A police bid for increased fees for firearms licensing must be fair and must be matched by improved efficiency and consistent service delivery, according to the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). The Association is working on behalf of its members for a settlement which benefits both public safety and those who shoot.
BASC is the only organisation which monitors firearms licensing performance across the UK. BASC’s specialist firearms department, which deals with more than 500 calls per month from members encountering difficulties with the system, has found the service differs widely between different forces.
The police have submitted proposals which would see the cost of shotgun and firearm certificates more than double by 2015. Currently a certificate costs £50 on application and £40 on renewal. Certificates must be renewed every five years. The police proposals would see costs for an application rise to £109 and for a renewal to £80 by 2015.
BASC chief executive Richard Ali said: “Firearms licensing must be effective in protecting public safety and efficient in providing a consistent service. We have one of the toughest systems in the world if it is applied correctly. Responsible firearms owners have a vested interest in ensuring that that happens. People who shoot will pay a fair price for a fair service.”