The past year has brought about a whirlwind of challenges for the gun trade industry.
From licensing delays to evolving regulations and the looming lead restrictions, it’s been a turbulent time.
One of the foremost challenges is the issue of licensing delays, which have significantly impacted cash flow for gun trade businesses.
‘I think the whole trade knows about the pressures, the headwinds as we call them against us. Delays in licensing have been our biggest challenge in terms of cash flow at the moment and we've been working hard, working from the top down, working on politicians, working on the home office, working on the police chiefs lead on licensing to try and get them to speed up the process.’ - GTA Executive Director Simon West OBE
Navigating Banking and Ethical Dilemmas
Navigating banking and some manager's ethical dilemmas is affecting people's livelihoods and the industry. The issues some people in the gun trade are having with banks are unfortunately an ongoing problem but the GTA has a new partner that is happy to take on the gun trade.
“People in the gun trade are having problems with banking. A lot of it is due to ignorance on the part of the banks and some of it is down to ethics. It very much depends on the manager's ethics…”
“We've got a new partner and they're very happy to take on the gun trade and the great thing about it is they can use the local post office so there's one of those in every town and they can deposit their money there and take it back out again which I think is what most businesses want.” - Deputy Director Lin Oxley.
Lead Restrictions in Ammunition
The restriction on lead in ammunition is looming in the gun trade. The industry has had a big reliance on lead-based ammunition for centuries and set an unrealistic time frame to make all the relevant changes not only in the manufacturing of lead-free ammunition but also the supply chains for it will realistically need a longer transition period than the original 18 months.
The Gun Trade Association (GTA) is actively advocating for a longer transition period to adapt to all of the changes.
“One of the other threats of course has been the potential restriction on the use of lead in ammunition. The timelines the health and safety executive proposed to start with were far too sharp for the trade. We need to find ways of transforming an industry that's been based on lead for hundreds of years to one that's using alternatives.
We consume 260 million cartridges a year in the UK and we can't just suddenly change. So the GTA has been very energetic trying to make the case for a longer transition period than the original 18 months so that we've got time to change the industry. We need new machines, we need new supply chains to get the components...” - GTA Executive Director Simon West OBE
In a year marked by turbulence and uncertainty, the gun trade has had its fair share of challenges. However, through proactive efforts, the GTA and its members are working together to overcome these obstacles and ensure the continued protection of its members and of the ever-evolving landscape of the gun trade.