The Government has announced a 4-week pause at Step 3 and therefore the current Step 3 restrictions remain in place until 19 July. Although there has been some easing in restrictions nationally, they have no impact on target shooting and the rules remain the same. Individuals and clubs should continue to operate as in the current Step 3 outlined in NSRA Target Shooting in England Roadmap. The Government has said that it will review the data after 2 weeks to see if the risks have reduced and will inform if the 19th July date for Step 4 is to be changed. The NSRA will monitor the position and inform as the situation changes.
Please click on the link below to view the documents
Report on a Countryside Forum webinar held online on May 13, 2021
1 Political reports
The European and International report by Ian Bell (BASC) and the Parliament report by Christopher Graffius (BASC) were tabled in advance of the meeting and are circulated separately. There was then an update on shooting issues followed by a series of presentations on the topic: ‘Is countryside policy increasingly, and disproportionately, being influenced by single issue pressure groups?’
2 Update on shooting issues
Liam Stokes (CEO, British Game Alliance), said that the single biggest issue in (game) shooting had been Coronavirus and its ongoing repercussions. Some 60% of the number of birds that would normally be released were released in 2020, but there had been a considerable reduction in shoot days. Estimated lost income across the sector was £150m. There was considerable supressed demand which was being realised in increased orders, and shooting should be buoyant in 2021-2. There was, however a current cashflow problem. Medium sized game farmers in particular were struggling. Larger ones had adopted economies of scale and there were more birds being reared on shoots. Game farming was expected to be 20% down. There had been uncertainty caused by the 5 year lead phase-out, with the UK REACH process only 2 years away. Confusion had been sown by end users wanting to source lead-free game and the decision by the National Game Dealers Association to require game shot with non-lead ammunition from 2022 was having a “seismic impact.” Shoots needed help to understand what that meant. In Scotland the re-election of an SNP Government with Green support renewed the threat of licencing of grouse shoots. In Wales the Labour Party were adopting anti-shooting and snaring measures, and registering shoots was one step away from licensing them. There were issues in England about the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill and around lead, hares and snaring.
3 Is countryside policy increasingly, and disproportionately, being influenced by single issue pressure groups? – Mark Tufnell, Deputy President, CLA
Single issue pressure groups are now lobbying on a much wider range of issues than in the past. Mark pointed out that CLA, CPRE and the Ramblers Association were once single issue pressure groups, but all now had a much wider remit. Extinction Rebellion, a wider pressure group, had not achieved a huge amount, and had not managed to bring political change. Veganism, however, could have a significant change on how the countryside looks. Mark spoke of the rise of social media campaigns which could be brought together more quickly, but it was his view that in a lot of cases, Government policy had not been changed. Organisations that had moved from single issue campaigning to wider lobbying, such as the Countryside Alliance, had been more effective.
4 Is countryside policy increasingly, and disproportionately, being influenced by single issue pressure groups? – Liam Stokes, British Game Alliance
Liam’s opinion was that a lot of activity in the countryside is being driven by single issue pressure groups. Officials at Defra engage with them, while pro-shooting groups were not having a major effect. Those who dealt with the working countryside (i.e. farming , shooting, gamekeeping groups) were dealt with more scepticism than animal rights, animal welfare and conservation bodies. Pressure by Wild Justice on supermarket buyers had shown that change in the countryside could also be exerted by pressure on the corporate sector. Green Alliance policy papers were regarded as credible and trustworthy while farming is treated as a vested interest. Environmental issues were becoming more politically significant. The Green Party held the balance of power in Scotland and was influential in the Senedd. It was also important in German politics. It was an agenda that had united disparate elements. The RSPB had reversed their decades-old neutrality on game shooting with Wild Justice to promote shoot licensing. Act Now for Animals contained a range of voices, including those of hardline Animal Rights groups. The trend was increasing and had not been acknowledged by policy makers. Liam felt that we had to get better at forming our own alliances.
5 Is countryside policy increasingly, and disproportionately, being influenced by single issue pressure groups? – Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Committee
Neil said that Government wanted to be green and all-embracing. It must be careful not to be hijacked by extreme organisations. He spoke of traditional management keeping the countryside looking the way it always had. He said that Government needed to be firm over improving the environment and in producing good food but must not get pushed around by extreme organisations. He said of the Conservatives that they are a party that comes from the countryside, “but these people are not going to vote for us.”
In the short discussion that followed it was noted that the Green Alliance is running the Environment APPG and is an extremely effective campaigning body.
Graham Downing 18th May 2021
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Due to restrictions slowly lifting Martin from Cheshunt Rifle & Pistol Club was finally able to get his hands on the fantastic 1st prize. He collected the Walther LG400 today from the NSRA head office. Although you can’t tell behind his mask, Martin was very happy with his prize.
The NSRA represents around 900 clubs which cover a diverse range of disciplines. The clubs all have their own “character” and most members and committee members put in an inordinate amount of work to maintain them. Across these clubs some are mainly focussed on recreational shooting. However, others have a more competitive focus and aspire to enrol, nurture and prepare high quality competitive shooters – many of whom aspire to represent their county, region or country in high level competition.
At the NSRA we receive a great many enquiries from people wanting to find a club in their area. The majority of these are new to shooting and really don’t know (or only have a vague idea) which discipline they wish to try. However, we do get enquiries from people who want to compete from the start and aspire to Commonwealth Games or Olympics or just to be, “…the best they can be…” Clearly, if this latter group are directed to a club that has a sole purpose of recreation, shooting non-ISSF disciplines or has no facilities or coaching available for these disciplines then sending them to these clubs would not be suitable and could result in them not taking up the sport. Further to this we often get current shooters who would like to join another, more competitive club to be with like-minded individuals, appropriate facilities or good coaching.
A number of you may already be aware there is currently a significant Eley ammunition shortage which is affecting our capability to fulfil many of your orders. Our stocks are low with the following items completely out of stock
Eley Action Plus
We are awaiting a shipment but at the moment we do not have a delivery date. Although this situation is outside of our control we do still have stocks of SK, Lapua, RWS and CCI ammunition. A member of the Shop Team will be happy to advise regarding your requirements.
Members May Exclusive Offer
We hope we find you well and please see below details of our latest promotional offer which is exclusive to NSRA Members only. It is the latest in a series of promotions we will be running throughout 2021 and underlines our commitment to offer more benefits than ever before from your NSRA Membership. In fact a promotion will be running every month so please keep checking the main and Shop websites plus social media for updates. We will also be emailing you with details of any offers so you don’t miss out and gain the maximum value from being a Member
In weeks to come we will also be linking NSRA Rewards to NSRA Shop offers so if you have not already joined the scheme please do so for just £5 by visiting www.nsrarewards.co.uk Don’t forget there are already literally hundreds of savings available on everyday online and in-store purchases at your favourite retail outlets, restaurants, visitor destinations and leisure attractions.
Through all of these offers you will be able to keep a tally of how much money you are saving and in no time at all you will you will have recovered the cost of your Membership as it will be paying for itself!
Have a great Bank Holiday Weekend and don’t forget both the Lord Roberts Centre and NSRA Aldersley are now open.
NSRA Marketing Team
By Paul Horbury, General Manager
The rate of progress with the renovations and alterations at NSRA Aldersley has far outstripped my wildest expectations. Our volunteers have been amazing and we are very grateful for all the time they have given so generously. It has been great team effort with members of all three ‘in-house’ clubs (Aldersley Aigunners – our over fifties group, Goodyear Rifle Club and Lucas Rifle and Pistol Club) coming together to help.
There is 10% off everything in stock (excluding firearms and targets) so GET READY TO SHOOT and put Lockdown behind us.
The Home Office has announced changes to the Firearms Rules 1998 which will take effect from 7 May 2021, and introduce changes relating to:
Please see Circular 002/2021 The Firearms (Amendment) Rules 2021 on the gov.uk site for full details.
Two weeks ago we emailed a number of members whose membership had lapsed as of 31 December 2020. Our concern was with the resumption of shooting recently it was important your membership and insurance cover was in place and valid. All those emailed normally renew by Direct Debit and for reasons we have already published those auto-renewal payments were not taken.
Thank you for your co-operation and understanding in this matter.