FAC and shotgun cert cost

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Fiona_TG, Jun 9, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. So the Police are asking that the cost of certificates to be trebled (this was just on the BBC news channel) as it costs more to run the service than fees raise. That in itself may be a fair point but the Police bigwig who came on to talk about this mentioned that it is right that the taxpayer, general public, public safety are well managed and that Police funds are used wisely. No mention though of how the licensing service should best serve certificate applicants or holders though, that was annoying but not surprising.
  2. Maybe if they hadn't got rid of 54,000 legal firearm licence holders in 1997 they wouldn't have a cash flow problem.

    Bill the government for loss of income.

    Not that the police approved this move.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. It's far easier for the Police if people don't have FACs, so don't expect them to support it beyond the minimum.
  4. To be fair the fees have not risen in years. However until the police can demonstrate that the employ best practices, nor should they. For example, last year my local Licensing Office recently got so far behind with renewals the Constabulary was forced to investigate how it was being run. They discovered that the whole thing was a shambles with an overarching bureaucracy that added nothing to public safety. I suspect that they are not alone.

    In the nineties, a paper was produced by the Home Office proposing a countrywide Licensing Authority. Such a body would have had: a high level of expertise, common standards, and economies of scale, ACPO didn't like it. Nuff said!
  5. Inevitable result of another state bureaucracy imposing layer after layer of restrictions and controls on the population, whilst completely failing to make provision for the cost and time needed to process and police those controls.

    I've just had to renew RFD, FAC and SGC - all "co-terminus" (same dates on each):

    - three separate applications forms
    - three sets of referees
    - half a dozen counter-signed photos
    - three different referee qualifications
    - shooting club records
    - shooting club secretary reference
    - three sets of fees (all different...)
    - FEO inspection

    The point is, I've held these particular certificates from this Police force for over 13 years now. In that time, either (a) I've committed a criminal act or proved myself mentally unstable, and my firearms ownership should be curtailed, or (b) I've obeyed the law and had 13 years of perfectly acceptable firearms ownership.

    If it is (b), the why the heck is all the above paperwork and processing even necessary? If nothing significant has changed in my circumstances, why shouldn't it just be reduced to an inspection by my FEO, and then his tick-in-the-box to approve the next three years of certification?

    I'm quite lucky, in that I have a good FEO and a fairly uncontentious circumstance. What alarms me is the tales of people waiting three months or more for an FAC renewal or a variation. The Police should be subject to the same service delivery targets as the rest of the public sector - e.g. there'd be uproar if DVLC took three months+ to issue documents...
  6. Transferring from one force to another and upgrading to FAC. Buggers lost my application. Mumble mumble Go through all again moan mumble.
  7. Three Months? Last year round these parts we could only dream of only three months. My FAC renewal took five months and I suspect that I was fast-tracked after I kicked up a fuss after three months had passed.

    The constabulary concerned admitted that the reasons were: management (read incompetence), unnecessary bureaucracy and treating some who had held an FAC locally for twenty-odd years (donkey's more in the Met previously), is a pillar of society, and has an immaculate record - that is to say me - the same as someone who they do not know from Adam who asks: "Can I have a gun please?"
  8. Ba dum tssshhh - YouTube
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Some of the bunnies round these parts are often well dug in.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I'm with 4T on this and not Beerhunter, inflation since 2000 has fallen and the police have instructions to drive down costs. The main benefactors of cost cutting is the exchequer ergo they should be more efficient and not waste money. ACPO has constantly opposed a single firearms cert. It has opposed RFD controlled variations and imposed ridculous beaurocracies upon the shooter. No two forces manage to talk the same way they have only just started to use a common cert and application from which was promised along with a national database and electroic file management over 16 years ago. The police are the least competent organisation (I use the word organisation in its loosest term) to be running a database and administering firearms licensing. Many forces already use civilians as staff for this but ensure the acpo line is followed by skewing the JD for force licensing manager in such a way that only retired plod could apply. They cannot be trusted to uphold the law and many of them dont even fully understand their own specialist bits let alone all of the acts.
    We the shooters are paying for an atrociously managed service and deserve so much more than this current drivel.
    As for acpo get to **** and if GCHQ pass this on then so what!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. I quite agree.
    I was once very hopeful of a "DVLA for shooters" being set up when I first heard about the idea in '94 or '95.
    Even then I could see that having License applications overseen by ex-thief takers gave them quite a jaundiced eye view of the applicants.
    Sadly, Cent-Scot Police's handling of a known Paed with an FAC sent public opinion tumbling the other way just a year or two later.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Of course that indcident should have sent public opinion in the direction of taking licensing away from a group that had just demonstrated a lack of competence in administering it. Unfortunately administrative incompetence does not make good headlines for the Sun.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I'm also of the opinion that the system costs too much because it's needlessly bureaucratic and complicated, if it was rationalised it could be done for a lot less.
    There is no good reason for the specific calibre system for a start, if your ground is fit for .223 WTF do you need a variation for .222 or rimfire? A cert permitting x guns up to y calibre/cartridge or from a "band" of cartridges seems for easier to administer. And as for the "one-for-one" variation idea, what is the point, you can have an "empty" FAC slot until you buy a rifle but not if you sell one? Why?

  14. I simply can't believe it costs £200+ to sort out one shooter, I can't see how it can take more than two or three man-hours to do which means it must be cheaper by a long way to have the vet visit than the FEO.

    EDIT Sorry this should have been an edit to the last post.
  15. Some things to note!

    i) Evidence to the parliamentary firearms committee from Bedfordshire police was that it cost £130 to process a new application, the same for a renewal (WTF?) £50 for a variation, and £25 to process a one-for-one

    So, we can see a fortune could be saved in getting rid of the arcane one-for-one variations process!

    ii) Suggestions from the police are that shotguns come under the same process as firearms, with a requirement for good reason, and the necessity for individual licensing and variations on shotguns - quite clearly an excuse to make shotgun ownership more difficult!
    • Like Like x 1