Country sports enthusiasts are furious at a decision by Britain’s biggest newsagent to ban children from buying shooting magazines after a campaign by animal rights activists.
WH Smith, whose head office is based in Swindon, says youngsters under 14 will not be sold shooting titles even though it is legal to hold a shotgun licence below that age.
And even adult customers attempting to buy a magazine featuring shooting now face a humiliating alert as staff receive a “till prompt” to check the buyer’s age.
The high street retailer based the policy on the qualifying age for a firearms certificate and says checks are already in place for a range of products, including scissors and adhesives “where an element off common sense” is required.
However, sports groups point out that there is no minimum age for holding a shotgun licence in Britain. Campaigners say the company has shown a “complete lack of understanding of the law” and may now feel the backlash of an angry countryside.