‘They simply deserve their fate… I don’t care’: Shooters respond to Home Office fees hike

24 Jan 2017 – Users of a shooting forum have been commenting upon the £1,000 fee hike proposed by the Home Office, and the attitudes on display reveal how pistol shooting was banned in 1997.

The Full Bore UK forum, which bills itself as “supporting all legal firearm owners, collectors, enthusiasts, shooters and competitors by promoting and encouraging legitimate gun ownership and use in the UK through unity, advocacy and discussion” has a thread running about the fee hike which was brought to UKSN’s attention earlier today.

The fees hike will kill off smaller rifle clubs, particularly university rifle clubs which are run by and for students. Typically, a university club of around 20 members will turn over less than £8,000 in an academic year of 6 or 7 months’ operation, normally running at a modest loss. Grants from students’ unions, if given to rifle clubs at all, may stretch to around £1,000 and cover that loss.

University clubs are largely dependent upon these grants for covering overheads such as affiliations, approval and insurance, with student members’ subs used to fund ammunition and occasional expenditure on new kit.

When this was pointed out, FBUK member ‘HALODIN’ replied: “If the worst comes to the worst and our finest students aren’t entrepreneurial enough to raise a measly £900, then they simply deserve their fate. They could of course stop being victims, ask for donations, have a jumble sale, appeal for sponsorship, get a loan or pay it out of their own bloody money. It’s not that I don’t care, but I don’t care about people who don’t care to help themselves.”

‘therunningman’ added: “£900 over 6 years is only £150 a year….hardly break the bank stuff….”

The Home Office Approval fee is payable upfront. There is no pay-by-instalments option.

“The fees will be affordable as a lump sum depending on the size of the club and how well it has been run,” said ‘Robert303’.

While other forum users chipped in to rebut these posts, it is instructive how, even when faced with a direct existential threat that may well cut the sport off at its knees by choking out a major source of new shooters, many are still making like ostriches,  putting their heads into the sand and as good as blurting out “I’m alright, Jack!”

UKSN wonders exactly how many responses to the lazy and biased consultation will be seized upon by Home Office bureaucrats, acting in concert with Labour and the Gun Control Network, to justify full imposition of these punitive fees.

The NRA published its response to the fees consultation yesterday, and while late, it is very welcome and pleasingly robust. The consultation closes in early March. UKSN’s views on it can be found here.

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2 thoughts on “‘They simply deserve their fate… I don’t care’: Shooters respond to Home Office fees hike

  1. Cameron Smith

    Whilst the Home Office, who actually does very little in the process, the Police doing most of the administration work for them, is obliged to review its costs, on a regular basis as it is a Public body,A rise in line with inflation,would I am sure been accepted by the relevent shooting bodies as reasonable,
    This rise can only be viewed as Legalised theft,or just another way to reduce the Shooting clubs and in turn target shooting in the U.K.
    This has not just been dreamed up by the Home Office, and the current Home Secretary, this has taken some planning.
    The Prime Minister. was the previous Home Secretary, untill fairly recently and her previous negative attitude to shooters, and draconian thoughts on Firearms i am sure has someting to
    do with this outragious proposed fee increase, this is not just down to Amber RUDD.
    Small Shooting Clubs will close, and larger ones will have to get there membership to pay higher fees,m just another nail in the coffin.
    The NRA responce is balanced, evidenced, and honest and very welcomed, let us hope that the
    Home Office listerns to reason, but dont hold your breath.

    Cameron

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  2. Mark

    The historic reasons given for imposing restrictions and licensing (and thereby the costs of those restrictions and licensing) have always been to protect the public from the criminal use of firearms. Surely then the only sensible course of action is to make criminals pay for the entire cost of the licencing infrastructure by a levy on fines?
    Perhaps if we levy a fee on MPs to cover the true cost of auditing their personal finances, justified by the historic evidence of fraud by their peers, then they might start to feel a little of the injustice they are imposing.

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