Rifle shot In the late 1960s, Government proposals to introduce new controls on firearms led to the formation of the Long Room Committee, an ad hoc grouping of the principal shooting associations which met in the famous ‘Long Room’ at the premises of the gunmaker James Purdey & Sons. The Committee’s co-ordination of political support for shooting proved effective in the debate which surrounded the passage of the Firearms Act 1968 and in due course the loose organisation of like-minded associations became formalised into the British Shooting Sports Council. Over succeeding decades the Council was a focus of joint political activity by sporting and competition shooting and the gun trade, presenting the case for shooting sports to Government whenever it sought to redefine controls on firearms, such as in 1987 and 1996 after the atrocities at Hungerford and Dunblane.

It became recognised by the governing bodies of shooting that it was not sufficient for the sport to be politically active only at times when firearms controls were high on the national agenda. A constant involvement with the both the detail of day-to-day regulation and the administration of firearms law was obviously necessary if shooting were to flourish. Thus from political activity at Westminster the work of the Council extended both upwards into the sphere of international relations, and downwards into everyday contact with Government agencies, public bodies and the police.