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Thread: Firearms fees update

  1. #1

    Firearms fees update

    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.”

  2. #2
    Thanks for the update. At the minute it seems that fees are the only thing constant up and down the country. It's the service provided which varies dramatically. Some very good some not quite so.
    Wingy

  3. #3
    David,

    If you have any influence the one area where they would save a huge amount of beuracracy is to remove the calibre designations, and the need to go through all the variations because you want to change a 270 for a 7x64. You could have essentially four classes of rifles - 1) rimfires, 2) Pistol calibre gallery rifles, 3) small bore centre fire rifles - ie 22 and below centre fires, and 4) Full bore centrefire / deer legal centrefire.

    Within each category you would be allowed to posess a certain number and that number is down to discussion between applicant and FLO.

    Currently there are so many different processes that just add time and cost, and don't have any real impact in terms of gun control and / or public safety.

    Thus for example I can possess 3 rifles - 1 rimfire and 2 full bore centrefire - justifaction being deer and vermin control, and reasonable for me to have 2 centrefire rifles as one is more suitable for smaller deer and foxes, whilst the other is bigger claibre for Red. etc. Thus if I wanted to change my 243 for another 243 or even a 260 remington I could just do a straight swap at the gunshop. No change in overall effect on gun control etc, but a big reduction in the paperwork.

    At the change you would need to notify the police of the change.

    In terms of ammo allowances - the compromise here is "you are allowed to possess ammunition for the rifles that you have in your current possession", thus if I swapped 243 for a 260, 243 ammo has to go.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Good luck but it would be nice to have a consistent and speedy service. AOLQ should be standard and police forces should not be allowed to invent spurious conditions. The right to appeal also needs to be resolved.

    If we didn't have ilogical rules/law relating to .22cf on roe in England then it would in my case eliminate the need for having two C/F rifles, but I suspect this is straying off the point. I cannot see why it currently takes 3 months to grant a new FAC, adequate resourcing of the admin departments may be the first areas to address.

    D

  6. #6
    Heym, I think what you say makes a lot of sense.

    Going one step further:

    Could we just not make all Section 1 firearms effectively Section 2. Namely, if you are safe to hold guns, you just register what you own?

  7. #7
    You've been in Switzerland for too long... That's just not going to happen. Actually, even in France there's a legal distinction between smoothbore and rifled guns with different rules for possession. Although they're not very onerous.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    You've been in Switzerland for too long... That's just not going to happen. Actually, even in France there's a legal distinction between smoothbore and rifled guns with different rules for possession. Although they're not very onerous.
    That's as maybe, but we have to shoot for sense prevailing surely? And who said we should follow the French as logical... Don't start me...

    ATB,

    Scrummy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by scrumbag View Post
    Heym, I think what you say makes a lot of sense.

    Going one step further:

    Could we just not make all Section 1 firearms effectively Section 2. Namely, if you are safe to hold guns, you just register what you own?
    I agree.

    I think that when this was discussed in a different thread earlier in the year David BASC said that this would need a change to primary legislation.

    Nevertheless it might be wise to ask the police which elements of S1 that they find most useful within the context of the lawful use of firearms and if there are any that are of little use.

    At the very least I think that the shooting community and the police need to have an ongoing dialogue about firearms legislation.

    atb Tim

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by scrumbag View Post
    That's as maybe, but we have to shoot for sense prevailing surely? And who said we should follow the French as logical... Don't start me...

    ATB,

    Scrummy

    I just mentioned that because the recent legislation allowing the use of some old military calibres for hunting was part of a much wider piece concerning firearms in general. A lot of this was to bring French law into line with European law. In France, that means tightening up some areas (shotguns must now be declared and all firearms have to be kept in a secured way now, same as here) and liberalising others. In the UK, we're far, far beyond what the EU requires. But the classification of firearms is a European standard, so that wouldn't change even if (and this is just not on the cards) the UK decided to loosen/rationalise firearms legislation a bit.

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