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Thread: licensing fee increase veto

  1. #1

    licensing fee increase veto

    Don't think this has been discussed - it is not new...

    Read in the shooting Times that an apparent deal between the Home Office, shooting organisations and the police to increase license renewal fees was vetoed by the Prime Minister. What surprised me was not the veto, but the suggestion by Diana Johnson MP that money currently set aside for firearms licensing “could put hundreds of police officers back on the beat” and the ST statement that if the licence fee did increase, it has not been stated how the current firearms licensing budget would be re-distributed within police forces.

    ST article David Cameron vetoes increase in licensing fees - Shooting UK
    and
    Sunday Times article Deerstalker PM shoots down police over rise in firearms fee | The Sunday Times

    So my question is really what is going on? Assuming the reporting is correct (big assumption), how have the shooting sports organisations managed to agree a proposal to increase license fees without getting it set in stone that the increase would be used to increase licensing service efficiency (not general policing efficiency) ?

    If this is really what is behind the PM's veto, then good for him! Or is it actually the case that the "Senior government sources" referred to in the ST article were actually misrepresenting the shooting organisations' position?

    Anybody care to comment? I am sure there is more to the story that these two reports suggest...

  2. #2
    I've no idea, but I raised an eyebrow when I read the piece. As you suggest there must be more to it than is being reported. As a general principle, I'd be happy to pay more to make it more efficient. I'm equally comfortable with full cost recovery. Shooting is for most folk a hobby, the general public shouldn't be subsidising it.

  3. #3
    I wouldnt personally mind paying more on renewal, or for variations BUT I think before they start asking for more money from us, they also need to look at how parts of the current law cost them hours of unneeded admin, and I would imagine Alot of money each year. For example the whole variation thing for a change of moderator, more than likely to be done on a one for one basis, they see no revenue from these variations and it must take up hours and hours on admin every year, why cant they make thinks simpler. I understand if we wish to change a firearm then a variation is fine but a does a change of mod really require a variation? Or is it just me that feels this way?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
    I wouldnt personally mind paying more on renewal, or for variations BUT I think before they start asking for more money from us, they also need to look at how parts of the current law cost them hours of unneeded admin, and I would imagine Alot of money each year. For example the whole variation thing for a change of moderator, more than likely to be done on a one for one basis, they see no revenue from these variations and it must take up hours and hours on admin every year, why cant they make thinks simpler. I understand if we wish to change a firearm then a variation is fine but a does a change of mod really require a variation? Or is it just me that feels this way?
    If licensing law were to be treated like a building, it would have a demolition order on it.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  5. #5
    The police service gets publically funded to provide a service and part of that includes firearms licensing. There are loads of examples where they provide a service to sections of the public free of charge so why are firearms licence holders penalised by being charged?
    Plus if the system is made more efficient they might not have to raise charges.

  6. #6
    Did read somewhere that each renewal costs the Police around £250

  7. #7
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the priority -assuming the current system is regarded by the HO and ACPO as unaffordable - is to identify which parts of the process are neither required by law nor contribute in a significant way to public safety in their current form, and can therefore be dispensed with to leave a more streamlined but still effective licensing system; and what technological resources can be introduced to reduce the burden of paperwork on the licensing authorities. The specific improvements that might be made have been enumerated in several threads on here so I won't go into them.

    The next step would be to agree on minimum service levels and on the appropriate type of sanctions against the licensing authority / compensation for the service user (us) to be made in the event these are not met.

    Once it is known what is possible, what is necessary, what is achievable, and how quality of service can be assured, it should be feasible to work out what it would cost.

    Only at this point should a debate about who should meet that cost, and in what proportion, be entered into. Until then the whole thing is mere haggling over a pig in a poke.

    In terms of outcomes, I'd like to see a good service that gets better and more cost-effective as numbers of certificates issued rises, so that is in the interest of the licensing agency to facilitate rather than obstruct the lawful objectives of the service user; and any fees set at a level no higher than what someone on, say, 2/3 of the national average income might reasonably be expected to afford.
    Last edited by Mr. Gain; 05-09-2014 at 10:46.
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  8. #8
    Very timely - just had an FEO visit for new FAC. For £60-00 or frankly £160 there is no way they are covering their costs.

    FEO out to land to pass for deer calibre (tick)
    FEO out to home to assess security, justification and fitness to possess (tick)
    FEO reference checks
    FEO club membership check for target use, zeroing etc. and are you a full member
    FEO Doctors check
    FEO partner check
    FEO criminal check / offences etc.
    FEO report
    Management decision to check quality of his / her work - all the paperwork and certification

    By the way hell of a nice guy added 222 250 + Mod to .308 application re: AOLQ. No mentoring clause. Helped grant massively that I had land and doing DSC 1 in October.

    Mentioned that licences are going electronic but wasnt aware of details of this and yes he believes fees will increase / they have to.

    How much is the cheapest single stalk? Hey the licence fee is an absolute bargain.
    Last edited by Grimrecruiter; 05-09-2014 at 10:59.
    Mauser M03 Extreme .308 / Ruger 22 250

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Buchan View Post
    I've no idea, but I raised an eyebrow when I read the piece. As you suggest there must be more to it than is being reported. As a general principle, I'd be happy to pay more to make it more efficient. I'm equally comfortable with full cost recovery. Shooting is for most folk a hobby, the general public shouldn't be subsidising it.
    I don't want this to start another "who should pay" argument but an FAC and the licencing behind it is for public protection, ie stop the wrong people from having a licence. Who benefits from this? The public. Those who have firearms legally don't benefit any more than the general public. We're paying (more than the general public) in order to prove we're suitable to carry out a perfectly legal activity whilst those who apply and are rejected don't have to pay for the admin costs involved.


    A driving licence works out at £2 a year and passport at £7 a year (much less that an FAC of SGC at £10 a year) yet I appreciate that obviously the true costs are subsidised by tax payers but as part of the system bad/unsafe, illegal drivers are dealt with (maybe not in the best way but thats another topic) in order to keep me safe and the rest of the public so I don't begrudge that part of my tax goes into funding the DVLA.


    If FAC/SGC holders believe that we have these licences as a privilige and should be "lucky" to have such a cheap hobby at £10 a year (for such a poorly managed service) then we don't have much hope of keeping costs low.

  10. #10
    That's one way of looking at it. Another is you have just paid £60 for a piece of paper that allows you to carry out an activity that is perfectly legal and yet hasn't benefitted you in any way. It is there to satisfy the police you're not going to be a danger to the public so the people benefitting are the public.

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