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DUP North Antrim MLA and Policing Board representative Mervyn Storey has called on the Police Service of Northern Ireland to work proactively with licence holders to find a practical and common-sense solution to an unjustified new tax on magazines of firearms.

Mr Storey has been making representations to the PSNI on behalf of firearms owners.

Commenting, Mr Storey said:

‘‘The emergence of this new licensing requirement for additional magazines will understandably be met with dismay by firearm holders across Northern Ireland who are already subject to a great deal of red tape and continue to act in good faith.

The PSNI may hold legitimate concern about the purchase of these items in particular circumstances but it is hard to believe that the creation of a new tax to apply unilaterally is either a fair or proportionate way forward. This is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Most licence holders would rightly expect a magazine to be covered by the overarching licensing process and fee related to the firearm that it serves. Without that component, the firearm could not operate effectively. Therefore, the rationale for treating it on standalone terms is unfathomable.

I have been in contact with Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts in the past 48 hours to place these concerns on record. The DUP will continue to promote direct engagement between local firearm holders, dealers and the PSNI over the coming days.

It absolutely vital that the PSNI move to restore confidence in its licensing obligations by urgently bringing forward a practical and sustainable alternative to these over-handed and unwarranted arrangements.’’