BASC’s political affairs team work to promote the interests of shooting at Westminster, in the devolved parliaments and in Brussels.
Shooters need a strong voice at the heart of Government and BASC provides this by championing shooting sports in Whitehall, political parties and Europe.
At Westminster, we regularly brief MPs encouraging them to participate in the sport, and provide the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation. The key messages we deliver are:
- BASC is the largest and best resourced shooting organisation with the expertise and the critical mass to do the job.
- Together we are stronger and make your voice heard where it counts.
- BASC is all-party, well-informed, evidence-based, constructive and worth working with.
- BASC protects your right to own and use legitimate firearms through the work of our expert firearms team (the only dedicated firearms team in a British shooting organisation).
In this section, you can find out about our work in Westminster, what the major political parties have to say about shooting, and how to lobby members of parliament.
For more information on our political programme, please call 01244 573 031 (during office hours).
How to lobby your candidates
In the first instance use the BASC Election Page. If you are prepared to do more then the best way to get your message across to your candidate is to meet them face-to-face. Candidates will be present in the constituency and you can call their campaign office – the details will normally be found on their campaign literature such as leaflets – to set a meeting. You may even meet them in the street while they are canvassing.
- Phone for an appointment with your candidates.
- State briefly the subject you wish to discuss and who will be coming.
- Be confident, plain and straightforward and don’t use your visit to threaten the candidate – it will guarantee a loss of sympathy.
- Always start by thanking the candidate for making the appointment.
- Careful planning is the key to successful lobbying. Settle on three or four main points and leave most of the details to arise from questions the candidate asks.
- Leave a piece of prepared information, for example a BASC magazine. Say that you would appreciate the opportunity of a further meeting should any other important issues arise.
- If there are any important local BASC or club functions, send the candidate an invitation – the gesture will be appreciated. Regular contact is an important factor in lobbying.
You will be visiting your candidate to seek their support, tell them about shooters’ concerns for the future of the sport and that you are interested to know where they stand on the matter.
- Tell the candidate what kind of shooting you do
- If they are not familiar with it, explain briefly and invite them along to find out more
- If you are a member of a club say which one
- Tell them why you enjoy shooting and how responsible a sport it is
- Tell the candidate about the conservation benefits of the sport
- Tell them about any wildlife habitat management you have done
- If there are questions you cannot answer, please ask BASC to help you, and tell the member you will get back to them
- Remember that you are an ambassador for your sport, so use your charm.
If you write to your MP or meet them, make a point of copying the correspondence or sending the details to BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL, telephone 01244 573031, or email.
This information will help the Association in its day-to-day contact with parliamentarians.
The Shooters Charter was published in 2001 to inform MPs of what shooters wanted from the government.
The UK’s gun laws are amongst the strictest in the world. Shooting is also one of the safest sports in the UK. Further unwarranted restrictions on the lawful possession of shotguns and other firearms made without any demonstrable benefit to public safety must be opposed. The present licensing system will ensure that only fit and proper people own guns – provided it is properly administered. To achieve better administration recognised working groups should be created which bring together all interests, including government, police and shooting organisations.
Future Olympic medal winners need to be trained at an early age. BASC’s training programs for those who wish to take up shooting sports also teach safety and respect for the conservation of the countryside and wildlife. Any legislative restrictions on young people entering the sport, without any demonstrable benefit to public safety must be opposed.
We urge the government to implement effective strategies to tackle the use of guns by criminals. More must be done to eradicate illegally held weapons. Poaching must be recognised as a serious offence, causing economic and environmental damage. The law should be reformed so that gamekeepers and police are properly equipped to tackle this rural crime.
Shooting interests manage an area the size of Scotland. Half of Britain’s gamekeepers care for land that is legally protected for its wildlife or beauty. BASC’s Green Shoots Biodiversity Action Plan harnesses this effort and provides a strategy for conservation on shooting land. We urge candidates to promote Green Shoots as a practical tool to achieve national and local biodiversity targets.
Following confirmation that a General Election will take place, BASC has relaunched its campaign website.
BASC has condemned Liverpool City Council’s decision to pass an anti-shooting motion as a gross misrepresentation of the shooting community.
Headline priorities include improving air and water quality, tackling plastic pollution and restoring habitats to allow plants and wildlife to thrive.