Tony Hogg welcomes increase in cost of firearms licenses
Commissioner says that those who use guns should pay the full cost of licensing them
PCC Tony Hogg has welcomed a Home Office announcement that firearms licensing fees will increase for the first time since 2001. According to police estimates, forces currently recoup only 27% of the cost of issuing a licence.
The increases, which will come into effect on 6 April 2015, are:
The cost of a firearms certificate will rise from £50 to £88;
The cost of a shotgun certificate will rise from £50 to £79.50;
Renewal of a firearms certificate will cost £62 - it is currently £40;
Renewal of a shotgun certificate will cost £49 - it is currently £40.
"I welcome this increase in the cost of firearms licenses." said Mr Hogg
"It is protecting the wider public that those who use guns should pay the full cost and not take resources away from Devon and Cornwall police. As our funding continues to be reduced, we must focus our budgets on officer numbers and neighbourhood policing - not on subsidising firearms licenses."
"I understand that a new eCommerce online system will help to reduce the actual cost of issuing licenses, and, as part of our close working relationship with the Dorset force, we will also be looking at this area for joint savings.
The Home office says the changes will allow police forces to cover the full cost of running the firearms licensing service once eCommerce, an online system currently being developed by the police, becomes operational in due course.
Minister for Crime Prevention Lynne Featherstone said:
"The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and the changes we are making to fees are a huge step forward in improving the firearms licensing system as a whole.
"The increase in fees and the introduction of online licensing will end what is currently an unsustainable process for the police and will create a fairer and more effective system for forces, licence holders and the general public."
"The Government will work with police to introduce an online licensing system which will be reviewed in twelve months to assess whether costs are being fully recovered, with a view to increasing fees further if they are not.
"The Government keeps firearms licensing constantly under review, both in the interests of public safety and in order to improve its effectiveness. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary is also currently conducting an inspection into how the licensing system works in practice.