Full of the joys of summer, the GTA’s main man Simon West exhorts us all to dust off our Barbours and wellies and head to the Game Fair, which returns to Ragley Hall this year on July 23rd to July 25th.

The Game Fair at Ragley Hall in 2010; this year promises to be much bigger

There’s a good buzz around the trade at the moment. Clays are flying and attracting big attendances at the wide array of competition days. Poults are arriving in their pens and everything is warming up for a great season. Shooters are getting active and many appear to be spending their savings on new guns and kit. Good news and I hope it continues.

We must now redouble our efforts to reach new shooters. It’s not only about more customers bringing more trade, it’s about swelling the ranks of the shooting community. The greater the numbers in shooting, the more political power we can deploy. Success breeds success. 

Our shooting organisations—the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, BASC, National Rifle Association of the UK, National Small-bore Rifle Association and many others—are doing a great job attracting new people to the sport but it’s not only them. Every one of you has a potential impact on attracting newcomers.

Your marketing activity, your shop fronts, your sponsorship of competitions all add to the great narrative of shooting and outdoor sports. We also need to get out there at events and spread the word about the exciting opportunities that shooting presents. 

Among many other big events this summer, I am really looking forward to the Game Fair at Ragley 23-25 July. It will be an excellent opportunity for us all to meet up again but most importantly there is a captive audience who will be there for other reasons than shooting. We have to recruit them.

The layout of the show looks good and Gunmakers Row is well sited to provide those face-to-face engagements. The GTA will be delivering the Gunmakers’ Theatre again with a great team of presenters to enlighten and enthuse the audience. This time we have a central location that should help bring in the crowds. And with public confidence building by the day, it’s likely to be a very busy event.

In other areas

A reminder that the obsolete calibre list changed in law on 22 March 2021. The following calibres are no longer exempt from licensing: 

  • .320 British (also known as .320 Revolver CF, short or long)
  • .41 Colt (short or long)
  • .44 Smith & Wesson Russian
  • .442 Revolver (also known as .44 Webley)
  • 9.4mm Dutch Revolver
  • 10.6mm German Ordnance Revolver
  • 11mm French Ordnance Revolver
  • M1873 (Army)

As most of the affected firearms are pistols, they became subject to Section 5 overnight.  Transitional arrangements are in place until midnight on 21 Sep 21 for current owners—involving the opportunity to add them to a section 1 licence. Dealers would need to apply for a Section 5 licence to continue to be able to trade in these calibres (pistols).  

The transitional period only applies to existing owners, so you can no longer sell these to customers. If you still have stock you will need to move it on to Section 5 dealers before 21 September or apply for it to be put on a personal firearms certificate.  

If you need further advice, please call me on 01684 291868. 

The Game Fair is a real showcase for what we have to offer; new guns, optics—big push this year—clothing as well as traditional firearms of every description. The trade turnout is looking tremendous. Gunmakers’ Row will be well represented by John Dickson & Son, John Rigby & Co, William Moore & Grey, Anglo Spanish Imports, EJ Churchill, Ray Ward, Boss & Co, Longthorne, Viking, Highland Outdoors, Cheshire Gunroom, Ladds, Elderkin, Francis Lovel, Simpson Bros, J Hogan and Son and William Powell. 

If you want a piece of the action, there is still some stand space available. For the more modest showcase, some smaller table-top options will allow the craftsman a chance to show off his specialist skills. It could be worth having a chat with the Gunmakers’ Row manager, Lee Hurst (07949 111539). If you can’t attend to exhibit, try to visit anyway. We all need a chance to get out there, see the real world and catch up with old friends. 

Together with Gun Trade News, the GTA will be hosting another gun trade drinks networking event on the Thursday evening. 

Details coming soon.

For more information on all things Game Fair, just visit: https://thegamefair.org/


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