asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has studied the estimate made by the National Pistol Association of the costs of the issue and renewal of a firearms certificate; what is the discrepancy between these amounts and those now proposed by his Department in respect of the same; and if he will make a statement.
We are aware of this estimate but have not seen the research paper on which it is based and are not therefore in a position to comment on it. I understand that the association estimates that fee levels much lower than those recently proposed by the Government would be sufficient to recover the full costs of operating the licensing system. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the government have decided not to increase firearms fees for the time being, for the reasons given in my reply to my learned Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr) on 10 November.—[Vol. 31, c. 149.]