2019: The year that was!

Gun Trade News takes time to reflect on another year of newsworthy industry events and headline news from 2019

3 January – Greggs launched a meat-free version of its sausage rolls

15 January – Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated by 432 to 202 – the worst defeat for a PM in British history…

16 January – …but her government survived a ‘no confidence’ vote by a majority of 19

January really set the tone for 2019. Uncertainty in Parliament started with the first of a series of rejected Brexit deals and confidence votes. The situation remains unclear and shows very little sign of resolve. In our own industry we asked if we had reached the ‘End Of The ISSF Saga?’ After a spell of in-fighting with its own vice president, the ISSF began the long task of reuniting its membership and returning to its core role of supporting the shooting sports. 

January: UK Custom Shop shared the history of the iconic mod brand

Back in the UK, GTN met the newly appointed Gun Trade Association director Simon West, as he outlined his plans to protect and promote the UK gun trade.

We’ve already seen excellent progress on this front in the past 12 months and look forward to working with the GTA more in 2020. Our January issue also featured UK Custom Shop as they explained their silent secrets to success.

February

7 February – The ONS reported that knife crime in England and Wales is at its highest level since 1946

16 February – The first Great British Shooting Awards were an instant hit with attendees at the ceremony 

26 February – One year after ‘The Beast from the East’, record temperatures for February were measured in Kew Gardens, no less than 21.2C

The ISSF’s appointment of Russian billionaire Vladamir Lisin quickly paid dividends as he donated $10m to establish a fund for international shooting. Meanwhile we asked if the ‘Uncertain Landscapes’ of British shooting presented a threat or an opportunity.

February: Mat Manning presented Airgun of the Year at the first Great British Shooting Awards

The coming year brought more doubts and difficulties but leading figures in the shooting world did not shy away from the challenges. In our February issue, Countryman Fairs’ Ian Harford detailed his plans for a stronger showing in 2019. 

The British Shooting Show was the first opportunity of the year for industry stalwarts to share their latest products and innovations. We shared a ‘go-to’ guide for exhibitors and prepared for the very first Great British Shooting Awards – inaugural winners were crowned at an exclusive ceremony on 16 February.

March

15 March – 51 people were killed during terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand 

29 March – Independent politicians apply to become a political party called ‘Change UK – The Independent Party’ 

31 March – An e-petition calling to revoke Article 50 reaches six million signatures

British businesses were busy preparing for Brexit in March, but a last-minute extension meant that the nation would have to wait a little longer to find out how this would impact trade. 

March: The Gun Trade News team attended Europe’s largest shooting trade show, IWA

Though businesses haven’t lost confidence over the EU withdrawal, they did seek more clarity over the situation in March as uncertainty reached its peak.

GTN asked whether unacceptable delays and inconsistencies in firearms licensing would finally end in 2019. As it stands there is still work to do in ‘Beating The Backlog’.

Also in our bumper IWA issue, Mick Bell shared the revolutionary Komodo Pro sporting sunglasses and Schmidt & Bender showed their faith in the British industry by moving to increase their UK presence. 

April

11 April – Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested after seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy

12 April – The government agreed a further six-month Brexit extension, taking the deadline to 31 October 

15 April – Fire engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral, with the roof and main spire collapsing 

25 April – General licences for controlling pest birds in England were revoked, causing chaos for shooters

The government finally pledged to end the ‘postcode lottery’ with regard to licensing delays and medical involvement. Although it was unclear if they would follow through in their promises, we asked if this really was ‘Shooting’s Lottery Win?’ Firearms certificates continue to make headlines to this day; some things never change. 

However, there was change at Edgar Brothers, so we caught up with the new managing director, Ian Gordon, as he gave us the inside track on plan for the future.

Also, in a special report in our April issue, Philip Moss reported from the NEC, exploring the ever-evolving role of shows in an online sales landscape. 

Across a busy Easter period, Ollie Harvey met with the brand manager for Eley Ltd, Michael Atkinson, as he discussed his aspirations for the iconic British ammunition brand. 

Check back tomorrow as we continue our review of the year!

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