PCC welcomes gun licence review - The Solihull Observer

PCC welcomes gun licence review

Solihull Editorial 31st Mar, 2023   0

POLICE AND Crime Commissioners (PCC) of the West Midlands and Staffordshire have welcomed plans to review the fees for a gun licence.

Police forces across the country lose money every time a gun licence application is processed, because the fee charged doesn’t fully cover the costs to the police force of vetting the individual and the associated bureaucracy.

According to the West Midlands PCC, Simon Foster, last year the force area made an annual lossof £230,000 on the processing of licenses with Staffordshire’s figure estimated to be higher as the area accounts for 60 per cent of the licences processed by the joint West Midlands and Staffordshire Firearms Licensing Unit.

Nationally, police forces are thought to be subsidising gun licences to the tune of around £10million – the equivalent of 200 police officers.




Mr Foster and Staffordshire PCC Ben Adams have been urging the government, privately and publicly, to make changes to the gun licence fees.

The minister of state for Crime, Policing and Fire Chris Philip MP, wrote to the PCCs to say he agrees that gun licence fees should cover the costs to police forces.


He also confirmed the Home Office has already commenced a review.

The proposals for the new fees will apparently be subject to a public consultation later this year, with the new fees introduced in the autumn.

Mr Foster said: “I have been urging the government to increase the cost of gun licences for a long time, so that gun owners pay the full cost of the necessary safety checks and admin associated with their licences.

“I see no reason why there should be fewer police officers on the beat because gun licences are not charged at a level that covers their costs.

“I’m pleased that after so long the government seems to have finally heard my message and I’ve been listened to.

“Hopefully this will mean police forces, up and down the country, will no longer subsidise gun ownership and will use the money to tackle crime instead.”

Subscribe

Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Solihull Observer.

Printing

We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Solihull Observer.