Peter Glenser QC has paid tribute to BASC members and staff in his end-of-year message.
Mr Glenser spoke of his pride in the association and what it had achieved in 2018 and outlined the challenges facing shooting sports in 2019.
He said: “I would like to focus on a number of key highlights to round off the year. The first is to congratulate our CEO, Ian Bell, and his team.
“BASC went through a detailed restructure last year which will deliver great benefits to members in the years to come. As a member you won’t have been aware of the work, because the daily activities didn’t miss a beat.
“In a fractious political world we secured a significant victory, working with others to persuade the government to pull its proposed ban on .50 calibre target rifles.
“We secured complimentary entry to the Game Fair, for all three days, for the next three years for all BASC members – an exclusive offer.
“We helped wildfowling clubs secure their shooting over 19.609 acres of marsh and increased the number of courses delivered to members.
“All this on top of our work to protect our ability to own and use firearms, ensure we have somewhere to shoot and conserve the land over which we shoot.”
Mr Glenser added: “2019 presents some serious challenges. We hope to have a positive result in our application for judicial review of Natural Resources Wales’ decision to ban shooting on government-owned land.
“The problem of medical involvement in firearms licensing must be resolved. We will have to deal with several government reviews – of Home Office guidance on licensing and of airguns. We expect further developments to limit the use of lead ammunition in Europe. All this will play out against the political uncertainties of Brexit. The support of our members, many of them over many years, means that BASC has the critical mass to do the job.
“Underpinning the future of shooting are game as food, high standards of behaviour and the benefits of shooting to the whole country.
“Our Taste of Game programme has trained 120 teachers and 10,000 children in using game meat in the kitchen – we couldn’t do that without the help of our members.
“BASC has set the standards in shooting ethics and conduct – but we count on our members to see that they’re observed on the ground. Your support has meant that we have the means to do the surveys and research which demonstrate the benefits of shooting.
“We are lucky enough to live in a country where it’s possible to shoot throughout the year. We can only maintain this by ensuring that BASC remains well-resourced to do the job and we couldn’t do that without our members and our mutual support for each other and the sport.
“So thank you again. Happy New Year to you all and very best wishes for 2019.”