By Barnaby Dracup
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Postal service commemorates Team GB shooter’s victory, but then announces proposed ban on mailing firearms.
Royal Mail, which last week launched a Gold Medal Winner stamp (right) to celebrate Peter Wilson’s Olympic victory, is facing accusations of hypocrisy after it emerged that it is considering a ban on the mailing of firearms.
Shooting Times has seen Royal Mail internal documents which propose banning from its network firearms, air rifles and pistols; component parts such as triggers, actions, barrels and magazines; and ammunition.
Royal Mail says that it wants to “add clarity” on procedures regarding airguns and firearms, but it is understood that the plans could mean a complete ban on the import and export of sporting guns by post from as early as next month.
Currently, sporting firearms and most ammunition are regarded by Royal Mail as “restricted goods”, which means they can be sent so long as they are accompanied by the appropriate documentation required by law, and provided that importation is not prohibited by the destination country.
Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance, which has long campaigned to save rural post offices, said: “It’s great that Royal Mail is marking Peter Wilson’s achievement with a stamp, but if they really want to promote the sport, then they should reconsider these proposals.”
“It would be more valuable to shooters if they recognised that sporting firearms and ammunition are not things that it should be running away from.”
Stamps featuring Peter were on sale less than 24 hours after his stunning victory in last week’s Double-Trap final.
Many post offices opened on Sunday for the first time to allow people to buy the stamp, and Royal Mail said that it would paint a postbox gold in Peter’s hometown in honour of his win.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The integrity of the mail, along with safety considerations, is a key factor for Royal Mail. No decision has been taken over a consultation on firearms being delivered through the post.”
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