THE county’s Police and Crime Commissioner has joined calls for the Government to increase the cost of gun licensing fees, which he believes will force applicants to cover the full cost of processing them.
Commissioner Alan Charles said current gun license application fees did not cover the administration costs of processing them which meant police forces had to heavily subsidise them – money which could be better spent on additional police officers.
He described the system as ‘hypocritical’ and likened it to a situation of using the public purse to pay for monthly gym memberships.
He said: “In these difficult times where we are cutting police officer posts and losing valuable resources it is absolutely hypocritical to be channeling hundreds of thousands of pounds into firearms licensing administration in the name of sport.
“On the one hand, we are continually telling the public that we are committed to spending their money wisely and protecting the frontline, only to be asking them on the other to financially sustain the leisure interests of a minority of residents.”
Surely there needs to be a fairer system where applicants are made responsible for all of the processing costs.”