Latest figures released by the Home Office show that the number of firearms certificates on issue are at the highest level since 1988.
The report, outlining the number of firearm and shotgun certificates in England and Wales, says there were 157,581 firearm certificates on issue as at 31st March 2018, an increase of two per cent (2,623) compared with the previous year (154,958).
This is the highest number of firearm certificates on issue since “comparable” records began following the introduction of the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) (138,728 as at 31st March 2009).
Paul Dale, BASC’s head of firearms, said analysis of wider Home Office figures showed that the number of firearm certificates on issue is the highest since 1988.
“The number of firearm certificates on issue started to decrease between 1988 and 2002 but has been steadily rising ever since to give us the figure we see today,” he said.
“The more people who take part in shooting sports, the louder our voice and better our position for promoting the sport becomes.”
The Home Office figures also show an increase of one per cent in the number of shotgun certificates on issue, bringing the total to 567,047 as of 31st March 2018.