[Ed. – This is exactly why we need a Second Amendment. Making citizens participate in shooting clubs as the mechanism for being legal gun owners is just a vehicle for raising the cost of gun ownership, so that fewer and fewer can do it. All “prudent” arrangements of this kind just become ways of driving the cost up. The government levies extensive, costly mandates, and then has the gall to proclaim that it is subsidizing the people who have to comply with the mandates, if those people don’t directly pay the whole cost. In fact, the way to get rid of the “subsidy” is to get rid of the mandate.]
In a move to rein in what it calls a taxpayer subsidy for gun owners, the British government is considering raising license fees on shooting clubs by more than 1,000 percent.
Local police forces in Britain are responsible for granting firearms licenses. In recent years, law enforcement bodies such as the Association of Chief Police Officers have complained that low fees charged to applicants have forced the agencies to spend millions of pounds out of their own budgets to complete them.
In 2015, fees for individual gun owners were raised for the first time since 2001. An initial firearms certificate now costs $114 (£88) for five years, as opposed to $65 (£50) before.
Earlier this year the Home Office announced it was now considering raising fees on shooting clubs and museums that displayed guns, and asked for public response on a new set of fees it proposed.
Currently, the government estimates that the British taxpayer subsidizes each gun club application – which involves background checks on members, police interviews, and inspections of the club premises – by 93 percent.
Under the proposals, clubs would pay a fee of $1,355 (£1,050) for a new six-year license, a jump of more than tenfold.