NEWLY-RELEASED Home Office figures reflect the growing popularity of shooting sports, with an increase in the number of new firearm and shotgun certificates granted in England and Wales in 2015/16 compared with 2014/15.
In the financial year ending March 2016, 9,534 new firearm certificate applications were granted, representing an rise of 5.3 per cent (481) compared with the previous year.
There were 21,884 new shotgun certificate applications granted in 2015/16, representing a 2.1 per cent increase (446) on the year before.
The figures show that in total, 587,681 people hold certificates in England and Wales. This year for the first time, the Home Office broke the figures down further, going into detail of gender and ages.
Mike Eveleigh, senior firearms officer at BASC, said: “While the number of firearm certificates overall has remained roughly the same as last year, there was a reduction in shotgun certificates of 2.7 per cent. That said, it’s very heartening to see that more people are coming into the sport – there was an increase of over six per cent in successful certificate applications over last year. There was also a slight decrease in the number of revocations.
“The further breakdown, which details gender and age, gives more of an insight into the backgrounds of people who take part in shooting sports. For the first time, we can see that 5.5 per cent of certificate holders overall are female. That equates to 32,412.”
Peter Glenser, BASC chairman, said: “We are delighted to see so many new people taking part in shooting sports. The association works hard to ensure newcomers are welcomed so the increase in new certificate grants is particularly pleasing. We have also enjoyed a surge in women joining the association, which is another positive sign that shooting is enjoying wider appeal.”
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