BASC England director Dan Reynolds discusses the work undertaken to ensure shooting remains open for business through this pandemic.
It is hard to picture many positives coming out of 2020, but the determination and resilience of the shooting community is certainly one that has shone bright.
As we drift further into the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions are certainly curtailing our activities and even stopping them in places. But, for the majority, they are workable and shooting remains viable.
While members are navigating varied guidelines, BASC has made every effort to reduce the complication by publishing several easy-to-follow documents.
To date, BASC’s coronavirus hotline has received more than 1,500 emails. All of which have been answered and dealt with.
Members and shoots I have spoken with remain positive, open to advice and willing to make the restrictions work for them while respecting the obligations placed on all of us so that we can beat Covid-19.
BASC’s ‘Covid Code’ infographic having been downloaded almost 5,000 times.
And our easy-to-follow messaging has been backed up with more than 400 shoot visits to help members ensure they are Covid-compliant and working in line with government instructions. The response to our shoot visits has been reassuring and overwhelmingly positive.
This work ‘on the ground’ has been matched with continuous lobbying and communication work behind the scenes. Our efforts to ensure shooting was included in the exemptions of the rule of 6 in England, and as an approved organised sport in Scotland, was essential to where we are today. Without specific exemptions, shooting would be stuck in limbo.
While varying ‘circuit breakers’ are in place in Northern Ireland and Wales, our work is now focused on ensuring shooting is in a strong position for when the various lockdowns are over.
We are still staring down the barrel of further restrictions, however, the season is long, and we remain positive that socialising and shooting will become easier in the second half of the season.
Members are placing their faith in us as an organisation, and we are glad to be providing an essential service to ensure shooting remains open for business wherever possible.
The reaction, both from the shooting community and government decision makers, has shown we are acting to a standard that is both professional and correct when dealing with an unprecedented pandemic.