Latest figures released by the Home Office show that the number of shotgun certificates issued to women in England and Wales over the last year has increased by more than 1,000.

The number of firearm certificates issued to women during the same period also increased.

The latest statistics on shotgun and firearm certificates issued by police forces in England and Wales cover the period from April 2018 to March 2019.

They show that overall, there were 159,745 firearm certificates on issue, a one per cent increase of 2,164 compared with the previous year (157,581) and the highest number of firearm certificates on issue since comparable records began in 2009.

The figures also show that there were 572,488 shotgun certificates on issue, also a one per cent increase of 5,441 compared with the previous year (567,047).

Of the total 591,302 people who hold certificates (a person is only counted once if they hold both firearm and shotgun certificates), six per cent (35,622) are women. There are 1,233 more women holding certificates this year (197 Firearm certificates and 1,036 Shotgun certificates).

Claire Sadler, who was elected BASC’s first female vice chairman earlier this month, said: “It’s fantastic news that more women are coming into shooting. It shows that contrary to the stereotypes, shooting welcomes diversity.

“It is also positive news for shooting to see increases in the overall numbers of people holding shotgun and firearm certificates.

“The more people sharing our passion, the greater our power to fight for the changes that are necessary to protect shooting’s future.”

Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “I am pleased to see that there is an overall increase in the number of certificates on issue which goes to show that shooting is becoming more popular and gaining strength

“It is particularly gratifying that are now 1000 more women certificate holders than there were last year. These statistics are good news for the shooting community.”

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