Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has welcomed the new Home Office guidelines on firearms but is warning they do no go far enough.
The guidelines state that individuals with a history of domestic violence should not be allowed to possess a firearm or shotgun, and that every incident of domestic violence should prompt a police review of whether a certificate holder should be allowed to hold a firearm without posing a danger to the public.
Mr Coppinger said: “It is absolutely right and proper that police officers probe into any history of domestic violence of applicants, so that a full picture is held before making a decision on who can hold a firearm. It is paramount that the public is protected.
“I am however conscious that at a time when police resources are stretched, additional time and money cannot be conjured out of thin air, and that fact is that the current £50 fee in no way covers the cost of a licence.
“We subsidise the process in Cleveland as we will not cut corners on this important issue.
“I have written to the Home Secretary to request that she devolve the power to set these fees to Police and Crime Commissioners. We can then set the licence fee at a level that reflects the real cost of undertaking the work.
“Subsidies to gun owners should cease. They are not insignificant and in 2013-14 will cost the Force £96,000, the equivalent of two police officers.
“In the current financial climate we should not be pay out such subsidies.”
Posted on Friday 2nd August 2013