The cost of owning a gun will almost double this month as the PSNI gets ready to increase the fee for a five year firearm certificate from £50 to £98.
The fee for the certificate has remained at the lower price since 2004 but the PSNI said it does not reflect the administration work involved.
But a Cookstown gun owner has hit out at the dramatic increase, saying it could mean more people flout the law.
“I just think that more people are less likely to buy a license now,” he explained.
“Just like we have seen with car insurance going up and up and up, people will take the chance and not bother with a license.”
Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “The fee increase is in line with government guidance on managing public money which states that where a fee is charged for a service it should reflect the cost of providing that service. The fee for a firearm certificate has not increased in over 10 years; however the cost of the licensing system - to process and issue the licenses - has continued to rise over that time.
“We feel this increase will go some way towards cost recovery of administering a firearm certificate – which is not just about issuing a new certificate to firearm owners.
“In the interests of keeping people safe, robust checks are required on all those who seek to acquire and to continue to own firearms and ammunition. This includes face to face interviews, checking the suitability of the land, membership of clubs where firearms will be used and that arrangements for secure storage are satisfactory. On occasion it is also necessary to request medical information from General Practitioners.”
All certificate holders will be notified of the changes as their expiry date approaches.