‘Disgrace’ of gun owners tax drain drain

Labour group leader for Cherwell District Council Sean Woodcock
Labour group leader for Cherwell District Council Sean Woodcock

Taxpayers have shelled out a whopping £5 million to subsidise gun ownership it has been revealed.

Across the region there are 34,553 people who hold gun licences, which cost £50 each.

But The Association of Chief Police Officers estimate the cost of issuing and checking a licence is actually £196.

Which means each licence is subsidised to the tune of £146 by taxpayers funding Thames Valley Police.

Sean Woodcock, Labour group leader for Cherwell District Council, described the findings as ‘ludicrous’ and called for tax money to protect police officer jobs instead.

He said: “To ask for any sort of public support for what is essentially a private hobby is an absolute disgrace.

“I don’t understand it at all and I can’t see any justification for it.

“We need more officers on the front line. Nowadays, there is a lot of paperwork to fill in so they’re not out there.”

Thames Valley Police is currently planning £45 million worth of savings as part of budget cut-backs, with 147 officer posts set to go.

The grant or firearm or shotgun certificate is £50 with Thames Valley Police.

Renewals cost £40, and variations £26. The 34,553 cover 88,935 licensed weapons.

Thames Valley Police ran a two-week gun amnesty for unlicensed firearms earlier this month, which ended with 225 being surrendered.