Legitimate shooting sports have been placed in the same category as brothels and prostitution in a controversial consultation on the broadcast ban on clayshooting grounds, gun shops and gundealers from advertising on television and radio.

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), which is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority, launched the consultation on 26 March to review its codes of advertising standards, most notably relating to “guns, gun clubs and offensive weapons”.

The ban on the advertising of guns and sporting shooting stems from a clause in the 2003 Communications Act, which states that: material likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder is not included in television and radio services.

Shooting organisations are now urging a widespread response to the consultation and demand that guns are recategorised to ensure that they are not restricted in the same way as prostitution and obscene and restricted material.

The British Shooting Sports Council’s (BSSC) David Penn told Shooting Times that this consultation presents shooters with an ideal opportunity to convince the regulator to overturn the ban on advertising on radio and television: “This is the first time in eight years that the BCAP has conducted a full consultation into broadcast advertising. The consultation not only represents shooting in a pejorative manner, but incorporates inaccurate statements on the legislative position that are likely to mislead non-shooting respondents. We have been traduced. The BSSC has prepared a robust response and has asked its 12 member associations to encourage their affiliated clubs and individual members to respond as well. We have an opportunity to get rid of this insulting restriction and can succeed if enough shooters make their views clear to the BCAP.”

The rest of this article appears in 11th June issue of Shooting Times.

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