The Police Service of Northern Ireland is reminding the public that the increase in the cost for the grant of a firearms certificate is set to increase from 22 February. The fee for a five year certificate has remained at £50 since 2004 however, from 22 February this will rise to £98.
Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “We are taking this opportunity again to remind anyone who may be applying for a new certificate from the 22 February onwards about the increase in fees.
“The fee increase is in line with government guidance on managing public money which states that where a fee is charged for a service it should reflect the cost of providing that service. The fee for a firearm certificate has not increased in over ten years; however the cost of the licensing system – to process and issue the licenses – has continued to rise over that time.
“We feel this increase will go some way towards cost recovery of administering a firearm certificate – which is not just about issuing a new certificate to firearm owners. In the interests of keeping people safe, robust checks are required on all those who seek to acquire and to continue to own firearms and ammunition. This includes face to face interviews, checking the suitability of the land, membership of clubs where firearms will be used and that arrangements for secure storage are satisfactory. On occasion it is also necessary to request medical information from General Practitioners.”
This increase in the licensing fee will reduce the current gap between the income received by the Police Service from firearm certificate applications and the cost of administering the licensing system.
Chief Superintendent Dunwoody concluded: “We hold regular meetings and will continue to work with those who represent the shooting community and the Department of Justice to ensure our revised procedures offer increased accountability and transparency.”
All certificate holders will be notified of the changes as their expiry date approaches.
Further details of the procedures involved in applying for a certificate can be found athttp://www.psni.police.uk/index/advice-and-legislation/firearms.htm .