asked Her Majesty's Government:Why under the Firearms (Variation of Fees) Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/3148) small high street gun shops are to pay the same fees as very large armament suppliers. [HL392]
Lord Bassam of Brighton
Under Section 43 of the Firearms Act 1968, the Secretary of State may by order vary the sums payable under the Act and may make different provisions for different cases so specified. However, Section 43 makes no provision for the Secretary of State further to divide the cases set out in the Act into different categories. In particular, it does not provide for the Secretary of State to delegate to the police service a power to divide dealers into larger or smaller businesses and to charge different fees for each type of business. The fee for the grant of and renewal of a dealer's registration under the Firearms Acts has always been set at a level applying equally to all types of businesses and the present order continues this practice.