Between April 2013 and March 2014, Warwickshire Police made roughly £48,000 from firearms licences and shotgun certificates.

However, the cost of administering these was £187,000 because the force employ the equivalent of eight full-time people to do the job.

“I do find it disturbing that taxpayers in Warwickshire are funding shotgun licences,” said Dr Wood. “There should be a more efficient system of processing to avoid the taxpayer subsidising the shooter.”

There are a total of 35,000 shotguns in Warwickshire and West Mercia, and each year thousands of people apply for and renew their licences, all at a cost to the police.

The forces, who entered into an alliance last year, have to save £30 million between them by 2015. They employ 28 full-time people on gun licensing.

Dr Wood wants to increase the £50 fee, which has stayed the same for some years, and make the licensing process more efficient.

“It’s more expensive to get a fishing licence!” he exclaimed. Dr Wood has spoken to the shooting community, some of whom agree the fee should be increased alongside inflation rates, provided the police’s administrative costs are lowered.

Chief Constable Andy Parker agreed but was wary of jeopardising an important job.

“Quite clearly you can never take away having to visit these people and looking at shotgun cabinets, but I do think there is a valid point and we can streamline it significantly,” he said.

“There is an element of public safety and we need to make sure that the right people get the guns,” admitted Dr Wood. “I just think it’s wrong we’re subsidising it by so much.”

He is now going to take the case to increase the fee to the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and is meeting the alliance’s firearms licensing unit to discuss how to streamline the process.