14 June 2016 – Home Office papers reveal that rifle clubs across the country will be poorer by £123,000 as it moves to abolish their free firearm certificates and variations.
The free FAC scheme for clubs is a symbol that the government recognises and supports the sport of target shooting.
Anti-shooting voices have loudly demanded that the ‘subsidy’ given to shooting is stopped, while conveniently forgetting that the police and the Home Office are already funded through general taxation – the money creamed off your wages by the taxman.
Its abolition will not only saddle clubs with a large financial burden – each FAC variation costs £20 and grants cost £88, sums set to increase later this year – but also symbolises how the current government is slowly turning its back on the shooting sports in favour of symbolic gestures to appease the malevolent and ill-informed.
An impact statement for the Policing and Crime Bill 2016, released today, reveals:
On this basis, assuming fees were set at full cost recovery level, we estimate a cost to section 5 firearms dealers of £371,000 per year; a cost to section 5 firearms carriers of £122,000 per year; a cost to Private Maritime Security Companies of £40,000 per year; a cost to Olympic shooters of £3,400 per year; a cost to ‘trophy of war’ finders of £1,500 per year; a cost to museums of £35,000 per year; and a cost to shooting clubs of £123,000 per year.
The turnover of the shooting sports alone was reckoned to be £2bn, in a BASC-funded study carried out in 2014. The cumulative cost of this move to impose extra fees on the licensed firearms community and industry is £695.9m, or 34 per cent of our total contribution to UK GDP.
There is no opposition at present in Parliament to any of these measures.