5 October 2000
Anger at new shotgun regulations

By FWi staff

NEW restrictions on shotgun ownership announced by the Government have provoked outrage in the countryside, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Under the controls, Britains 500,000 shooters will have to give police a “good reason” for having a shotgun.

Shooting organisations believe the new control will cause a huge drop in shotgun ownership, especially in urban areas.

But the regulations have angered the country sports groups.

Oliver Harwood of the Country Landowners Association said existing controls were already adequate.

The controls were recommended by the Commons Home Affairs select committee.

In its editorial, the Telegraph says with this move the government has gone beyond infuriating the countryside and now “seems intent on provocation”.

It says the regulations are revenge for farmer protests at the Labour Party conference last week and the leading role producers played in fuel protests.

“To farmers and shooters, they will look like spite – pure and simple.”

However, The Independent says the retraction of plans to ban children under 14 using shotguns has pleased rural communities.

Countryside campaigners said this would have led to protests eclipsing those in support of foxhunting.

The Government will allow shooting by children under 16, provided they are properly supervised.