Firearms licensing is a priority for this Government both in terms of public safety and in ensuring that a fair and effective service is provided.
Today the Government published the response to our consultation on increasing firearms licensing fees administered by the police.
The large majority (73%) of respondents to the consultation supported an increase to the current fees and the Government agree that the fees will change. The new fees will come into effect on 6 April 2015.
The consultation also sought views on future reviews of the fees. Consultation with police and stakeholders was seen as an integral part of future reviews. A working group will be reconvened to oversee the review process to enable an annual change to be agreed if appropriate. We will then consider conducting a more comprehensive review after five years.
The Government will also work with the police to introduce an online licensing system to drive down costs across the system overall. This will be reviewed in 12 months to assess whether costs are being fully recovered with a view to increasing fees further if it is not.
Work continues on improving the efficiency of the process and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary are currently conducting an inspection into how the licensing system works in practice.
The Government’s response to the public consultation will be placed in the Library of the House and published on the gov.uk website: