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Firearm Certificate Fees

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 13 February 1975

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15.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will reduce the proposed new level of firearm certificate fees.

Is the Minister aware that the recent increase has multiplied fivefold the cost of these fees—in some cases from £1 to £5 and in other cases from £2 to £10? Is he further aware that this step has changed the licensing system from one which was formerly based on merit and need to a system based entirely on the ability of one's bank account to afford a licence?

I would not go so far as to agree with the hon. Gentleman that the purchase of a firearms certificate depends on the size of one's bank account. The object of the increased licence fee is to cover the substantially increased administrative costs arising from the investigations carried out by the RUC into firearm permits and licences.