NORTH Antrim MLA Jim Allister has written to the Chief Constable expressing concerns about the imposition of what he says amounts to a £30 tax on the magazines of firearms.
The TUVleader said the matter has exercised a number of members of the public who have been in contact with his party.
The text of Mr Allister's letter is as follows:
Dear Chief Constable,
Re: Tax on firearms magazines
The introduction of what amounts to a £30 tax, under the guise of licensing, on the magazines of firearms is an intolerable and unwarranted burden.
It is as punitive as it is illogical to say a magazine is a freestanding licensable component.
A detachable rifle magazine has no serial number or severable identity. It is an inherent and indispensable part of the firearm.
Hence, the legitimate expectation that when the firearm is licensed the magazine is licensed under the same licensing fee. What’s next, the scopes, the mounts?
Your Firearm Licensing branch already cannot cope, with excessive delays and resulting damage to both firearms holder and dealers. Now, you want to make it worse. Little wonder some suspect an agenda to reduce firearms ownership.
Nowhere else in the U.K., I understand, does such a draconian tax exist. So, why here?
In terms of the innovation regarding magazines, can you advise if all magazines currently held have now to be separately licensed, or if the application is limited to new acquisitions going forward?
I look forward to a reasoned reply, as distinct from the usual platitudes.