As we reported last month, the latest problem with BA arose when that airline's Senior Manager of Security Policy, Gaynor McLaughlin, maliciously, or ignorantly, misinterpreted a ban on the "export" and "re-export" of firearms to various countries, including Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The ban was designed to prevent the export of weapons of war, and had no bearing on the transshipment of sporting firearms as checked baggage. BA now admits this and, according to a June 16 report in the Times of London, has agreed to pay compensation to hunters whose safaris were disrupted. At press time, we were trying to determine the procedure for filing a claim. If you were affected, let us know.
The underlying worry in this latest brouhaha with British Airways is the possibility that it is a hint of things to come as pressure mounts in the United Nations for the passage of a new "protocol" on small arms. The National Rifle Association is monitoring the UN move, with an eye toward creating language in the protocol that prevents governments and airlines from blurring the distinction between implements of war and sporting firearms - which is precisely what British Airways did in the latest imbroglio. The success of this effort by the NRA is crucial to the survival of international hunting as we know it today. If you want to lend your support, you can do so through this newsletter. (Make checks payable to: The National Rifle Association).........(continued)