Dorset PCC Launches Campaign for Fair Gun License Pricing
7:25am 22nd August 2014
Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner has started a campaign to encourage a rise in the cost of gun licenses.
Martyn Underhill says Dorset Police have to subsidise over 14,000 holders in the county, costing the tax payer £250,000 in this area alone.
The £50 cost for owning a gun for 5 years has not increased for 13 years, compared to £360 for a salmon or sea trout fishing license. Dorset Police are required to foot the bill for all the administration costs incurred by processing license applications.
Mr Underhill added: "This costs, in effect, ten police officers, because the firearms fees are so antiquated and out of date. That cannot be right and in a time of a shrinking police force, shrinking budgets, I don't want to lose ten police officers so let's have some fairness, let's have a level playing field and let's have an increased fee.
"I want to see about £80; that was roughly what we were talking about with the home office. It is quite a steep increase but it hasn't been raised for 13 years. That would give us more police officers back on the street and actually it means people are paying a fair price for their hobby, because this is a hobby."
Mr Underhill has written to David Cameron after he decided against a price rise - despite a plan being in place to implement it.
Negotiations had been going on for over two years with industry representatives, the Treasury, Home Office, the Regulatory Policy Committee and Government Ministers.