The Home Office "Guide on [sic] Firearms Licensing Law"
The PSRA has been invited today (27/6/19) - through the British Shooting Sports Council - to assist the Home Office in re-drafting relevant chapters of their document -
This is the document which guides the police - and the sports shooters of the UK - through the complexities of firearms law.
It's not perfect, but it IS influential.
We have already found several major errors in one chapter, and we're working through the others.
There are some major changes in the way Registered Firearms Dealers (RFDs) are to be administered, so if any member school operates a Registered Firearms Dealership, they would be well-advised to check on the changes in the system, and we can help: just contact us by e-mail. To quote from the Draft Guidance which we have been given - "From 10 June 2019, The Firearm (Amendment) Rules 2019 (SI No. 2019/963) made changes to the firearms dealer application process to require applicants to complete a medical declaration disclosing any relevant physical or mental health conditions that they have been diagnosed with or treated for in the past as this may affect their ability to safely possess firearms, shotguns or air weapons. This brings RFD applicants in line with the medical checking process for firearm and shotgun certificate applicants – to note that these arrangements are currently under review."
Rise in Home Office fees for school shooting club approval
The Home Office have just [18/6/19] published their response to the consultation of various fees for Firearms related businesses, clubs and schools.
They are -
Club/school first time approval grant £444
Club renewal £372
There are also other fees for such things a changing the secretary, club name, etc, varying between £300 & £36.
These are far less than the original proposals but still a very considerable hike from £84 for both grant and renewal, and NO fee for variations; However, to quote the Home Office - "The review led to fees that are approximately 58% lower than those proposed in the consultation."
These extras will have to be factored into our costs over the coming years. but basically it means that they will rise by £360, paid out in a lump sum every six years on renewal.
That's £60 a year we will not be able to use for the benefit of the school or the sport.
PERSONAL SECURITY ADVICE
[URGENT UPDATE 5/10/18] The British Shooting Sports Council has just made us aware of a circulation from the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NaBIS) informing us that a number of firearm and shotgun certificate holders have had their details published on-line.
This is the advice they are giving certificate holders:
As Firearm or Shotgun certificate holders, we should all be aware of the risks from criminals wishing to obtain our guns illegally.
The Firearm Security Handbook 2005 at -
Gives plenty of advice, but to bring it up to date a bit - we advise individual certificate holders, and those traveling with firearms -
1. DO NOT post information about the dates and/or places of your future shooting activities on Facebook, Instagram etc. as this will alert anyone with criminal intent to the whereabouts of firearms, and the fact that your home may be unoccupied.
2. DO NOT give away information on such public websites which could identify you personally as a firearm certificate holder (IE: full name, or home address, details for shooting activities etc.)
3.When traveling to and from shooting venues, be aware of the potential for a criminal to follow you.
4. When loading/unloading firearms etc from vehicles, be aware of your surroundings - anyone or anything suspicious? Move on.
5. Note the registered numbers of any vehicles you believe to be suspicious or unusual at your shooting venue, school or home.
6. Be aware of local police station (if any, nowadays!) so that if you believe your vehicle is being followed by someone with evil intent, you can go there for safety.
A THREAT TO OUR SPORT
The Second Reading of the Offensive Weapons Bill took place on the 27th June. This bill constitutes a major threat to target shooting, and could potentially set a malign precedent for other shooting sports since it seeks to prohibit two types of rifle for which there is no evidence of misuse in the UK.
Please, it is important that you write to or email your Member of Parliament to express your concern as soon as you possibly can.
You can use the details below, but PLEASE DO IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS – politely as you want your MP to help, you and not to see you as an enemy.
"Dear [[[[MP’s name]]]
Offensive Weapons Bill” – 2018
We believe that are being unfairly treated by the prohibitions proposed in the above Bill, and because the NCA / police Risk Assessments have apparently identified .50” calibre / MARS rifles as particular risks to public safety, we would like you to question the following
(1) what reductions in firearms crime are expected as a result of the prohibitions?
(2) what is the incidence of legally held rifles being used in crime; and
(3) why the strict rules on the granting of Firearm Certificates are deemed insufficient in the case of .50” calibre, MARS /lever release rifles?
We understand that MPs have many demands on their time and attention; but surely it is best for Parliament to concentrate upon the genuine and real issues, (Terrorism etc) rather than attack the law-abiding shooting sports.
This Bill if unchallenged, risks setting a dangerous precedent as it proposes banning certain firearms without any evidence or credible justification. Today the target is .50” calibre and MARS / lever release rifles; tomorrow it could be other classes of firearm used in our sport.
We do hope you can find the time to ask these questions, as we feel that this bill is a waste of valuable legislative time as well as damaging a sport and alienating the law-abiding sports shooter.
[[Name and address]]"
Please email your local MP without delay – their contact details can be found https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
The Bill and evidence base can be found https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/offensiveweapons.html
https://www.writetothem.com/ is another useful tool.
Thank you for taking the time to read this through.
PSRA COACHING MANUAL
We have had much to thank Nigel Curtis for over the years, and now he's distilled his wisdom into this coaching manual for us all to take advantage of his many years of experience.
The Home Office has responded to the petition to avoid having airguns licensed in England and Wales - and THANK YOU to everyone who responded.
"The Government announced a review of the regulation of air weapons in England and Wales following a request from the Suffolk coroner in his report into the death of Benjamin Wragge, aged 13, who was accidentally shot with an air weapon in May 2016.
Although no licence is required to possess most air weapons in England and Wales, they are nevertheless regulated. In particular, it is an offence for a person aged under 18 to purchase or hire an air weapon or ammunition, and it is an offence to sell, hire or gift an air weapon or ammunition to a person aged under 18. It is also an offence for a person aged under 18 to possess an air weapon or ammunition unless:
• they are being supervised by a person aged 21 or over, or
• they are shooting as a member of an approved target shooting club, or
• they are using air weapons at a shooting gallery, or
• the young person is aged 14 or over, is on private premises and has the consent of the occupier.
The Crime and Security Act 2010 brought in legislation concerned with reducing the risk of children getting hold of air weapons and accidentally harming themselves or others. This inserted a provision into the Firearms Act 1968 that requires owners to take reasonable precautions to prevent a person under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to an air weapon.
The Government has sought the views of interested parties on relevant issues, including secure storage and the arrangements to prevent children gaining access to air weapons, manufacturing standards, and on the position in Scotland and Northern Ireland where air weapons are licensed. The Government has received a large number of representations about the review and these will be considered carefully before any decisions are made about how to proceed.
The Home Office have announced that they will be imposing massive increases in fees to clubs and schools
The current fee for grant of Home Office approval of school target shooting clubs is £84. The Home Office have decided that this will now be £444. They will also start charging for any changes in the club such as changes of ranges, changes of club name, or changes of secretary - although it's not yet exactly clear which change will attract which fee.
Renewals will cost £372, and other changes will attract fees of £300, £206 and £36.
Exactly how they have arrived at these figures is a mystery - as the police - not the Home Office - do the enquiries, which is where any real costs might be involved.
One is left with the impression that either:
a) The Home Office staff are grossly overpaid,
b) They are incredibly inefficient
It seems that little notice has been paid to the educational and social benefits of our sport - maybe we should apply for a grant from the DCMS to assist us with the increase in Home Office fees ?
British Shooting Sports Council Meeting - January 2018
We attended this 4 hour marathon meeting after leaving home at 04:00 - getting back at 23:00; a long day but very interesting. MANY different matters were discussed, and the BSSC are now arranging a meeting with the Minister to discuss the matter of airgun licensing and club/school fees - among other items.
Our first Report from the British Shooting Sports Council
We were elected to the BSSC just too late to be included in their Annual Report, but it was good to note that it is growing, with the Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS) and the Deactivated Weapons Association (DWA) joining in March & June respectively.
The report is some 20 pages long detailing the council's activities during the past year, and rather than providing fine detail I'll just cover the headline discussions in which the Council had input -
I will be attending the next BSSC meeting in mid-September, and if any member schools has any concerns about proposed (or even rumoured!) legislation/regulation, please let me know before then.
The British Shooting Sports Council
Following a unanimous decision at our AGM, we applied for membership of the British Shooting Sports Council of the UK. We have just been told that we have been elected as a member of the council.
This means we will now have regular contact with all the other major shooting organisations in the UK, and will be able to exchange knowledge and expertise. As well as this, it will give us access to decision makers in Government, the Home Office and Police Organisations. It will also increase our profile in the shooting world.
Proposed increase in fees for school club approval etc.
The Home Office have proposed that the fees for the grant of approval of target shooting clubs/schools should rise from £84 to £1,050, and that any alterations to that approval such as a change of name or secretary would attract a fee of between £100 and £690. Renewal would attract a £900 fee.
There was a consultation - and we hope that everyone replied - but no results have been seen from the Home Office so far.
Licensing airguns in Scotland
The Scottish Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 came into effect on 31st December 2016.
We are still unsure of several parts of the law relating to the use in schools, (which appear to have been forgotten during the drafting of the bill) although there are exemptions for "airgun clubs" and "recreational facilities" involving airguns which may be of use to us.
BASC has a webpage devoted to the subject which may help you -
There is an article about the PSRA in the Shooting Times - and they've kindly allowed us to use it here on our website.
THE PSRA in the SHOOTING TIMES.
Secretary takes gold!
At the Jersey Supershot Challenge in June 2017, held on the beautiful Crabbe ranges in Jersey, Mary Eveleigh took the gold medal in the Ladies class - again !
The competition comprised of 6 different disciplines:
Fullbore rifle 300 yards
Smallbore rifle at 50 yards
Mary was a part of the "Phoenix Away" team, which also claimed Silver in the team events.