Dear NSRA Club,
The Offensive Weapons Bill is to be debated on Monday 15th October 2018. The following amendment, which is the new Clause 3 and which had been unsuccessful in the previous debate, has been re-tabled.
The proposed amendment, if accepted, will eliminate the use of Section 11(4) exemption, which is in wide use by NSRA affiliated clubs and organisations, including Scouts and Cadets. Many affiliated clubs benefit from the use of Section 11(4) exemption certificates issued by the NSRA. Any amendment to this valuable legislation will have a significant impact on the management of affiliated clubs and groups.
I have reproduced the amendment below for your information, in addition to providing information on the impact that the loss of the exemption will cause to clubs and organisations.
This is an issue which directly affects airgun and rimfire shooting and must be resisted. The NSRA has made a separate submission to the debate in the hope that the importance of this legislation is not lost on those debating the issue.
I should be most grateful if you will take the time to raise this very important issue with your local MP as a matter of urgency.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
I. R. ROOT
SECTION 11(4) - PROPOSED AMENDMENT
New Clause 3
To move the following Clause-
“Controls on miniature rifles and ammunition
1. The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows.
2. Omit subsection (4) of the section 11 (Sports, athletics and other approved activities)”.
Member’s explanatory statement
This new clause would amend the Firearms Act 1968 to remove the exemption on miniature rifle ranges, preventing individuals without a firearms certificate from being able to acquire and possess semi-automatic rifles without a check by police.
INFORMATION YOU MAY WISH TO USE WHEN WRITING TO YOUR MP
CLUBS AND TARGET SHOOTING ORGANISATIONS
Section 11(4) provides clubs and organizations with the means to introduce newcomers and youth organizations to the sport of target shooting in a controlled and supervised manner.
Currently, Home Office Approval guidance permits 12 guest days per year. This is inadequate for Home Office approved clubs who wish to accept newcomers to the sport on a regular basis. The use of Section 11(4) by a properly organized and registered club provides the opportunity for individuals to experience the use of firearms for target shooting in a safe environment where they are taught responsibility and safe handling of firearms under strict supervision.
The loss of Section 11(4) exemption will very much reduce the opportunity for individuals and organized bodies to participate in the sport of target shooting.
Great Britain and the home countries have achieved much success in target shooting on the international stage, including at Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup events.
This success is primarily due to the established training structure, during which potential athletes are identified and introduced to a flexible shooting training programme. To enable this training to begin at grass roots level and to identify talent across the nation, it is essential that training facilities can be established using Section 11(4) exemption as this allows a greater capture of grass roots talent in many areas of the country.
British Shooting leads on talent identification on behalf of UK Sport and Sport England. The Pathway programme relies on early talent identification at grass roots level.
The Scout movement in the UK use Section 11(4) extensively as a tool to improve responsibility, concentration and character. The Scouts Annual Shooting Championships engage approximately 1,000 scouts in competition. The movement uses Section 11(4) to cater for the vast number of Scouts who wish to participate in target shooting sports.
If individuals and organised groups are no longer able to attend grass roots training and assessment across the country, this will severely reduce the capture of potential talent in an Olympic discipline in which we excel.