West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is calling on the government to increase the fees forces can charge for firearm and shotgun certificates. The Commissioner has asked the Home Office to review the charges they set to ensure ‘police forces aren’t subsiding gun ownership.’

Research has shown that West Midlands Police is losing nearly £100,000 a year, amounting to an average cost of £36.85 per application to the force. Based on this research, across the country the loss to police forces is over £6.4 million.

The current firearms charges do not meet West Midlands Police’s associated costs from processing the applications and making the relevant checks. Charges for firearm and shotgun certificates have not increased since April 2015.

Launching his campaign, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:
“Responsible gun ownership is perfectly legal, but hard-pressed police forces shouldn’t be taking a financial hit to facilitate them. The charges the government set should cover police costs.

“The government sets the charges that Police and Crime Commissioners can charge for certificate applications. The simple truth is that the rates the government set are subsidising gun ownership and harming police numbers. I could recruit extra officers if I was allowed to recover costs on gun licencing.

“I have asked the Home Secretary to review the rates to stop police forces subsidising the cost of gun ownership.

“If the Home Office were to increase the charges in line with costs, we could increase police officer numbers by nearly 130 across England and Wales.

“This would be a small, but sensible and easily achievable step for the government to take.

“It can’t be right that police forces are not allowed to charge gun owners what it actually costs to process their licenses and make the proper checks. The government needs to carry out a review as soon as possible.”

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