Labour frontbenchers support tax on shooting

5 May 2016 – Members of Labour’s shadow cabinet are supporting a Labour tax on all shooters, as tabled in the Policing and Crime Bill 2016.

The proposal from Labour MPs Lyn Brown, Jack Dromey, Andy Burnham, Keir Starmer, Sarah Champion and Carolyn Harris is to force up the price of a firearm or shotgun certificate by setting “the sum payable at the full cost to the taxpayer of issuing a licence”.

This would mean that certificates could increase in price regardless of the actual cost involved, as the proposed clause does not specify anything about how those costs are to be calculated – meaning if Labour gets its way, the final cost to shooters could include unrelated overheads relating to the operation of firearms licensing teams.

Lyn Brown is a shadow Home Office minister; Jack Dromey is the husband of Harriet Harman, a big hitter in the Labour Party; Andy Burnham is the shadow Home Secretary; Sir Keir Starmer, KCB, QC, was the Director of Public Prosecutions under Gordon Brown and the early part of the 2010-2015 Tory-Lib Dem coalition government, before being selected as Labour MP for Holborn, London, in 2015; Sarah Champion and Carolyn Harris are minor Labour MPs for Bristol and Swansea, respectively.

It can thus be seen that official Labour policy is to oppose shooting at every step and ensure only the rich can afford to take part in the sport.

Interestingly, some of these individuals seem unlikely to be eligible for a firearm certificate themselves. Harris last appeared in the news in March this year after she allegedly assaulted her office manager in a homophobic outburst, though police declined to investigate and she denied the allegations. Brown reportedly shoved a blind journalist in the House of Commons in 2011, shouting “for fuck’s sake, move out of my fucking way” at the man and his guide dog.

Full cost recovery was imposed on the licensed firearms community by the Home Office in early 2015 following a police campaign to turn it into a profit-making business for forces across the country. The Home Office reluctantly agreed a much smaller increase than the one demanded by policemen, though with the important proviso that police must speed up their adoption of e-commerce digital licensing instead of continuing with the 50-year-old paper application system. The principle has been accepted by all parties involved in firearms licensing.

Shooting organisations accepted full-cost licensing on the basis of a move to e-commerce, though it is clearly inappropriate for taxpayers to pay again for a service funded from general taxation. The price of postage stamps did not 100% fund Royal Mail, in its public ownership days, and neither does vehicle excise duty cover 100% of the DVLA’s operating expenses. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to bite the bullet in order to head off future punitive rises – particularly as FAC and SGC fees had not changed since the early 2000s and in early 2015 polls indicated that Labour had a chance of winning that year’s general election.

It is not known to UKSN whether Labour plans a whipped vote to force through this silly amendment, or whether the Conservative Party plans to oppose it.

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8 thoughts on “Labour frontbenchers support tax on shooting

  1. Nicholas Harman

    ‘It can thus be seen that official Labour policy is to oppose shooting at every step and ensure only the rich can afford to take part in the sport.’

    More like, I think, to put people off shooting full stop.

    Mind you if the cost of .22 and 7.62 keeps going up it will be a rich man’s sport anyway,

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    1. Andy J

      Remember that it was the incoming Labour government that added .22 pistols to the “small firearms” ban in 1997. (Firearms (amendment) (No.2) Act 1997).

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  2. Andy J

    Part of the reason for the existence of the firearms acts is to protect the public and the peace from the possible results of the “wrong” people gaining legal access to firearms. It follows therefore, that the people gaining protection and benefit from such legislation should also contribute to the costs of operating it.
    To take the labour proposals to their logical conclusion, the costs of security of pharmacies that stock dangerous and addictive drugs, and the inspection and certification of it should be borne wholly by the people who need such drugs.

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  3. commonlycalledcosmin

    Well what do you expect from Labour? What if I wanted to support a ban on Labour politicians and whomever wants to get in the way of law abiding shooters and their common law rights, but then again I am not in the House of Commons.

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  4. James

    The greens and labour will NEVER get my vote. So anti gun, so freedom sapping. In fact, i don’t trust any of these politicians. I work hard and I pay my dues and you try and take my hobby from me? Pfffff! Does our govt. work for us following our election of them or is it the other way around???

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  5. JOHN F. SUKEY

    The reason politicians want to ban guns? they were afraid the soldiers coming back from WW1 were going to shoot them out of office!!!!!!!!!!!!

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