After being ?swamped? with evidence from the shooting community, the Home Affairs Select Committee on firearms control is prompted to extend the deadline for submissions.
The Committee on firearms control experienced such a large volume of emails from members of the shooting community, submitting evidence to the current inquiry, that its computers crashed last week.
On the day of the deadline, last Friday 27 August, such was the volume of submissions from shooters seeking to put the case for legitimate shooting sports to MPs on the committee, that the office is still attempting to clear the backlog.
The clerk of the committee, Elizabeth Flood, has asked those who are unsure whether their submission got through to resend them.
She told Shooting Times magazine: ?We don?t normally receive so many emails from individuals. We were, for want of a better word, swamped. Unless people received an email notice from us apologising and acknowledging receipt of their submission, they should resend it but please put a note to say you have sent it twice so we avoid duplication.?
The clerk confirmed that by the end of July the Committee had already received more than 300 submissions, the most since the 2008 HASC inquiry into domestic violence.
Evidence for the firearms control committee looks set to break that record with hundreds more coming in on the day of the deadline itself.
The average number of submissions to a Select Committee inquiry is about 40.
As a result of the huge volume of emailed evidence, Elizabeth Flood explained that the deadline would be extended: ?The 27th was an administrative deadline. People are welcome to submit evidence throughout the inquiry, which will go on into October. It is wise to get it in as early as you can, however. We will collate the evidence as it comes in and present it to MPs who will begin to look at it when they return to Parliament after the party conferences end around October 11.?
BASC?s Simon Clarke said: “The overwhelming level of responses sent in to the Home Affairs Select Committee matches our experience of replies copied to BASC and we believe it is a reflection of the seriousness with which everyone who shoots is treating this inquiry. Given the apparent failure in the email systems used to collect responses, it is right that the Committee will consider evidence sent in after the initial deadline. Anyone who has not yet taken the time to send in a response should do so quickly and a guide to submitting evidence can be found on the BASC website.?