2016 has been a challenging year for your association but despite this there were significant achievements and we look forward to building on these in 2017. I would like to thank you for your continued support and making this possible.
Working closely with the government, MPs and other shooting organisations, we were able to deliver on long term political aims such as extending the life of a certificate if the police have failed to renew it in time, improving the law on loaning a shotgun and removing expanding ammunition from general prohibition. All this, and other improvements, are contained within the Policing and Crime Bill which is completing its final stages in parliament.
The BASC Firearms team continues to work with all, and particularly, poorly performing licensing departments. We are involved in the training of licensing staff and are planning to expand this next year. In 2016 the team responded to more than 9,890 members with queries and issues to do with licensing.
BASC membership stands at a record high of more than 147,500; above target and growing. We continue to improve members’ benefits with the aim of ensuring that being a BASC member delivers you far greater value than the cost of your subscription. The numbers of discounts we have secured are worth thousands on new vehicles and we have more than 100 trade members offering discounts on sporting equipment.
I am also delighted that The Game Fair in 2017 will be offering complimentary admission to all BASC members.
We continue to introduce young people to shooting through our Young Shots programme and ran a clay line, for the first time, at the International Scout Jamboree, where BASC coaches gave 5,817 scouts and guides a taste of shooting.
A summary of our work can be found here. Shooting in the UK will again face major challenges in 2017. Those who want to stop or restrict what we do will not go away. Together we can preserve the sport we all love for future generations.
I wish you a very happy New Year and hope that your shooting will be straight and safe.