The Gun and Allied Trade Benevolent Society is the gun trade’s own charity, set up almost a century ago to provide for those in the UK industry and their dependents in times of need.

Thanks to generous donations from within the gun trade – both regular and one-offs not to mention a fundraising Gun Trade dinner each winter – the GATBS operates for the benefit of individuals in the retailing, manufacturing and distribution section of industry.

The society was actually started way back in 1926 when the directors of two leading British gunmakers decided to put in place a fund to help support members of the trade and their dependents who were unable to work or found themselves in financial hardship.

The Gun and Allied Trades Benevolent Society was formed, as a charity, to manage the fund and dispense support to those who needed it, with those benefitting including gunsmiths who had been injured in the First World War, others incapacitated through illness or accident and some who were financially destitute following retirement.

Today, the GATBS supports a number of beneficiaries, both on a long-and short-term basis – from monthly payments to one-offs for things like unexpected high bills or funeral costs.

A committee – drawn from the proof houses and the gun trade at large – manages the society and it is entirely made up of volunteers. All other expenses are kept to a minimum, so almost all income is directed to where it is required.

While the society has always benefitted from generous donations from benefactors, in today’s climate it has seen income from investments significantly reduced and now depends more than ever on regular donations.

Events like the annual Gun Trade Dinner in London, which it organises on behalf of the industry, not only spread the word about the GATBS’ work but also provide a much-needed fundraising opportunity.

To find out more about how to donate or to nominate someone for financial assistance, visit


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