Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd is backing calls to increase the cost of a gun licence to ensure that police aren’t left out of pocket when carrying out background checks.
A five-year firearms or shotgun certificate currently costs £50, but the cost to GMP to process the application is estimated to be around £200.
Police Minister Damian Green says that the fee is under review – but has told Police and Crime Commissioners that a planned increase will mean that police can only recoup 50% of the actual cost.
Tony said: “We have a regime in this country to protect the public while allowing legitimate and appropriate people to hold guns.
“People with guns are in a position of trust and the cost of the licence should reflect this position of trust. Greater Manchester Police should certainly not be out of pocket to carry out the checks required to ensure that only responsible people should have access to guns.
“The process should be self-financing so that police can focus their shrinking resources on where it matters most. It should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.”
The £50 cost for the licence has not risen for more than a decade.
Tony is also supporting proposals to substantially reform the firearms licensing process. Labour are advocating an overhaul which would see the onus to demonstrate suitability to own a firearm shifting to those who are applying for a license and a wholesale ban on those with a history of domestic or sexual violence, substance abuse or serious mental health issues.