Industry Influencer – Karl Waktare

As well as being managing director GMK, the largest distributor of civilian shooting brands in the UK, Karl Waktare has been involved with decision-making and ideas at the highest level of the industry for many years.

Indeed, the Waktare family has been a hugely influential part of the gun trade for decades.

Karl said: “This is a special year for GMK as we celebrate our 50th year in business. And what a peculiar year it has been.

“Shackled for the first three months followed by a massive bounce back ever since; there seems to be a determination in the shooting community to get out and make up for lost activity. With the inability to go on holiday, shop, eat out and so on, many appear to be finding themselves with money to invest.

“Our suppliers have been diligently providing new models to tempt people to part with some of this hard-earned cash. At this year’s Game Fair we will be showcasing new models – the Ultralight 12g from Beretta; the Lupo rifle from Benelli and the S20 from Sako, to name but a few.

“The other exciting development for us this year has been Beretta’s purchase of Holland and Holland. Anyone who has decided that helicopters and superyachts no long suit their new eco image might be tempted by a one-off Holland that is being unveiled at the fair.

“Either way, I am really excited about this year’s event and it promises to be memorable in every way.

“I can’t remember how many Game Fairs I have been to but I started coming as a boy, selling some fairly basic merchandise on the Gunmark stand, which would have been in the 1970s. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of community that the fair brings.”

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