The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has responded to calls for tougher firearms laws made by a Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member.

Plaid Cymru member Chris Franks has called for a review of the UK’s firearms laws after being informed that in Wales 533 people under the age of 18 have been granted shotgun certificates over the last five years.

Simon Clarke, spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation which is based near Wrexham in Wales said: “The truth of the matter is that a shotgun certificate allows young people to stay on the right side of the law, and only allows them to use a gun under supervision. No one under the age of 18 can buy so much as an airgun pellet, let alone a shotgun.”

“Each young person who applies for a shotgun certificate must go through the same process of police checks as an adult. They will be interviewed by the police. It is a process which helps to develop respect, responsibility and safety where firearms are concerned.”

“To give the impression that Wales is full of “gun-toting ten year olds” is ridiculous and wildly inaccurate.  Shooting generates £73 million pounds for the Welsh economy every year and £1.6 billion across the UK.  BASC will be seeking a meeting with Mr. Franks at the earliest opportunity where we will be pleased to discuss his concerns. Shooting is a vital part of the Welsh countryside. The UK’s firearms laws have just been subject to the sort of detailed review which Mr. Franks now seems to be calling for. The UK has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world and some of the lowest levels of gun crime.”   ENDS

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