Re-released - Why is the taxpayer subsidising gun owners?

by Gun Control Network on 28-08-2021



Press release by Gun Control Network  10 September 2013   Re-released 20th August 2021 

Forces are at work within government to undermine much needed reform of firearms  licensing. 

At present, shooters pay £50 for a gun licence which lasts for 5 years.  This has been the same since 2001.  For the price of 4 cups of coffee a year a man can own as many shotguns as he likes. 

The police say the cost to them of processing an application for a gun licence is £200. 

With 720,000 gun licences in existence, the Home Office estimates that the total cost to the taxpayer is approximately £20m per year. 

Gill Marshall-Andrews Chair of the Gun Control Network says:

“‘This is against the public interest and against Treasury rules.  In a Treasury publication Managing Public Money 2007 all departments are required to adhere to the principle of full cost recovery in matters such as this. 

What seems to have happened is this: The Home Office Minister for Policing Damien Green committed himself to full cost recovery of the licence fee.  In meetings with Andy Marsh, ACPO lead on firearms, and Bobby Turnbull, campaigner,  whose family was murdered in Horden on New Years Day 2011, he confirmed his commitment to achieving full cost recovery, starting with an increase in October 2013.  

The proposal was then cleared by the Treasury and by the government’s Regulatory Policy Committee.   However at the last hurdle –a new Cabinet sub-committee called the Reducing Regulation Committee – it was blocked.  

As the only people who stand to gain from this block are the shooters themselves, it is logical to suppose that their lobbying has been successful.  The result is that the licence fee will still cost £50 and the taxpayer will continue to pick up the bill.”