As part of its Crime and Justice Manifesto, the Labour Party signalled its intention to “end the police subsidy of gun licenses.” This comes even though the new fees will provide full cost recovery under a new electronic licensing system.
BASC cautioned against the move. Chairman Alan Jarrett said: “We were… surprised and puzzled by today’s announcement from the Labour Party to again increase gun licensing fees on the premise of eradicating a subsidy that does not exist. We fear that imposing a tax on shooting will result in unintended consequences, harming economic activity, conservation and people’s well-being.”
Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “It is clear that much still needs to be done to ensure that shooting and its massive social and environmental contribution to the UK is properly understood by politicians of all parties.”
New firearms licence fees came into effect on 6 April. A new firearms licence now costs £88, and a renewal £62.