The Home Office has begun a co-operative process with the shooting community to assess the correct proportion payable by shooters for licensing services provided by police under the Firearms Act.
BASC’s Bill Harriman, Director of Firearms, and Christopher Graffius, Director of Communications, attended the first meeting with civil servants and other members of the shooting community at the Home Office yesterday.
Civil servants confirmed that the current position was that there would be no change in licensing fees in the short term with the expectation that the group would make recommendations to inform any changes. The group is expected to meet throughout next year – when a full inspection of firearms licensing may be conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary - and into 2015.
The group will deconstruct and examine the processes involved in issuing and renewing licenses and attribute costs to each step. These can then be allocated to the shooting community or the public purse according to Treasury guidelines. The group will also discuss improvements in the efficiency and delivery of the licensing system.
Bill Harriman said: “BASC welcomes the approach outlined by the Home Office. This promises to be the most thorough examination of the system which should produce a fair and just outcome on fees. We gave the Home Office an assurance that we will put the work in to achieve this and will engage constructively in the process.”