As well as being the managing director of East Anglian gun importer and distributor ASI, Edward King has also headed up many of the shooting industry’s bodies, including the Gun Trade Association and the Gun and Allied Trades Benevolent Society, among others.

He said: “Back in the early 1990s, when I had been in the gun trade for half a dozen years or so, I had the opportunity to join the council (board) of an organisation called the Shooting Sports Trust; it was a body which specifically represented the importers, wholesalers and manufacturers in the UK gun trade.

“Sometime later, at an event, I found myself in conversation with the then managing director of a well-known and successful Midlands-based gun trade company, who was conspicuously not a member of either the GTA (Gun Trade Association) or the SST. I questioned why this was, and his answer was essentially: ‘We are all going to Hell in a handcart and I am not prepared to waste my money putting off the inevitable’. “That conversation took place nearly 30 years ago but it motivated me to look beyond the interests of my own company at the sector as a whole. It is important to combat every threat to our trade and an effective way to do this is to be a member of and support the associations which do this for us.

“I don’t believe that my sport’s demise is ‘inevitable’ but if we don’t stand up for ourselves, no one else will. The irony is that the firm which belonged to the rather negative individual did go into liquidation, not because of legislation but a lack of foresight and the ability to adapt.

“The gun trade is not vast and we do face threats from various directions, but we can influence our future if we work constructively and together.”

Edward added: “The Game Fair has always been one of the significant dates in our calendar. It is a great opportunity to show our products to both existing customers and newcomers to the sport and to be able to engage directly with the end-users, as much to get feedback as to answer questions.

“This year’s event will be our first outdoor event of its kind since 2019, so we hope for some excellent weather and a return to the atmosphere of past years.”

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