Audio: "Dorset taxpayers are subsidising gun owners" - PCC attacks David Cameron over firearm licence fees decision

Audio:

Audio: "Dorset taxpayers subsidising gun owners" - PCC attacks David Cameron over firearm licence fees

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DORSET’S police commissioner has attacked the Prime Minister’s decision not to increase firearm licence fees, claiming taxpayers are subsidising gun owners.

Martyn Underhill said Dorset had one of the largest shooting populations in the country pro rata and the force was spending more than £250,000 subsidising the costs of issuing and renewing licences.

It currently costs £50 to apply for a five-year gun licence and £40 for a subsequent five-year renewal – charges that have not been increased since 2001.

 

Following two years of negotiations, a business case was put together recommending an increase in these charges but this has been overruled by David Cameron.

Mr Underhill said: “Dorset Police have estimated the cost of granting a firearms licence to be £218. The £50 charge doesn’t even cover the administration costs, let alone pay for an officer to visit the applicant to check their suitability to have a gun.

“This leaves a gap of £168 which has to come from the taxpayer – effectively removing 10 police officers from our streets to fund a leisure time hobby. I know many Dorset residents will find this a bitter pill to swallow.”

He has written to Mr Cameron asking him to review his decision or explain why he has intervened in this matter.

“David Cameron needs to justify his stand-alone decision and reassure the cynics amongst us that this isn’t about his personal hobby, the party faithful and extreme lobbying,” he said.

A Government spokesperson said: "The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and we are determined to keep it that way.
 
“The Government keeps the firearms licensing system under review and next year Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will review how it works in practice.
 
“We are working to improve the efficiency of the gun licensing process including the proposed piloting of an online system by the police in the autumn, with a view to rolling out next year.”

Comments (19)

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1:39pm Thu 21 Aug 14

forest-dweller says...

I am in Hampshire, but when I renewed my licence, I was not visited. I have no problem with that, as they saw the arrangements the first time of applying, so not much point rechecking. So that part of the argument is a little bogus. As it is, the checks and process are farcical.
I am in Hampshire, but when I renewed my licence, I was not visited. I have no problem with that, as they saw the arrangements the first time of applying, so not much point rechecking. So that part of the argument is a little bogus. As it is, the checks and process are farcical. forest-dweller
  • Score: 18

2:04pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Fed up poole resident says...

£218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not!
£218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not! Fed up poole resident
  • Score: 9

2:40pm Thu 21 Aug 14

we-shall-see says...

Fed up poole resident wrote:
£218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not!
On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying!

Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence!

Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/
[quote][p][bold]Fed up poole resident[/bold] wrote: £218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not![/p][/quote]On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying! Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence! Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/ we-shall-see
  • Score: -11

2:46pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Teddy 1 says...

we-shall-see wrote:
Fed up poole resident wrote:
£218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not!
On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying!

Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence!

Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/
Maybe the report should have been professionally written and it may have had a chance. Time for better management and working smarter.
[quote][p][bold]we-shall-see[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fed up poole resident[/bold] wrote: £218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not![/p][/quote]On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying! Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence! Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/[/p][/quote]Maybe the report should have been professionally written and it may have had a chance. Time for better management and working smarter. Teddy 1
  • Score: 4

2:58pm Thu 21 Aug 14

foggy1965 says...

I am a licensed firearms holder, and I have no objection to the price going up, the police do have to check to make sure that some gun toting nut is not after a gun to miss use it. even if the price is doubled it is still cheap for something that is for 5 years. my only big objection is the nuts that post on here objecting.... not at the cost to the tax payer but because they don't like the thought of killing animals.
I hate the lycra clad terrorists that call themselves cyclist's. .. how much tax payers money is spent on cycle paths only to see them still using the road.
I am a licensed firearms holder, and I have no objection to the price going up, the police do have to check to make sure that some gun toting nut is not after a gun to miss use it. even if the price is doubled it is still cheap for something that is for 5 years. my only big objection is the nuts that post on here objecting.... not at the cost to the tax payer but because they don't like the thought of killing animals. I hate the lycra clad terrorists that call themselves cyclist's. .. how much tax payers money is spent on cycle paths only to see them still using the road. foggy1965
  • Score: 20

3:07pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Fed up poole resident says...

we-shall-see wrote:
Fed up poole resident wrote:
£218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not!
On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying!

Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence!

Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/
On the contrary, you should have read my comment more carefully I was merely stating that the cost quoted seems very high. The medical report you refer to consists of allowing police permission to check your health records to ensure you have not received treatment for any illnesses that could effect your suitability for a gun license. Hardly a medical report! No gun license holder wishes to be subsidised by the taxpayer; nor do they want to be subjected to a rather astronomical price rise. Your argument about the killing of wildlife is a very emotive one and I know that many gun license holders use their guns solely at shooting ranges and have no desire to kill animals.
[quote][p][bold]we-shall-see[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fed up poole resident[/bold] wrote: £218! Where does he get his figures from? It must take an administrator on £6 or £7 an hour, a couple of minutes to type the details onto a database. Then a quick criminal record check followed by a 10 mins visit by a police officer. All I can say is that police officer must be on a phenomenal hourly rate! The only other alternative is the police have decided this is an easy way to make additional funds. Surely not![/p][/quote]On the contrary, they do NOT make additional funds, which is the whole point of the report. They have to subsidise each and every licence out of the money that WE taxpayers are paying! Each applicant must be assessed as suitable, which includes a medical report to confirm he/she does not have any mental health problems etc - all of which takes time and costs money to do. It's not just a case of a copper knocking on someone's door and handing them a licence! Why should every person who pays taxes subsidise the hobbies of other people? I don't see them paying someone to go hang gliding, hiking or even knitting as hobbies, so why should we pay for other people's licence to effectively go around killing wildlife? Having worked in a job that had connections to the field of shooting, I know from experience that most of Dorset's gun owners do not use them solely for shooting clay pigeons and I for one OBJECT to funding this hobby :o/[/p][/quote]On the contrary, you should have read my comment more carefully I was merely stating that the cost quoted seems very high. The medical report you refer to consists of allowing police permission to check your health records to ensure you have not received treatment for any illnesses that could effect your suitability for a gun license. Hardly a medical report! No gun license holder wishes to be subsidised by the taxpayer; nor do they want to be subjected to a rather astronomical price rise. Your argument about the killing of wildlife is a very emotive one and I know that many gun license holders use their guns solely at shooting ranges and have no desire to kill animals. Fed up poole resident
  • Score: 5

3:21pm Thu 21 Aug 14

bobthedestroyer says...

I didn't think the police or PCC were supposed to be political?
I didn't think the police or PCC were supposed to be political? bobthedestroyer
  • Score: 3

3:29pm Thu 21 Aug 14

penhalereturns says...

Mr Underhills estimates on admin cost smacks of the extortionate charges credit card companies and bank used to levy on their letters to customers when the went overdrawn.
Admin cost are supposed to be proportionate to the time it takes to write a letter, how the hell Underhill arrives at £50 not covering admin costs I don't know, I think he's just plucked figures out of thin air to justify his case for extra cash and then tried to blackmail the government by stating that the council tax payers are footing the extra bill.
Personally I would like to see all firearms banned in this country, that would solve this particular problem.
Mr Underhills estimates on admin cost smacks of the extortionate charges credit card companies and bank used to levy on their letters to customers when the went overdrawn. Admin cost are supposed to be proportionate to the time it takes to write a letter, how the hell Underhill arrives at £50 not covering admin costs I don't know, I think he's just plucked figures out of thin air to justify his case for extra cash and then tried to blackmail the government by stating that the council tax payers are footing the extra bill. Personally I would like to see all firearms banned in this country, that would solve this particular problem. penhalereturns
  • Score: -3

3:37pm Thu 21 Aug 14

coster says...

Martyn Underhill is the one abusing Dorset taxpayers, Overpaid in a non-job, not needed and not voted for - that's the position with 'Police Commissioners'.
Martyn Underhill is the one abusing Dorset taxpayers, Overpaid in a non-job, not needed and not voted for - that's the position with 'Police Commissioners'. coster
  • Score: 14

4:17pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Bob49 says...

this is quite old news, as it was reported here months back -

http://www.theguardi
an.com/commentisfree
/2014/apr/28/britain
-plutocrats-landed-g
entry-shotgun-owners


as to fed ups absurd old tosh perhaps he could find a grown up to explain to him that it costs more to the employer than £6 or £7 to pay someone that figure, it costs the police officer in time and money - not just ten minutes ... they have to travel to and from the gun owners house
this is quite old news, as it was reported here months back - http://www.theguardi an.com/commentisfree /2014/apr/28/britain -plutocrats-landed-g entry-shotgun-owners as to fed ups absurd old tosh perhaps he could find a grown up to explain to him that it costs more to the employer than £6 or £7 to pay someone that figure, it costs the police officer in time and money - not just ten minutes ... they have to travel to and from the gun owners house Bob49
  • Score: 3

4:33pm Thu 21 Aug 14

boyerboy says...

Bob49 wrote:
this is quite old news, as it was reported here months back -

http://www.theguardi

an.com/commentisfree

/2014/apr/28/britain

-plutocrats-landed-g

entry-shotgun-owners



as to fed ups absurd old tosh perhaps he could find a grown up to explain to him that it costs more to the employer than £6 or £7 to pay someone that figure, it costs the police officer in time and money - not just ten minutes ... they have to travel to and from the gun owners house
Can we just clarify the use of a "Police officer ", I had assumed a lot of the work( including visits( at least for shotguns) was carried out by civilians ?
[quote][p][bold]Bob49[/bold] wrote: this is quite old news, as it was reported here months back - http://www.theguardi an.com/commentisfree /2014/apr/28/britain -plutocrats-landed-g entry-shotgun-owners as to fed ups absurd old tosh perhaps he could find a grown up to explain to him that it costs more to the employer than £6 or £7 to pay someone that figure, it costs the police officer in time and money - not just ten minutes ... they have to travel to and from the gun owners house[/p][/quote]Can we just clarify the use of a "Police officer ", I had assumed a lot of the work( including visits( at least for shotguns) was carried out by civilians ? boyerboy
  • Score: 3

4:42pm Thu 21 Aug 14

peds4x4 says...

Just remember this service is part of the police forces core roles so they have already been paid for this as part of my income tax and local council tax precept plus an extra £50 fee on top. So how many times am I expected to pay for the same service. Remember Underhill also wants drinkers to pay extra for policing pubs and related issues of an evening when these drinkers have already paid national and local taxes for policing plus extortionate alcohol taxes and local pubs and clubs already pay huge business rates. So again Underhill wants you to pay extra for a service that is already funded.
Just remember this service is part of the police forces core roles so they have already been paid for this as part of my income tax and local council tax precept plus an extra £50 fee on top. So how many times am I expected to pay for the same service. Remember Underhill also wants drinkers to pay extra for policing pubs and related issues of an evening when these drinkers have already paid national and local taxes for policing plus extortionate alcohol taxes and local pubs and clubs already pay huge business rates. So again Underhill wants you to pay extra for a service that is already funded. peds4x4
  • Score: 4

4:47pm Thu 21 Aug 14

nothingtofear says...

We've had weeks of deafening silence from Underhill on the controversial subject of Travellers pitching up at various sites in Poole affecting the lives of huge numbers of law abiding citizens but up he pops spouting off on a topic that affects a small number of country landowners. Hmmmm
We've had weeks of deafening silence from Underhill on the controversial subject of Travellers pitching up at various sites in Poole affecting the lives of huge numbers of law abiding citizens but up he pops spouting off on a topic that affects a small number of country landowners. Hmmmm nothingtofear
  • Score: 7

4:57pm Thu 21 Aug 14

dustbindanny says...

Mr Underhill, don't we also subsidise unwanted ,so called Travellers, why do you not speak out /support them?
Mr Underhill, don't we also subsidise unwanted ,so called Travellers, why do you not speak out /support them? dustbindanny
  • Score: 9

4:58pm Thu 21 Aug 14

bh21spider says...

I'm lucky enough to live in a low crime area, yet I have to subsidise other areas which require more police resource. What's the difference? They could just as easily state that area B needs to pay more tax, due to having a higher instance of crime than area A.

I'm all for maintaining my licences online though, IF that is more cost efficient.
I'm lucky enough to live in a low crime area, yet I have to subsidise other areas which require more police resource. What's the difference? They could just as easily state that area B needs to pay more tax, due to having a higher instance of crime than area A. I'm all for maintaining my licences online though, IF that is more cost efficient. bh21spider
  • Score: 4

5:04pm Thu 21 Aug 14

BarrHumbug says...

Perhaps if the public sector could streamline their industry rather than having 5 people for the job of 1 they might be able to make £60 cover the cost of applying for a new licence?
Perhaps if the public sector could streamline their industry rather than having 5 people for the job of 1 they might be able to make £60 cover the cost of applying for a new licence? BarrHumbug
  • Score: 3

8:05pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Bob49 says...

bh21spider wrote:
I'm lucky enough to live in a low crime area, yet I have to subsidise other areas which require more police resource. What's the difference? They could just as easily state that area B needs to pay more tax, due to having a higher instance of crime than area A.

I'm all for maintaining my licences online though, IF that is more cost efficient.
That is absurd as you would not be able to actually define each area, and were there to be a murder a few doors away from you, wholely unconnected with you, should your contribution suddenly rise in accordance.

The simple fact is that the full cost of these checks has not be met by gunholders - it has not even risen since 2001. It is a one of activity NOT part of routine police work just as policing inside of football matches, or moving a heavy load via road are.

Stop squeaking and cough up.
[quote][p][bold]bh21spider[/bold] wrote: I'm lucky enough to live in a low crime area, yet I have to subsidise other areas which require more police resource. What's the difference? They could just as easily state that area B needs to pay more tax, due to having a higher instance of crime than area A. I'm all for maintaining my licences online though, IF that is more cost efficient.[/p][/quote]That is absurd as you would not be able to actually define each area, and were there to be a murder a few doors away from you, wholely unconnected with you, should your contribution suddenly rise in accordance. The simple fact is that the full cost of these checks has not be met by gunholders - it has not even risen since 2001. It is a one of activity NOT part of routine police work just as policing inside of football matches, or moving a heavy load via road are. Stop squeaking and cough up. Bob49
  • Score: -1

12:16pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Franks Tank says...

foggy1965 wrote:
I am a licensed firearms holder, and I have no objection to the price going up, the police do have to check to make sure that some gun toting nut is not after a gun to miss use it. even if the price is doubled it is still cheap for something that is for 5 years. my only big objection is the nuts that post on here objecting.... not at the cost to the tax payer but because they don't like the thought of killing animals.
I hate the lycra clad terrorists that call themselves cyclist's. .. how much tax payers money is spent on cycle paths only to see them still using the road.
Oh my God, you've managed to work in a frothy mouthed anti-cycling rant into a comment on gun licensing.
Absolutely incredible.
Are you sure you are a fit and proper person to handle a firearm?
[quote][p][bold]foggy1965[/bold] wrote: I am a licensed firearms holder, and I have no objection to the price going up, the police do have to check to make sure that some gun toting nut is not after a gun to miss use it. even if the price is doubled it is still cheap for something that is for 5 years. my only big objection is the nuts that post on here objecting.... not at the cost to the tax payer but because they don't like the thought of killing animals. I hate the lycra clad terrorists that call themselves cyclist's. .. how much tax payers money is spent on cycle paths only to see them still using the road.[/p][/quote]Oh my God, you've managed to work in a frothy mouthed anti-cycling rant into a comment on gun licensing. Absolutely incredible. Are you sure you are a fit and proper person to handle a firearm? Franks Tank
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Thu 28 Aug 14

SirHenryRawlinson says...

The reason that firearms licensing exists is for public safety, it has nothing to do with supporting someone else's hobby.
Similarly, we do not expect the whole of DVLA to be paid for from the driving license fee, or expect a whole council department to be paid for through planning permission applications.
If you do not want these controls paid for through the public purse, then privatise it all, or de-regulate everything.

Shooting is no different to any other sport or activity. Yes firearms can be dangerous in misused, but so can many other thing that we use in our daily lives. But for some reason they are disproportionately singled out for special treatment. And therefore the administration costs money.

The current safeguards in the firearms licensing are a perfectly adequate to protect the public. But the implementation is grossly inefficient. At the moment every police force has it's own department to administer it. If the tax payer want to save money, then improve the efficiency.
The reason that firearms licensing exists is for public safety, it has nothing to do with supporting someone else's hobby. Similarly, we do not expect the whole of DVLA to be paid for from the driving license fee, or expect a whole council department to be paid for through planning permission applications. If you do not want these controls paid for through the public purse, then privatise it all, or de-regulate everything. Shooting is no different to any other sport or activity. Yes firearms can be dangerous in misused, but so can many other thing that we use in our daily lives. But for some reason they are disproportionately singled out for special treatment. And therefore the administration costs money. The current safeguards in the firearms licensing are a perfectly adequate to protect the public. But the implementation is grossly inefficient. At the moment every police force has it's own department to administer it. If the tax payer want to save money, then improve the efficiency. SirHenryRawlinson
  • Score: 0

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