Minister urged to support NI young shots

Northern Ireland minister Ben Wallace has met BASC representatives to discuss shooting issues including restrictions on young people and the value of shooting to tourism in Northern Ireland. Mr Wallace visited the association’s office in Lisburn, where he met BASC NI director Tommy Mayne and BASC Council member Oliver McCullough.

Speaking after the meeting, Tommy Mayne said, “We are very grateful for the opportunity to meet Mr Wallace. Our discussions focussed mainly on the Northern Ireland Justice Minister’s proposals to reduce the age for supervised shooting which will restrict participants to clay target shooting only, within clubs regulated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 

“While BASC welcomes any move that will allow young people in NI to shoot under supervision, we will not support the clay target only restriction which discriminates against young wishing to participate in live game shooting, pest control and wildfowling.”

Oliver McCullough said “Mr Wallace clearly recognises the great disparity that exists between young people in NI and their counterparts in GB where there is far greater opportunity in relation to supervised participation in shooting sports. BASC cannot understand how the NI Justice Minister can differentiate between a young person using a shotgun under supervision in other parts of the UK, compared to Northern Ireland.”  

The talks with Mr Wallace, who is parliamentary under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland, also covered shooting related tourism in Northern Ireland and the Value of Shooting Report, which reveals that shooting sports contribute £28 million to the Northern Ireland economy.