Significant issues affecting lawful shooting in Northern Ireland have been discussed with key politicians by the chairman and chief executive of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
BASC chairman Martyn Howat and chief executive Richard Ali met Paul Givan, chair of the NI Assembly Committee for Justice, and other members of the committee. They discussed issues including BASC NI’s opposition to a proposed increase in firearms licensing fees and plans to reduce the age at which young people can use shotguns and airguns under supervision.
They were also taken on a tour of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Speaking after the visit the Chair of the NI Committee for Justice Paul Givan said: “I welcome the visit by Martyn and Richard which provided a useful opportunity to engage with the UK’s largest shooting organization at the highest level and to discuss important issues affecting shooting sports and the lawful use of firearms in Northern Ireland.”
Richard Ali said: “We had some very constructive discussions with leading politicians, partner organisations and members including firearms dealers and the BASC NI Committee. BASC NI is committed to engaging with other organisations, politicians and the Department of Justice. BASC puts its members first and we will continue to guarantee that the voice of people who shoot in Northern Ireland is heard and that their views are taken into account.”
BASC NI director Tommy Mayne said: “Shooting generates at least £45m for the Northern Ireland economy every year and brings conservation benefits alongside the economic contribution, which includes attracting tourists to Northern Ireland. Shooting sports also help strengthen community and social bonds. BASC members in Northern Ireland can be assured that they have the full weight of the UK’s largest shooting organisation behind them.” ENDS