The Home Office has today announced plans to increase the cost of firearms licensing fees.
The proposal would allow police forces to cover the cost of running the firearms licensing service once eCommerce, an online system currently being developed by the police, becomes operational.
According to police estimates, forces currently recoup only 27% of the cost of issuing licences, which is unsustainable in the long term.
Efficient and consistent
A four-week public consultation on the proposal, which is aimed at creating a more efficient and consistent service, was launched today.
Minister for Crime Prevention Lynne Featherstone said:
This public consultation represents an important step forward in improving the licensing regime as a whole.
The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and as part of this it is important that the government keeps the firearms licensing system under review.
It is clearly unsustainable for the police to be recouping only 27% of the cost of licensing fees and these proposals will improve the way the system works for both licence holders and police forces.
Firearms licensing fees have not been increased since 2001. The current fee levied is £50 for a grant of a firearm and shotgun certificate and £40 for a renewal. If agreed, the new fees will increase to £88 for the grant of a firearm certificate and £79.50 for the grant of a shotgun certificate. The cost of a renewal will increase to £49 for a shotgun certificate and £62 for a firearms certificate.
The public consultation has been launched after prior consultation with relevant parties, including police representatives and the shooting community.
The consultation will also ask for responses on how the subsequent review process for firearms fees should be taken forward.
The consultation will run from 27 November until 29 December.