4 July 2016 – The fee for Home Office Approval of a rifle or muzzle-loading pistol club will increase substantially in the near future, NRA chief executive Andrew Mercer has warned.
Speaking at the NRA AGM, Mercer said: “We have just heard that the Home Office has recently proposed that fees for club approvals are to increase from £84 to £1,000.”
He continued: “We feel that it’s not going to be £84 and it’s not going to be £1,000, but
where it finally sits is going to be the amalgamation of a substantial amount of work.”
Section 108 of the Policing and Crime Bill, which is currently at its report stage in the House of Commons, will allow the Home Secretary (i.e. civil servants) to set the club approval fee by decree. The £84 fee is written into primary legislation, the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, and thus would have needed an Act of Parliament to change it.
Despite efforts from pro-shooting MPs to introduce amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill that would have reduced costs in firearms licensing, the government refused to call them for debate, meaning they failed.
It is clear now that the prevailing view in the Home Office has swung against the shooting sports, seeing us as a convenient cash cow to be milked; just as the police do.