The proposed hikes in licence fees for approved shooting clubs, section 5 dealers and museums have been heavily criticized by the Countryside Alliance in a response to a Home Office consultation.
The proposed fees could spell disaster for many smaller clubs and businesses, which if unable to pay the fees could be forced to close.
The Home Office has explained the price hike as an attempt at full cost recovery, but has failed to show how they would spend the enormous additional costs they are asking for. This means any adverse impacts on the shooting community, including club closures, are completely unjustified. There is a particular concern that school and university shooting clubs would be particularly vulnerable to the fee hike, because of their limited funding, making the Home Office’s proposal a very serious threat to the future of target shooting. For this reason the Countryside Alliance has requested the Home Office consider a discounted rate for those clubs that are involved directly with education.
Liam Stokes, Head of Shooting at the Countryside Alliance, said: “Whilst the Countryside Alliance agrees in principle with the aim of full cost recovery, the lack of clarity surrounding the administration costs being used to justify this price hike leaves the shooting community thinking that they are once again being unfairly treated. As such the Countryside Alliance has responded robustly. It is essential that the full costings behind these proposals are made public and are scrutinized before any new fees are introduced.”
The Countryside Alliance is requesting all members and supporters that will be affected by these fee proposals respond to the Home Office before 9th March.
You can also respond by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit
5th Floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street