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Hi James, tell us about yourself?
I retired at the age of 55 having been a Currency Broker in the City of London and then later working as a Property Manager for a large Investment organisation. I am a Londoner now living in the South-West of England.
How did you get into shooting?
I had always had an interest in military history and related artefacts but then tried both pistol and rifle shooting through a friend of a friend. I joined a club and applied for my FAC.
This all happened just before the handgun ban/restrictions came into force in 1997. My first firearm was a ‘Broomhandle’ Mauser.
What type of shooting do you currently participate in?
I no longer shoot due to moving away from Bisley and also the time factor involved. However, I used to shoot full bore rifle (.303 & 7.62 calibre) at Bisley and Longmoor ranges. I also shot lever action rifles in .357 Magnum. My preferred shooting though was pistol. I shot section 7.3 ‘heritage’ pistols at Bisley.
Do you see yourself taking up any other form of shooting in the future?
Sadly probably not, but you never know!
How important is shooting to you?
Nowadays shooting as a sport in not that important to me personally, however, I am a staunch supporter of shooters rights and at the time was fairly vigorous in my opposition to the ban on handguns and in subsequent campaigns in the European Courts (Justice for Shooters). Whilst I enjoyed my days at the ranges my interest lies more in the collecting and historical aspect of firearms rather than the actual shooting of them, although shooting them is one factor involved in studying a firearm.
What has been the best shooting experience for you so far?
Probably firing an MP40 and a Vickers MG at Bisley.
What other hobbies/interests do you have?
I am a keen football fan and I like a lot of other sports such as the Rugby Union and, Golf. I also collect militaria related to firearms and the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.
I also follow what goes on in the financial markets.
What changes to firearms law would you like to see in the future?
Very difficult to answer because if I say nothing people will think you don’t care and if I venture almost anything other than a further tightening of existing law I could be labelled ‘a gun nut’ by those that know very little but spout a lot. However, I would like to see the present restriction on private possession of handguns relaxed and even repealed. Failing any relaxation, and I don’t expect there to be any, I would just like to see Government and the media be honest about firearm ownership and not continually peddle myths and lies about it. An even more radical suggestion is that I would consider supporting a very limited level of ‘concealed carry’ for individuals.
It is only because people in this country have become so used to the ‘State’ interfering in their lives, be it through the Police Service, Local government, the NHS or other aspects of the Welfare state that ‘the man in the street’ knows very little about firearms and cares about them even less. The days when the Police could protect the public have long gone and I believe this is something that needs to be addressed although that doesn’t mean I’m advocating everyone having a gun!