shooting if thats all I have spent, or have the opportunity to do, i’ll tell you, it’s because I live for those moments when I get the chance to go out with my gun, and my friend, on a fabulous day walking the countryside looking for the odd shot, if lucky enough to get one, which again, if accurate enough comes home to the pot and my family enjoy, it makes my year even if I can only manage to attend once per season. If this increase in certification cost goes ahead, it will seriously affect my ability to financially afford to continue being a legitimate, law abiding shotgun owner, and could end my ability to continue the interest I have had since a young child. I hope the powers that be do not decide to enforce this new legislation on legitamate gun owners, we pay enough “taxes”, in one way or another, where will it end……….

  • No name, no packdrill.

    When I renewed my shotgun certificate late last year, a police constable and his sergeant arrived to check my security. Of course, they may have called by while on a patrol of my remote rural area, which would have been a cost cutting exercise. But how would the powers-that-be quantify the expenditure?

  • Terry Whittle

    I would be OK with £200 if they extended the renewals period to 10 years.