Shooting groups have described a recent visit by Home Office civil servants to the National Shooting Centre at Bisley as an ?important day for shooting sports?.

Nine groups came together for the British Shooting Sports Council-organised event, which was designed to introduce administrators from the Home Office, the Government department responsible for firearms matters, to a world with which many were unfamiliar.

The Countryside Alliance?s representative at the event was Graham Downing, who gave a presentation on game shooting.

He said: ?The Home Office Firearms Unit is the interface between the legislature and the police. It?s very important that the individuals who are actually involved with putting legislation into practice, know one end of a gun from the other.?

The day also included a visit to the rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges, listening to presentations on Olympic and domestic clay pigeon shooting, and an opportunity to shoot 10m air pistol.

Graham Downing said: ?It was the first day of the Imperial Meeting at Bisley, so the National Shooting Centre was very busy, and the atmosphere was really buzzing. It demonstrated the sheer number of people involved in shooting sports and the variety of shooting that takes place at Bisley.?

?We tried to give the civil servants an understanding of the skill, the persistence and the dedication which are required to compete at a very high level in competitive shooting.?

?We also drummed home the message about starting young, and the need for young people not to be excluded. Shooting is for everyone, so we had disabled shooters there, as well as the young and old.?

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  • Alex Hamilton

    I doubt that learning about shooting sport will prevent future knee-jerk reactions. One does not need family size brain to realize that guns owned by sportsmen are not used in crime, but that did not help us after Dunblane.

    It is the public that has knee-jerk reactions and the politicians react to them, or they do not get re-elected.

    Anyway, the politician are too busy now formulating a knee-jerk laws to deal with the looting and arson, so we are safe for a week or so!