30 March 2016 – Anti-shooting crusaders at the Gun Control “Network” have very recently relaunched their website, started building up a Twitter presence – and seem to have insider knowledge about upcoming restrictions on the shooting sports.
The self-described “network” has just four members: former Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews; his wife Gill, who has given herself the title “chair” of the club; one of Gill’s friends, Christine Hall; and Brighton academic Peter Squires. It does not allow people to join as members, meaning its claim to being a network is untrue, though it solicits cash donations through its website.
There does not appear to be any formal legal structure behind the GCN. It is neither a charity nor a registered company, though the Marshall-Andrews do operate Marshall Andrews Limited, which presents itself publicly as a web design agency.
UKSN strongly suspects that company is where GCN funds and operations are controlled from – and their new website mentions a “part time office”, which appears to be based at a domestic address in London N3. A related anti-shooting charity operating from the same postcode, the Infer Trust, was covered in detail on UKSN last year.
The Marshall-Andrews’ little club very recently relaunched their website after a design and content makeover. Research by UK Shooting News reveals that on 6th March, the site was its old dead self using the same design and inaccurate information it had displayed for years.
A Twitter account in the GCN’s name has also appeared.
It also appears that whoever rewrote the GCN website is a UK Shooting News reader, as it contains uncharacteristically up-to-date information about upcoming bans and restrictions on the sport of shooting – as well as the twice-withdrawn Crimestoppers “shop a gun owner” hotline. Hello Gill. Did you ever finish your crossword at the Law Commission conference last year? I do hope everyone else’s speeches and Q&As weren’t too distracting for you.
A mailing list is also included as part of the new website, though there is no indication of who will have access to any personal details entered into it. UKSN strongly cautions curious readers not to hand over genuine details to them.
Hall appears to have had a GCN press release published (registration required) by police trade magazine Police Oracle earlier today. As is typical of the GCN, Hall is clearly unaware that restrictions on the shooting sports demanded by former policemen at HM Inspectorate of Constabulary are due to come into force next month.
Keeping vigilant is important. If the GCN is planning a fresh assault on the shooting sports, the licensed firearms community must be prepared to proactively deal with their hatred and negativity. One strong way of doing this is to drown the GCN’s attempts to get into the local and national media with positive news and images of happy, smiling people enjoying their sports together.
UK Shooting News welcomes further contact from shooters with digital research skills and a little time on their hands.