The NSRA has issued updated guidance for clubs reopening after lockdown, in 4 documents than can be downloaded using the links here, or reproduced below.


Introducing New People to Shooting during Covid 19 – 23/3/21

Most clubs are quite used to introducing new members into the sport who have not shot before. Coaches and instructors are quite familiar with the methods of getting people to shoot safely and get reasonable results even at their first session. From then on we help them and monitor their progress, as appropriate to the individual, until they are competent to “fly solo” and operate under the normal safety rules that we all follow.

During the current Covid 19 Pandemic, the club must first find out whether it is even possible to introduce new people to the sport, in accordance with the various National and Local Government regulations that must be followed. The Government, National and NSRA Guidance will help ascertain if introducing new members is possible and detail any special restrictions that are in place. 

Following on from this, whether introduction is done as a formal course or by individual mentoring there are several common issues that need to be addressed during the current Covid 19 pandemic to avoid transmitting the virus:

  • The new shooter handling club firearms. The beginner will not have their own equipment and will need to use communal club guns and other equipment. Before and after shooting:
    • Clean the rifle - sanitise with alcohol, dry off and wipe with oil/silicon cloth. This should be done wearing a mask and with clean hands that have been washed/sanitised..
    • Sanitise the firing point /targets etc. as per the Clubs normal Covid procedures.
    • Avoid using equipment that cannot be sanitised. For example, when introducing prone shooting instead of using jacket, glove and sling use a forend rest.  It must be noted that any equipment that can’t be sanitised has to be quarantined for a min of 72hrs (3 days).
    • Issue and use disposable earplugs instead of shared ear defenders when possible.
    • Clean any shooting mats and other shooting equipment with the appropriate sanitiser
    • Handling and distribution of targets and other consumables need to be considered. Sanitise hands before and after and limit access and handling of consumables.

  • Demonstration using club firearms – this is often done using the same gun that the shooter is using. Clearly there is a risk of passing the virus during this process.
    • If possible, the coach should demonstrate using a different gun.
    • If only one gun is available, the gun must be sanitised before passing the gun between shooter and coach.

  • Standing closer than 2m or even 1m. It is almost inevitable that, for technical or safety reasons, the coach will have to step in close to the shooter. Maintaining social distancing is not always possible if a new shooter inadvertently points the gun in an inappropriate direction and must be prevented from doing so. There are several things we can do to mitigate the risks:
    • More dry holding/firing before live shooting – get them used to handling the firearm and doing appropriate dry training drills before live fire will reduce the need to “step in” when on the range.
    • The shooter must wear a mask.
    • The coach must wear a mask and visor.
    • The coach must wash/sanitise their hands before working with a shooter. Also, the shooter should wash their hands before a supervised shooting session. This is to cover the eventuality where the coach must move of otherwise handle the shooters gun. The coach must wash/sanitise their hands before working with the next shooter.
  • Coaches should have their own mask, visor and other PPE. It is a good idea to provide disposable masks for shooters or encourage them to bring their own PPE. If a new shooter cannot wear a mask (and an alternative visor cannot be used e.g. when shooting a rifle) then they cannot take part.

  • “Classroom sessions” – sometimes a part of the induction is done in the club room either individually or as a group. As well as the normal Covid system used by the club, in the clubroom take particular care over:
    • Where possible training groups should be kept separate. Keep any groups to less than 6 people.
    • Ensure 2m spacing, but, if not possible (say when demonstrating or handling equipment), enforce the use of face coverings for coach and shooter (as when on the range).
    • Tables and chairs will need to be sanitised before use and at the end of each session.
    • Provide enough hand-outs, manuals and other literature to avoid sharing.

A club wishing to introduce new members needs to produce a specific risk assessment for the activity. The club will need to use this, together with the measures to mitigate the risks, within their general Covid Risk Assessment. This must be used whenever new shooters are taking part to ensure their safety and that of the other members. Make sure the shooters understand this process and any coaches involved in these sessions understand their duties. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, it covers some of the main points to consider when introducing new members. Make sure you log in all new shooters for track and trace purposes and direct them to the club QR code if available.

These measures are to be used alongside any Government, local or NSRA guidance that is in place.


NSRA Guidance for Reopening of Shooting Clubs – 23rd March 2020

Following the Government’s recent announcement relating to the Roadmap out of Lockdown, below is our guidance for clubs and members on the reopening of clubs. We have written this guidance to direct clubs on how to organise reopening and this will include some of the previous guidance. However the intention is that you can read this guidance without having to refer to any guidance previously issued.

We have to acknowledge that some clubs will still choose to remain closed to maintain the safety of participants and the public. Should you be considering opening your club, and your club committee feels the situation can be managed safely, then shooting may be recommenced in some form taking into consideration the guidance and restrictions referenced by the NSRA and the Government.

It must be realised that this won’t necessarily apply to all disciplines or to all members. Clubs have many differing disciplines, locations, facilities and circumstances under which they operate and it will not be possible for all clubs to restart all their activities at this time. The club committee has a duty of care to members and each club must decide if they are going to reopen and if their circumstances and the protocols they can put in place will meet the Government’s guidance. We must also be aware that Home Countries have different regulations that, in some instances, may preclude starting some shooting activity at all. It would be advisable to check the restrictions in place and the advice being given in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland including any local restrictions within these areas.

It is worth emphasising that some people are still classed as “clinically and/or extremely vulnerable” and are shielding. This group is still strongly advised to stay at home. However, whilst many people may still choose not to attend the range, it is up to the individual to decide whether to stay at home or not. If members of this group wish to start to engage in shooting again it is possible, provided that it is in alignment with the current government guidelines. Clubs need to be aware that the guidance for those who are currently classed as clinically/extremely vulnerable is different from that pertaining to the general public and should take this into consideration.

The decision by the Government to allow organised sport to continue was made on the premise that sports are ready to do so and can do safely, following public health guidance.  It must be noted that restricted movement is not completely over. Also, both National and Local restrictions can have a great effect on what clubs are permitted to do. This may affect indoor and outdoor facilities in different ways in different areas. Clubs should refer to the Government, local and separate NSRA Guidance on these specific issues to get an accurate picture of what they are and are not allowed to do when considering starting shooting and how to implement the standards necessary to recommence safe shooting activity. They should also be aware that some of their members may come from another area and this may affect the way in which they can take part.

Bluefin, our insurance brokers, have informed us that insurance for Club Affiliation and Individual Members is valid for any shooting activity which is carried out in accordance with Government Guidance and the NSRA Guidance that arises from it.

It is important to remember that clubs have a duty of care to volunteers and club members.  The club must ensure that the health and safety of volunteers and club members is protected and maintained at all times.

A practical framework must be established and common sense applied alongside the formal guidelines and restrictions that have been established by the Government. The following points are listed for consideration when clubs are contemplating reopening indoor facilities but clearly need to be adapted to the club’s environment. The list is not exhaustive and local conditions may require additional provisions.

  • Risk assessment - the club must assess the risk and produce a system to manage it. This is one of the primary objectives of the Government’s guidelines regarding the opening of leisure facilities. This should preferably be written down. A Risk Assessment carried out by one of the Association’s Affiliated clubs is available to download and for use by clubs as a template for their own risk assessment.  The Risk Assessment has been carried out by individuals familiar with the process of assessing risk and can be used in its entirety or in part depending on the facilities being used. A club’s plan to reopen must address all of the risks of Covid-19 and the risks that have been identified.
  • It would be useful to share your Risk Assessment with your club members to enhance their understanding of what needs to happen. All club members who are going to use the club facilities should be reminded of the guidance on social distancing and hygiene preferably before they come to the club.
  • The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for organisations on how to manage risk and risk assessment along with specific advice to help control the risk of Coronavirus in workplaces that can be easily adapted to apply to sports clubs. There is a link to this guidance at the end of these guidelines.
  • The club system of managing the return to shooting must be communicated to all people using the range.
  • Know where members are from this may affect their ability to attend the club (see National and NSRA Guidance).
  • The club must organise a booking system to manage the numbers attending the range at one time. This will need rigorously managed time slots to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. This should attempt to ensure distancing and your club’s maximum capacity should be influenced by the number of firing points and the configuration of your facilities.
  • Manage arrival and departure times including changeover to minimise contact and exposure to others.  Club members should be encouraged to wash their hands and sanitise them on arrival at the club should this be possible.
  • Manage the changeover of shooters to maintain physical distancing and sanitise any benches/tables/brass collection brushes etc. that are used. Appropriate sanitising solutions such as Chlor-Clean can be purchased on the internet.  This chemical is in tablet form enabling users to make up sufficient sanitising solution as and when required. Other brands are available but achieve the same thing.
  • The club facilities must be thoroughly cleaned before it opens to its members for the first time and cleaned after use using cleaning protocols that are easy to understand and follow.
  • No spectators or non participating children should be allowed into the club.
  • Where possible indicate movement pathways with signage (including ground markings) around the club to minimise contact between shooters.
  • Explain to members that if they, or someone in their household, has Covid-19 symptoms they should stay at home and must not attend the club under any circumstances. This includes anyone who has been told to self-isolate under the NHS test and trace service. They should inform the Club Secretary if they develop symptoms so that other members can be informed about possible contact.
  • As well as the usual mandatory signing in book, clubs should consider applying for and posting a QR Code to enable better track and trace. Details of this can be found at:
  • Where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full consider whether that activity should continue or ensure that further mitigating actions are followed including the use of screens; increasing the frequency of hand washing and sanitising; reducing the number of club members that come into contact with each other.
  • All clubs should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other in an attempt to reduce the chances of passing on the virus through aerosol and droplet transmission. 
  • Shooters should come to the club ready to shoot and avoid changing their clothes at the club. The use of changing rooms and showers should be avoided wherever possible.
  • No food or drink to be produced or consumed on the premises.
  • Promote effective hygiene to all those taking part in the activities at the club, in particular, the use of hand sanitiser.
  • Plans must be put I place to minimise contact with hard surfaces, other club users and shared equipment.
  • Restrict use of any indoor areas (e.g. target sheds, toilets etc.) to minimise the need to undertake deep cleaning on a significant and regular level
  • Access to the indoor areas must be restricted in terms the number of people to maintain social distancing (e.g. one person in the target shed at any time or only certain individuals are allowed in a certain area).
  • It will help manage the situation if access doors to indoor areas are kept open to encourage airflow.
  • Consideration must be given to how target frames or other target systems are put out and handled. Many will be too complex in shape to sanitise completely and successfully. If this is the case ensure sufficient PPE is available. Hand sanitising after handling any equipment is crucial and people using the facilities must be made aware of this.
  • Target sales. The club must consider where these are stored and how is access to these managed or prohibited to prevent transmission.
  • Maintain a minimum of 2m+ at all times between people using the range – not only when shooting but also when changing targets etc. When on the range this will mean a minimum of 1 to 3 firing points between participants.
  • The number of people on the range at any one time must be calculated both to maintain physical distancing and to comply with guidance.
  • When shooting is complete, make sure people leave. It’s nice to have a chat with friends but this will greatly increase the risk of infection.
  • Manage the opening of gates, locks, target sheds etc. and ensure they are sanitised at the end of a session.
  • Provide appropriate PPE for nominated persons carrying out duties as part of reopening. This, as a minimum requirement, must include face masks, gloves and sanitiser.
  • Provide sanitising equipment and organise disposal of cleaning cloths etc.
  • If a toilet is in use ensure that sanitising equipment is in place and used. Toilets should only be open where hand washing and deep cleaning procedures can take place.
  • Encourage the use of PPE by participants as appropriate. It is advisable that all users of indoor shooting facilities, when permitted, wear face masks.
  • If payment for use of the facilities is necessary and required use contactless payment methods or ask members to make a bank transfer for the money involved.
  • Avoid the use of club shooting equipment (e.g. guns, telescopes, mats etc.) If any club equipment is used it must be sanitised after each individual use. If the equipment cannot be sanitised than it must be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before being reissued.
  • The use of club equipment must be recorded enabling “track and trace” to take place if needed.
  • A log needs to be kept of people present at the range with their arrival and leaving times, not only for the normal completing of firearms and attendance logs, but also for “track and trace” purposes.
  • Be aware that different Home Countries may have different requirements

In the same way that shooters are keen to get back to their sport so are coaches and instructors who may wish to work with current shooters either individually or in groups. This may or may not be possible depending on the current level of restriction, where the club is situated or indeed where the coach/participants live.

Beyond that here may also be an issue with coaching individual participants less than 18 years of age. Please see our Child Protection Policy for more details. If coaches and instructors are to be present during shooting they must be taken into account when booking the range facilities and not fall outside the permitted numbers and spacing. It is insufficient for them just to turn up along with a shooter, if indeed they are allowed to be there at all. If they can be present, they must maintain safe distancing, avoid handling any shooters equipment and not be in close personal contact with their shooters at any time. They must observe all aspects of the Government and NSRA guidance along with the other people using the range. Coaches and instructors that coach at more than one club need to be extra vigilant in following the guidelines around hand washing, sanitising and contact with the shooters they are coaching.

If clubs wish to introduce new members (and the club is in an area where this is permissible) then the introduction must follow the NSRA guidance document, “Introducing New People to Shooting during Covid 19”. The club risk assessment needs to take into consideration the factors from this document when producing their risk assessment. Furthermore, if courses and training are to take place it must be in alignment with the NSRA guidance document, “Running Courses during Covid 19”.

The problem with many of these issues is the management of the situation. Don’t rely on people making up their own ways of implementing the guidance. It is often easier to have a nominated person to open and close the range, allocate firing points, book people in and book the firearms in the firearms register, disinfect and put targets out, disinfect benches and other structures after use. This limits exposure. Also the shooting needs to be supervised – not only in the normal sense of a RCO but also to ensure compliance with the very different circumstances in which we find ourselves. Shooters are used to following strict rules whilst taking part in their sport and have an excellent track record of safety. Let’s keep it that way in shooting and through this difficult time both on and off the range.

The NSRA are not experts on pandemics and therefore all UK Government and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) guidelines and directives supersede this information. The NSRA has created this set of guidelines to translate the National guidance to give recommendations to members and clubs. This document will be updated subject to more information and guidance becoming available.

The current government guidance can be found at:

Stay safe.


Running Courses during Covid 19 – 23/3/2021

Running courses during the Covid 19 pandemic clearly requires a reorganisation of the way we deliver the course material and the measures we take to avoid transmitting the virus. The following guidance, whilst not specific to any particular situation, is meant as a checklist of things to consider before and during a course at this time. Whilst every effort has been made to include as many factors as possible, course organisers should look at the type of course being considered, the environment and the candidates taking part when assessing the risk and producing a plan for the safe running of the event.

We must also be aware that the standards of the course must still be met in full and that no relaxation of these standards is permissible when tailoring the delivery to the current situation. Trainers may find they have to go the “extra mile” to keep the course safe and consistent. Whilst it may seem like a good idea to run everything remotely, most training requires interaction and assessment carrying out the role before it is clear that a candidate is competent. However, it may be that some elements of the course can be done remotely whilst maintaining the standards and pre-course reading and evaluation may be able to replace contact time. If you are considering these options contact NSRA for guidance.


Venue Risk Assessment

All venues will have already completed a risk assessment to cover normal activities during Covid. These risk assessments and the steps to be taken to mitigate any risks must be followed and communicated to all participants. Be aware that if this is not your normal club or venue they may be quite different to what you are used to. Also, candidates that are not from that environment will need to know what is expected of them in advance.


Course Risk Assessment

It is necessary to go through an assessment of the risks related specifically to the course. This is because the operating environment during a course is significantly different to standard procedures for normal activity at the venue. Again, the risk assessment and the steps to be taken to mitigate any risk must be communicated to all participants.

Most courses are a combination of classroom and range activity which can be theory and/or practical, group or individual. These may need special consideration.


General considerations
  • Is the training permissible – considering the local or National regulations that are in place?  Where is the venue and where the candidates are coming from? Do these need special arrangements to be made?
  • Is the venue big enough? You may need to use much larger venues or run course with smaller numbers to give adequate spacing. Remember, 2m spacing may look OK when people are seated but is there room to move around? Reduced numbers may adversely affect he viability of a course at a particular venue.
  • Is the venue well ventilated? Open doors and windows if possible to improve ventilation. Try to carry out activity outdoors if possible.
  • Where possible training groups should not mix with other site users.
  • Designated area for refreshments/washrooms/training/range related to the course separate from other activity.
  • All people attending courses or in training should have their own face covering, plus any other PPE that are required in alignment with Government and NSRA guidance.
  • Trainers should have their own face covering (mask and visor), plus any other PPE that are required in alignment with Government and NSRA guidance. However, it is also useful to have disposable masks available at the venue for people to use if necessary.
  • Suitable hand gel, disposable paper towels/rolls, antibacterial spray and wipes to be available throughout the course along with soap and water hand washing facilities.
  • Handling and distribution of targets and other consumables need to be considered. Sanitise hands before and after and limit access and handling of consumables.
  • Put equipment out in advance and sanitise it. Avoid employing candidates in the set-up of rooms, ranges etc.


Classroom situations

It is recommended that all participants wear face covering if they are within 2 metres of each other or take other steps to limit transmission

  • Candidates should ideally be seated at least 2 metres apart from each other, this will allow them to remove their face covering if necessary.
  • In group working try to maintain 2m spacing but, if not possible, enforce the use of face coverings.
  • Keep candidates in the same groups or syndicates. If groups have travelled together or are from the same club keep them together where possible.
  • Keep any groups to less than 6 people.
  • Use the same chairs tables, and other equipment as much as possible for each person/group. 
  • Before practical sessions (where equipment is used) trainer and candidates should wash/sanitise their hands.
  • If communal equipment is used it must be sanitised before transfer to another candidate. It is often preferable for candidates to bring as much of their own equipment as possible and not share it with others e.g. firearms, scoring gauges
  • Candidates must use their own shooting clothing – gloves, jackets etc. This also includes ear defenders and safety glasses.
  • Provide enough hand-outs, manuals and other literature to avoid sharing.
  • Trainers need to be aware of their own need to maintain social distancing and to wear the appropriate PPE.
  • Tables and chairs will need to be sanitised before use and at the end of each session.
  • Guns will need to be sanitised before use and during sessions if transferred to others. At the end of each session it is recommended to wipe down the gun with sanitiser, dry and oil it before storage. This should be done wearing a mask and with clean hands that have been washed/sanitised.
  • Participants working together less than 2 metres apart need to wear face covering.
  • Range surfaces and furniture used on the range needs to be sanitised between users.



Trainers should try to stay 2m away from candidates whenever possible. This also applies to candidates doing practical coaching sessions where they may have to work closely with others. However, if you need/or may need to step closer:

  • If you need to step inside the 2m distance wear a mask. Closer that 1m wear a mask and visor.
  • If the discipline you are coaching requires the use of safety glasses either use them as well as a visor or use a visor which has the same impact resistance.
  • Hands should be washed/sanitised before handling equipment – this is particularly important if taking control of a gun that is being held by another person. Hands should be washed/sanitised before working with the next shooter.
  • Try to have demonstration equipment that is only used by the trainer. If this is not possible it must be sanitised properly before another person uses it.
Track and Trace

This is an important aspect of the course to prevent onward transmission. Please ensure:

  • All candidates are registered and their details retained for track and trace.
  • If the venue has a QR code, encourage people to scan it.
  • Ensure candidates know that they must not attend the course that is displaying symptoms or has had a positive test.


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