BASC NI meets new Justice Committee Chairman
The new Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for Justice met representatives the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), to discuss issues affecting shooting in Northern Ireland.
Alastair Ross MLA met Tommy Mayne, director of BASC NI at Stormont. The discussion covered a range of topics including the need for a reduction in the minimum age at which young people in Northern Ireland can have supervised access to shotguns and air guns for coaching and tuition.
They also discussed BASC’s opposition to Department of Justice proposals to increase the cost of a five-year firearm certificate from £50 to £131. BASC highlighted the Value of Shooting Report which shows that shooting generates £28 million pounds annually for the Northern Ireland economy.
Speaking after the Stormont meeting Alastair Ross said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to meet representatives from BASC NI and I look forward to working with them and their partner organisations. I am aware of a breakdown in relationships between PSNI and stakeholders and I am keen to work with all concerned to see these issues resolved.”
Tommy Mayne said: “We are very grateful for the opportunity to meet Mr Ross who has clearly taken the time to bring himself up to speed on these important areas.
“Part of our discussion covered delays in processing firearm certificates. Feedback from BASC NI members and trade members has highlighted delays ranging from eight to 18 months. We were very disappointed that accurate information on firearms licensing processing times could not be produced at a recent meeting with police and department of justice officials. The delays are having a significant impact on firearms dealers who are left with guns sitting on shelves for months on end.”
“We look forward to discussing these issues in more detail with Mr Ross, the Committee for Justice and the NI Assembly all Party Group on Country Sports.”