North Antrim MLA Robin Swann has called on Alliance Justice Minister David Ford “to ensure there is equality in law for young people who want to participate in clay pigeon target shooting”.
Mr Swann had recently asked the Minister of Justice for an update on legislation relating to clay pigeon shooting, “given that he will be aware that young people in Northern Ireland have been waiting for many years for the Department of Justice to give them equality of opportunity with their peers in the rest of the UK for clay pigeon target shooting”.
Responding to Mr Swann, Minister Ford said: “As part of general reforms on firearms, I have stated my intention to lower the age at which young people are permitted access to shotguns in certain circumstances.
“The proposals have been published, and there have been a number of discussions, some of which are ongoing, including quite recently. Ideally, we need to reach consensus about a number of issues relating to firearms before progress can be made.
“Certainly, I am fully aware of these issues and, indeed, have met some of the young people who have been able to represent Northern Ireland outside, but not within, Northern Ireland. I recognise the concerns expressed by the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, amongst others,” the minister told Mr Swann.