The UK's largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has responded to comments made by Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, on firearms licensing.
In a statement issued today, Mr Alston said firearms licence fees are 'significantly too low'.
In response Gary Ashton, BASC's director of firearms operations, said: “Certificate fees were recently reviewed by the Home Office. Those who want extended cost recovery for monitoring certificate holders for the duration of their certificate are labouring under a misapprehension. Government rules do not permit this and are quite clear – that the fee is connected only with the grant, renewal, variation or replacement of the certificate. Furthermore, Treasury guidance states ‘the charge should not exceed the identifiable costs of providing the goods and services delivered to the individual’.”
In response to Mr Alston’s comments that there must be scope for increasing efficiency by having one national system in place to deal with the administration of firearms licensing, Gary Ashton added:
"Inconsistent performance between police forces is an issue. Anything that brings about consistency and improves service to certificate holders would be welcomed.”