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Here’s our manifesto for the election 2024

This is a pivotal moment for the future of shooting and we must all lobby our MPs via BASC’s online campaign, urges Conor O’Gorman.

With the general election taking place earlier than expected, many key policy issues relevant to shooting and conservation now hang in the balance for the next government to determine. That includes decisions on the outcomes of recent consultations around the use of firearms and lead ammunition, as well as measures to improve firearms licensing, which involve the Home Office and the NHS. 

None of these issues are easy nuts to crack but BASC is, and has always been, in for the long haul, to protect and promote shooting and conservation across the UK and overseas. That is not rhetoric, it’s something I have seen first-hand working for BASC for 20 years. And I know that whatever happens next, BASC will continue to champion our collective cause across a vast diversity of shooting interests. It will seek out myriad supporters from among the latest tranche of 650 MPs, regardless of their political affiliation. BASC is an all-party organisation. 

However, we really do need your help right now. BASC has launched an interactive online campaign on its website ( uk) to help people contact prospective MPs in their area and ask if they support BASC’s election manifesto. 

The BASC manifesto 

Sustainable shooting, which respects quarry species, seeks to conserve and improve the environment, avoids excessive consumption, complies with the law, improves the health and wellbeing of participants, as well as providing food and economic benefits to the wider community. 

Recognition by government that shooting is a force for good, delivering numerous environmental, economic and social benefits, and that it is a massive untapped resource for conservation and addressing the nature emergency. 

A properly resourced firearms licensing system that fulfils its primary purpose of protecting public safety by being conducted efficiently and effectively. 

The recognition of the importance of shooting and conservation to rural economies during the close season, the humane management of species such as deer and agricultural pests, food production, rural heritage and culture, and social life across the country. 

A commitment by government to work with BASC to assist with the nature emergency by facilitating shooting’s contribution to conservation and building participation in fieldsports. 

You can use the template text from BASC’s campaign for your emails or perhaps write your own personalised message, whether as an individual who shoots, or as someone who runs a shooting club or business. Whatever approach you take, please email any feedback you receive to [email protected] — we will use that to update our webpages for those Parliamentary candidates who have confirmed their support for BASC’s election manifesto. 

The more feedback BASC receives from your interactions with candidate MPs across the UK, the more informed we all will all be, visiting BASC’s website to check in on candidates as part of our own personal decision making on who to vote for. 

In a recent interview, BASC’s director of communications Christopher Graffius did not mince his words: “This election will be seen alongside of really big elections in our history, like 1910, 1945, 1997 and now 2024.” 

Perhaps this is not the time for us to continue to hide in the shadows, blaming our cynicism with politics. Instead, let’s act now and show our collective voice as a shooting community that is proud and loud about the environmental, social and economic benefits that we deliver. 

Please visit the BASC website before 4 July to get involved.