If you live in the UK, you’re under 14 and you love reading about shooting sports, the nation’s largest chain of newsagents wants to protect you from yourself. WH Smith, Britain’s largest distributor of newspapers and magazines, just instituted a ban on children under 14 from buying magazines about the shooting sports. Yes, you just read that right: In the UK (or at least at WH Smith locations) magazines like Field & Stream are subversive material not suitable for children.

From this story in the (UK) Telegraph:

It is a sport enjoyed by thousands of children, and one which gained Britain a gold medal at the Olympics. But children have been banned from buying shooting hobby magazines by Britain’s biggest newsagent – even though it is entirely legal for them to own a gun. WH Smith, Britain’s biggest chain of newsagents, has banned youngsters from buying copies of country sports magazines after a campaign by animal rights activists. The retailer, whose founding family owned a highly prized shoot in Buckinghamshire, says it has introduced an age limit on such magazines as Shooting Times because children are not allowed to obtain a firearms certificate until they are 14.

According to the story, however, the newspaper chain is simply wrong, as there is no minimum age in Britain for holding a shotgun license, although children under 18 cannot buy guns and those under 14 must be adult-supervised. For a good breakdown of the issue, check out this story in the UK shooting magazine Sporting Shooter.

Thought? Reaction? Think it could ever happen here?