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Royal Mail loves Peter Wilson, but not his guns

Royal Mail, which today launched a Gold Medal Winner’s stamp to celebrate Dorset shooter Peter Wilson?s Olympic double trap victory, is facing accusations of hypocrisy after it emerged that it is currently considering a ban on the carriage of firearms.

Shooting Times has seen Royal Mail internal documents which propose banning firearms, air rifles and pistols; component parts such as triggers, actions, barrels and magazines; and ammunition from its network.

Royal Mail says that it wants to ?add clarity? on procedures regarding airguns and firearms, but it is understood that the plans could mean a complete ban on the import and export of sporting guns by post from as early as next month.

Currently, sporting firearms and most ammunition are regarded by Royal Mail as ?restricted goods?, which means they can be sent so long as they are accompanied by the appropriate documentation required by law, and provided that importation is not prohibited by the destination country.

Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance, which has campaigned for a number of years to save rural post offices, told Shooting Times: ?It?s great that Royal Mail is marking Peter Wilson?s wonderful achievement with a stamp, but if they really want to promote a great Olympic sport, then they should reconsider these proposals.

?It would be more valuable to shooters around the country, including Peter, if they recognised that sporting firearms and ammunition are not things that it should be running away from.?

Stamps featuring Team GB’s Peter Wilson went on sale around the country less than 24 hours after his stunning victory in Thursday’s Double-Trap final. Many Post Offices will open this Sunday for the first time to allow people to buy the stamp, and Royal Mail said that it would paint a postbox gold in Peter?s home town in honour of his win.

A Royal Mail spokesman told Shooting Times: ?The integrity of the mail, along with safety considerations, is a key factor for Royal Mail. No decision has been taken over a consultation on firearms being delivered through the post.?