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BBC apologises after misleading public over shooting

The BBC has apologised after a Shooting Times reader complained that a recent article on its website headlined Children under 10 issued shotguns, BBC learns was misleading.

In his email, Chris Cartwright, a shooter from Wincanton in Somerset, pointed out that the children in question would still not be allowed to own a shotgun, or use one without adult supervision.

To say that these children have been ?issued shotguns?, he wrote, surely in the knowledge that not everyone who reads the headline will read the article, is both inaccurate and biased.

Later the same day, Mr Cartwright received this reply from BBC News Online Complaints: ?The original headline on this story was later changed and we accept that the initial version was misleading and we do apologise for that error.?

This story was updated throughout the day adding to a broad range of views, and we made every effort to reflect the perspective that the use of certificates was a well-managed affair and not a matter of public concern.?

?It is clear that for some of our readers this was a non-story, but for others it was a legitimate issue of public interest. We tried to present the facts in a balanced way and to leave it to others to make a judgement.?

Speaking to Shooting Times after receiving the reply, Mr Cartwright said: ?The article just seemed like a waste of space ? typical of the BBC. All they want is to get firearms banned. It was good to get a reply, but I would have preferred a public apology.?

Mike Yardley, spokesman for the Shooting Sports Trust, said that he has also complained to the BBC many times, but has yet to receive any response.

He urged readers to complain if they spot anything ?false or misleading? in the BBC?s coverage of shooting or firearms legislation.