A story has appeared in today’s Guardian entitled “David Cameron blasted over shotgun licence fees veto”. The story reports: “Home Office Minister Norman Baker, who has responsibilities for shotgun certificates, said he has been frustrated by the decision to block plans to raise the cost of gun licences, forcing police services to find more than £17m from their operational budgets to subsidise them.” Read on for the Alliance’s response.
The Countryside Alliance is represented on the Firearms Fees Working Group which was set up by the Home Office to consider this matter. The Working Group, which comprises the police, Government and stakeholders, has considered in detail the cost of firearms licensing. It has analysed those aspects of licensing costs which are chargeable to the certificate holder, as opposed to those which are rightly borne by the public purse in accordance with the Treasury rules which apply in all areas of public administration. It has also taken into account the cost savings that will result from the introduction of new technology and ‘e-commerce’ and it will be reporting shortly.