Lady Bathurst

Countess faces lengthy wait for gun licence and brands £40 GP fee a “disgrace”

Many shooters have long been aware that the time it takes to receive a new shotgun certificate depends on where they live. Now Establishment figures, like MP Ian Liddell Grainger and Lady Bathurst, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, are being affected too and voicing their complaints in the media. GPs struggling…

Ian Liddell-Grainger with David Cameron

MP forgets to renew firearms licence and is ‘appalled’ at new issue time

The MP has accused Avon and Somerset police of ‘utter incompetence’ after learning it will take a minimum of 16 weeks for a new issue although he was sent a courtesy reminder by the force that the certificate for his rifles and shotguns had expired. Mr Liddell-Grainer commented: “Forgetting to…

deerstalkers with deer

Lords pass “very helpful” changes to firearms laws

Shooting organisations have welcomed two improvements to firearms law passed last week by the House of Lords and adopted by the Government as amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill. The first of these changes permits an eight-week extension to the life of a firearms certificate so long as renewal documents were submitted eight weeks ahead of its expiry date.…

Mark Osborne William Powell

Mark Osborne of William Powell in the hot seat

Mark Osborne was interviewed for the October 2016 issue of Shooting Gazette. Have you been out relentlessly since the Twelfth? “I was out on the Twelfth and have been out a fair bit since as we keep going as long as we need. As well as letting days, we also manage quite…

Halloween

Rural groups share their trick-or-treats

While the queue of trick-or- treaters at your door might cause a restless evening on Halloween, leading countryside representatives say there are bigger issues to lose sleep over. Shooting Times asked them what their own trick-or-treats would be and what issues are currently keeping them up in the middle of…

men shooting

Do I need special insurance to go shooting?

Q: Do I need special insurance to go shooting? I’m a bit confused by all this liability stuff… A: I have always thought it completely extraordinary that it is a legal requirement to be insured while driving a car but not while using a gun. But that is the case. That said, no responsible person would ever shoot without…

dog tail injury

Scotland drops its ban on tail docking

Holyrood has announced plans to change tail docking legislation to allow the tails of spaniel and hunt, point, retrieve (HPR) puppies to be shortened wherever a vet believes they are likely to be used as a working dog and risk serious tail injury in later life. Tail docking was banned in Scotland in 2007 as part of…

Fox snaring code

Rural groups take lead on new fox snaring code

Leading rural organisations last week launched a new code of practice on the use of snares for fox control in England. The newly published 12-page code is a collaboration between BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the Moorland Association, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the CLA,…

anti shooting proposals

Anti-shooting proposals would be “disaster” for the countryside

A new series of animal welfare proposals, commissioned and “welcomed” by the Labour Party, has called for the licensing of shooting estates, a four-fold rise in the price of shotgun certificates and an end to snare use. The proposals, presented during the Labour Party conference, seek to “end cruel practices…

Woodcock

Now Packham sets sights on woodcock

BBC presenter Chris Packham is misleading the public and threatening the future of woodcock conservation in the UK with his latest attack on shooting, BASC has warned. The Springwatch presenter has accused those who shoot of pushing woodcock on to the red list of endangered species, implying that 17 per cent of…

shooting companion

How to be an excellent companion on a shoot day

Shooters are generally a friendly lot and will welcome a new face. Read up a bit on clayshooting/pheasant shooting and partridge shooting before you go out and learn the difference between driven shooting and rough shooting. For more in-depth knowledge on some of the terms you’ll hear when you’re new…

Peter Glenser

Time for change at BASC with Peter Glenser

Tell me a bit about yourself… I took over a month ago and I’ve been confirmed as chairman of BASC for the next two years. I Iive in rural Norfolk with my wife, daughter and two dogs. Professionally, I’m a regulatory and criminal barrister with a particular interest in rural matters – firearms licensing in particular. I…

pink footed geese

Wildfowlers report favourable prospects for the season ahead

Wildfowlers can expect a mixed start to the season, with many early broods hit by the poor weather, but second clutches likely offering strong sport. Taking a view of the national picture in late August, BASC reported that bird numbers were lower than would normally be expected at that time of year and noted that Canada and greylag geese were…

GP with patient

British Medical Association makes U-turn on licence fees

The British Medical Association (BMA) has advised GPs not to provide shooters’ medical information to the police without a fee and suggested that it is acceptable to withhold the service on ethical grounds. The new encoded reminder system was introduced in April. It requires GPs to provide the police with any information suggesting an applicant should not be in…

grouse shooting

Rain and snow could mean a late start for some this grouse season

Bad weather has once again led to mixed prospects for the start of the upcoming grouse season, according to gamekeepers and sporting agents across England and Scotland. A prolonged period of wet weather, combined with very late snowfall, has led to reduced brood sizes in some areas and some cancelled days. However, keepers are confident that good sport will…

Scout learning to shoot

7000 Scouts and Guides try shotgun shooting at Jamboree

It’s proving a wonderful opportunity for potential Young Guns to experience the sport at first hand, safely and with top instruction. Following an approach from the organisers of the Jamboree, the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) sent a team of coaches to run an ‘Introduction to Shotgun Shooting’…

10 year shotgun firearms certificates drive

BASC: The case for ten year shotgun and firearms certificates

The renewal process can be one of the most frustrating times in a certificate holder’s life. All too often we hear of delays, temporary permits being issued, guns having to be lodged and – even worse – people being left in illegal possession of firearms. That is one reason BASC, in September last year, published a White Paper calling…

airgun

A year of change for laws on licensing firearms

First, in September 2015, came the report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for England and Wales into the efficiency of the licensing system. It will come as no surprise to readers who have the misfortune to live in Essex, Gloucestershire, Thames Valley or Hampshire that HMIC found much to be desired in the way the police…

Don’t sell ‘toxic’ grouse Chris Packham tells major supermarkets

Don’t sell ‘toxic’ grouse Chris Packham tells major supermarkets

Chris Packham’s anti-grouse statement could be considered ill-timed, coming as it does in the very week that the Government has stated there there will be no ban on lead ammunition. The presenter said: “Marks and Spencer and Iceland, should you choose to sell grouse this year, I won’t be eating any…

BASC Gameshooter's Pocket Guide

Review: The BASC Gameshooter’s Pocket Guide

This easily accessible handbook offers welcome advice on all things shooting, from shooting etiquette and safety to shooting technique and treatment of game. Now in its fourth edition, having first been published in 1990, it remains relevant, useful and distracting. The author is a retired cavalry officer who was introduced to gameshooting as a small boy by his grandfather. He now lives…