The Countryside Alliance is happy to announce that the wording on the Action Counters Terrorism website has been updated since this press release was publicised. We thank the NPCC for their speedy response.
Original Press Release:
The Countryside Alliance has written a letter to the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), asking that they clarify the wording on the “Action Counters Terrorism (ACT)” website regarding the ownership of firearms.
While the Countryside Alliance fully supports the NPCC and recognise the need for the police to take action to keep us all safe from terrorism, we felt it was important to raise our concerns over the suggestion that “Anyone who has firearms or other weapons or has shown an interest in obtaining them” is an example of suspicious activity that should be reported to the police. This sentence does not differentiate between legal and illegal firearm ownership, causing potential problems both for the police and for participants in shooting sports.
Liam Stokes, Countryside Alliance Head of Shooting, said: “We have written to the NPCC to highlight that not only are there hundreds of thousands of legal shooters in this country, but that the shooting community is overwhelmingly law-abiding. We pointed out that encouraging the public, who may not appreciate that a distinction exists between legal and illegal firearms, to report any and all firearms owners to the police risks both wasting valuable police time and causing unnecessary distress to legal participants in shooting sports.
“We fully support the police in their vigilance against terrorism, but we need to be sure that the legal shooting community are not unfairly targeted.”