The infuriating thing about the ban is not just its abruptness, but also the fact that it appears to have no basis in law. At press time, London Firearms courier James Peddar said he had confirmed this "absolutely." He says the only legal impediment to the movement of arms from England to Zimbabwe is a ban on the "export" and "re-export" of weapons to that country dating back to May 3, 2001. Designed to stop the flow of military goods, the ban has no impact on sporting firearms and ammunition leaving the country as checked baggage. BA's so-called "open general transshipment license" allowing the flow of this kind of arms remains in force, he says.
The open question at this point is whether BA officials innocently misread the language of the May 3 embargo, or whether they deliberately did so in an effort to disrupt safaris. The question is important because it would appear clients who lost safari days may have grounds for legal action. For certain, this newsletter plans to hold British Airways accountable for its action and refer the matter to the increasingly important World Firearms Forum, supported by various organizations including the National Rifle Association.
At press time, Peddar said he had explained the apparent snafu to the head of British Airways Security. She was checking on the matter as this issue went to press. E-Mail Extra subscribers can look for an update shortly (www. huntingreport.com. Click on E-Mail Extra). In the meantime, booked subscribers need to be aware that British Airways is........(continued)