Gun licences costing police £100k a year
WEST Midlands Police is losing nearly £100,000 a year subsidising firearm licence applications from the public, it has been claimed.
That is the amount the force has to pay out over and above the application fees paid by the region’s 10,000 licenced gun owners. The fees, set by the Home Office nationally, range from £49 to renew a shotgun certificate to £90 for a fresh combined shotgun and firearm licence. They need to be renewed every five years.
But West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson says each application costs the force an average of £36.85 over and above the fee.
Last year the force handled 2,659 applications, costing £98,000 – enough to pay for two extra PCs.
Mr Jamieson said: “Responsible gun ownership is perfectly legal, but hardpressed police forces shouldn’t be taking a financial hit to facilitate them. The charges the government set should cover police costs. The government sets the charges that Police and Crime Commissioners can charge for certificate applications.
“The simple truth is that the rates the government set are subsidising gun ownership and harming police numbers. I could recruit extra officers if I was allowed to recover costs on gun licencing.”