UK Magazine Retailer Rescinds Age Restrictions

Posted on November 16, 2012

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Following a campaign by UK shooters, the UK retailer WH Smith is backpedaling from its decision to bar the sale of shooting sports magazines to customers under the age of 14. In early October, WH Smith caved to the will of the radical animal rights group, Animal Aid, after a campaign by the organization that smeared the shooting sports and likened sporting magazines to pornography.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation announced last week that WH Smith was quietly removing "till prompts" that had required a cashier to check a purchaser's age for the purchase of shooting sports magazines. The change comes after a BASC email and social media campaign that included a petition with 12,000 signatures coordinated by one of BASC's Young Shots members.

Joining BASC's efforts were those of the UK shooting sports group, Countryside Alliance, which called rollback of the age restriction "a victory for common sense." The restriction had also received criticism from the head coach of Great Britain's Olympic shooting team, Ian Coley, who remarked, "How can WH Smith justify the ban to my grandson and to the many thousands of young shots who enjoy their chosen sport of shooting?... We live in a free world and it's his chosen sport. Why should a totally legal sport be subject to these restrictions?"

WH Smith's decision to rescind the age restrictions marks a small victory for the beleaguered UK shooting community and should stand as a testament to the power of organized gun owners.

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