WHSmith said the restriction had been in place for many years, and was necessary due to age-restricted free gifts stuck to the front of some titles.

But many shooters believe that the retailer kowtowed to pressure from Animal Aid, and almost 13,000 signed a petition asking for the policy to be scrapped.

Last week, WHSmith told Shooting Times that it would make no further comment on the subject.

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: ?This is a victory for common sense and we are gratified that all ages can now continue to enjoy our shooting titles.?

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