BASC is pleased the government appears to have listened to stakeholder concerns on proposed fees for firearms licences which are issued by the Home Office and the Scottish government.
Fees outlined in a government response published today in response to a Home Office consultation are 58 per cent lower than those initially proposed in 2017.
BASC issued a robust response to the eight-week public consultation, which sought views on the implementation of new fees for prohibited weapons dealers, museum collections and Home Office-approved shooting clubs.
The Home Office consultation did not deal with fees for firearm or shotgun certificates issued by police forces.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said he was particularly pleased the fee for museums would remain the same – £200 – and that the introduction of a “sliding scale” for variations represented progress.
He said: “The government appears to have listened to stakeholder concerns as the new fees are some 58 per cent lower than the consultation proposal.
“The retention of the status-quo for museums is particularly pleasing. The commitment to maintain the fee so as not to financially disadvantage regimental and other smaller museums is gratifying.
“The introduction of a graduated cost scale for variations that involve differing levels of police and government work is a welcome acknowledgment of an issue raised in stakeholder meetings.”
Mr Harriman said the decision to increase the fee for club approval to £444 from £84 was less welcome.
He added: “Clubs are universally acknowledged as being beneficial institutions and instrumental in introducing newcomers to the sport and yet they are being subjected to a 428 per cent rise. The process whereby this fee level was arrived at is not explained.
“No task and cost matrix has been revealed, leading to continuing concerns about transparency.”
Mr Harriman said BASC would study the government response in great detail and will be making further representations to the Home Office.
BASC chairman Eoghan Cameron said: “This is something of a victory. The Home Office has reduced what they were going to charge us.
“Thanks to our members who responded to the consultation and the unprecedented number of MPs who lobbied the Home Office on their behalf. However, the Home Office still needs to be transparent about how it arrived at the final fees.”
The government intends to introduce the measures via statutory instrument and says the fees will apply in England, Wales and Scotland.