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Thread: Guardian article yesterday. Gun licence renewal

  1. #1

    Guardian article yesterday. Gun licence renewal

    Hi ,
    I'm guessing not many Guardian readers out there?
    Check this out,-a sign of things to come?
    http://www.theguardian.com/.../camer...n-licence-fees

  2. #2
    link does not work

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by goldypurple View Post
    link does not work


    Yeah, I know. I can't seem to get it to work and I can't delete the original post for some reason.
    Basically it seems "the taxpayer is subsidising the shooting fraternity because the costs of Police administrating the collection of the certificate fee is far more than the cost of the licence". It seems that a sum in the region of 200 is more appropriate for a 5 year licence.
    Last edited by blaven; 24-04-2014 at 12:31.

  4. #4
    This link should work (although you will have to copy and paste it):

    David Cameron blasted over shotgun licence fees veto | UK news | The Guardian
    Last edited by csl; 24-04-2014 at 13:10. Reason: link seems ok to me...

  5. #5
    Seen stuff like this before. Logic turned on its head. Typical bureaucrat approach to efficiency. Never mind customer service or efficiency just keep increasing the price of the service (tax) in an attempt to solve the problem - evere applied for a passport recently. The service never improves, the process is never stream lined and the customer continues to pay more. If the system was improved and the same team could offer the service in half the time would we ever see a reduction
    Bend over and empty your pockets. Shooters are an easy target for the press and it's unlikely anyone will mourn our suffering.

  6. #6
    To be honest I think we should pay this ourselves. If a SGC costs 200 per 5 years that's not very much in the grand scheme of things. 11p per day.

    I was amazed quite how cheap the FAC/SCG process was when I got my first one.

    I do feel sorry for those getting bad service, but I have nothing but good words for North Yorkshire Police. Variations usually take about a week.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    To be honest I think we should pay this ourselves. If a SGC costs 200 per 5 years that's not very much in the grand scheme of things. 11p per day.

    I was amazed quite how cheap the FAC/SCG process was when I got my first one.

    I do feel sorry for those getting bad service, but I have nothing but good words for North Yorkshire Police. Variations usually take about a week.
    Aye and mine take 7 weeks , so before any increase in price maybe a set of rules and timelines licencing departments have to stick to instead of making it up as they go along ?
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by blaven View Post
    Hi ,
    I'm guessing not many Guardian readers out there?
    Check this out,-a sign of things to come?
    http://www.theguardian.com/.../camer...n-licence-fees
    Wash your mouth out, sir. There are lots of us..... The Grauniad may not have immediacy but it does get it right later (mostly).... not like BBC Radio 2.

    Some links posted might not always work because the previous day's edition is archived - some editions are on monthly subscription to print customers now.

    Anyway, the text (minus pics.) is below .........

    If the link works then you can read the reader comments which follow. I thought maybe these might induce apoplexy on SD, so wondered whether to mention them but got to stick to my principles. Some are really funny .... and sound too.

    David Cameron blasted over shotgun licence fees veto

    Lib Dem ministersays PM's refusal to end 13-year freeze on firearms fees means taxpayers are subsidising gun owners


    An internal coalition battle over a taxpayer subsidy for cheap gun licences spilled into the open on Tuesday when a Liberal Democrat Home Office minister said that he will attempt to force through reforms despite being blocked by the prime minister, David Cameron.

    Norman Baker, who has responsibilities for shotgun certificates, said he has been frustrated by the decision to block plans to raise the cost of gun licences, forcing police services to find more than 17m from their operational budgets to subsidise them.

    The prime minister, himself a pheasant shooter and deer stalker, is understood to have intervened in December to stop a rise in the cost of a gun licence, which has been frozen at 50 since 2001 – just over a quarter of the 196 that it costs police to issue the licence.

    In an unusual public display of coalition tensions, Baker said: "The current position is difficult to justify – why should the police subsidise the issuing of licences for firearms? We are driving greater efficiencies in the way the police handle applications, which will bring the cost of issuing down, but firearms users also need to pay a fair amount, which is not happening at the moment. I hope to be able to reach a sensible outcome in the near future."

    Baker's pledge comes as UK's leading police officer on gun certification claims that the governmen decision to block the price rise could raise the number of life-threatening incidents involving firearms.
    As police forces face further cuts, many senior police officers argue that gun licences should be cost efficient, and rise to around 200 a licence.
    Britain has around 600,000 private gun licences, many of which are used by people such as farmers or those who shoot for sport or competitive marksmen

    Chief police officers want to end the subsidy, and say that the costs are being taken out of policing budgets.
    They want the licence fee to rise to 92 initially, and could then increase each year in line with inflation.
    The Home Office is understood to support the police. However, an attempt last year to increase the licence fee was blocked after being referred to a cabinet subcommittee.

    Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, objected to the proposed increase and contacted No 10, according to Whitehall sources. The prime minister is believed to have agreed with Paterson and intervened to halt its progress.
    Sources said there has been furious lobbying behind the scenes by pro-shooting groups who say they are concerned that a rise in the cost will prohibit many occasional shotgun enthusiasts.

    The fact that lobbyists seem to have won over crucial ministers has concerned senior police officers. Andy Marsh, the chief constable of Hampshire police, said that without an increase in the cost of a shotgun licence, it is "unrealistic" to expect forces to maintain the same level of oversight over shotguns.
    "There is a likelihood of a significant backlog in grant and renewal without an increase in the costs of a licence. Without the staffing levels to constantly reassess risk, it could lead to an increased threat of harm," he said.
    "It's becoming increasingly difficult to protect the level of staffing given to the oversight and scrutinyof the licensing process. But the reality remains that fees havent gone up since 2001.
    "Meanwhile, we have seen other fees such as drivers' licences and passports rise on a full cost recovery which I think is the right thing to do."

    Gill Marshall-Andrews, the chair of the Gun Control Network, said that the intervention of ministers to halt a planned increase is a disgrace.
    "Everyone wanting a gun should be checked for a history of domestic violence, mental illness, and drug and alcohol abuse. These checks cost money but they do save lives," she said. "The fact that the gun lobby's friends in cabinet are blocking the increase is a scandal."

    Shooting groups have lobbied against the kind of rise proposed by senior police officers and gun safety campaigners.
    The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the UK's largest pro-shooting organisation,said that an increase in the licensing fee is due, but added that the final figure should only be calculated once police forces have disclosed their actual costs for overseeing licenceholders.
    "We want to see the police's proper costs so that we can ensure that the service is efficient," said Simon Clarke, the BASC'spokesman. The association says it has been involved in continuing talks with the police and home office officials over licence fee proposals. No deadline has been placed on their talks, it added.

    No 10 did not respond to the allegation that Cameron has blocked the reforms. Defra did not respond.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/apr/22/cameron-blasted-battle-shotgun-licence-fees
    Last edited by Sinistral; 24-04-2014 at 15:18. Reason: forgot the SD text editor
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  9. #9
    Sinistral.
    Many thanks for completing what I had tried to post. You'll have gathered by now that I am barely computer literate. Agreed the comments are predictable but entertaining. All the best.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    To be honest I think we should pay this ourselves. If a SGC costs 200 per 5 years that's not very much in the grand scheme of things. 11p per day.
    I was amazed quite how cheap the FAC/SCG process was when I got my first one.
    ...or 400 or 22p/day if we take into account income tax and NI...

    As a comfortably-off professional chap, I should perhaps agree entirely. Hm.

    On the other hand, taking into account that some folk are probably less-well-off than I, perhaps I should amend my view on the grounds that I shouldn't be making suggestions that take cash out of the pockets of fellow-shooters in quantities that, although I might not even notice them, might in their case make a considerable difference to their family budget.

    In my view, the main thing to bear in mind is that the enforcement of the Firearms Act is ostensibly for the benefit of the Great British Public, rather than for the convenience of FAC/SGC-holders.

    That being the case, it seems to be absurd that the FAC/SGC-holders should be funding its administration costs to anything other than a token extent.

    We are not voluntary 'customers' making a choice to use a particular service: we are British Subjects obeying the bits of law that the British government has laid down for the protection of the peace, in order that we may lawfully possess and use firearms. So I think it is further useful to point out that we should feel entitled to competent, consistent and timely service from the FLDs regardless of the fees which we are obliged to pay.

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