I know it may be hard for some of you to believe, but I can remember, and still have, my first gun licence. It was a piece of virtually indestructible paper, about 3” x 4”. The local officer was based in Arundel, and he had an assistant, between them they administered all the licences in the area. Now I do admit that there are more people with licences now than there were then, but, it certainly is not an 8 fold increase, unlike the increase in frontline administration. Then, there are all the back room staff that they now have, you certainly are fortunate to speak to the same person twice if you contact them by phone.
Which is why, with elections coming up in May next year, the Labour party appear to be setting out their stall early. Not renowned for their support of country sports and rural issues, although there are some supporters in their ranks, as there are anti’s in the other parties. This article in the Western Moring News is, I am sure, only the first of many that will appear in the coming months. I find it hard to believe that with modern technology, it takes more people to administer the licencing process now, than it did 20-30 years ago.
The cynic within keeps saying to me that the police, in conjunction with some politicians, are looking to price shooting and shooters out of existence. By making a system overly burdensome and excessively over managed, the costs have shot up [no pun intended]. Now enter the politicians, “we need to make cuts, or move officers, or we put up prices so that they cover costs.” The main lobbying groups for shooting as a whole, B.A.S.C. & Countryside Alliance, and others, have, and will continue to fight against theses excessive price increase’s being put forward.