Category Archives: Club News

Phoenix Shooters Association club news.

What was all that about?

We have received this today from the NRA.

[The MoD] have just confirmed that as long as the civilian firearm does not exceed the ME limit for the range , which for Sealand is 4500J, and that restrictions in range orders are followed ( no firing beyond the 300M Firing Point )  calibres like .303 are permitted. The onus is on the RCO to make sure that no one is using a firearm and ammunition that exceeds 4500J on the range.

We are still waiting for confirmation that the restriction on Black Powder has been lifted….

Since we have not been able to use High Muzzle Energy (HME) firearms at Sealand for over 20 years, it makes little or no difference to us now. The Muzzle-Loading bit is probably because they don’t know if any of them can exceed the HME limit……

As for ” no firing beyond the 300M Firing Point ” that’s interesting; the MoD have just spent (wasted?) a fair bit of time, energy and money to provide a 400 Metre firing point on B range, as well as re-writing range orders and installing barriers and extra safety procedures to allow this. Well, if this firing point is now to be abandoned, at least we had a chance to use it once.

AntiSocial media

Can we once again make a plea to any member who posts on social media? PLEASE – DO NOT POST ANYTHING RELATING TO YOUR SHOOTING ACTIVITIES WITH THE CLUB. If you bring a guest along – please acquaint them with this.

It’s not that people who post such stuff act maliciously, it’s just that the police, criminals and those opposed to our sport can use your information in ways that wasn’t intended by the poster.

Light-hearted comments meant as a joke are often seen differently from the original intent: Just try telling an airport security officer that you have bombs in both shoes and that you’re employed by Al-Qaeda. You may not see the funny side when the rubber gloves are being pulled on…..

The Police DO monitor Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube etc, and use that information when looking at the grant, renewal or variation of YOUR firearm and/or shotgun certificates.

AND….. it’s not just what you post: a BASC member had his certificates revoked because of “criminal associates.” These turned out to be Facebook “friends” – of whom he had hundreds, and he had no idea that among them were criminals. (BASC got his certs back later)

Think about that a moment.

Your Facebook pages, for example:
Showing you shooting
Showing you drinking in different pubs and clubs
Showing you out of the country on holiday
Showing your latest car/motorbike
Showing you outside your home
Hearing that you are depressed about your football team’s performance
Seeing you tagged with others who you don’t know

….. and that’s just criminals looking. The Police can see this as well, and have greater powers and technology to dig even deeper. They can – and do – use such posts as supporting evidence for prosecutions and certificate revocations.

At Phoenix we keep rules and regulations to the absolute minimum – enough to cover the law, safety , sportsmanship and good manners.
It is coming to the point where we may have to say in the future that NO photographs can be taken at our shoots.

PLEASE – THINK about the above before you post anything on social media.



The “calibre” ban at Sealand Ranges.

What we DO know –

This is what the NRA circulated, having received a two-line e-mail from MoD Wales and West – explaining little else .

Clubs licenced to use MoD ranges in Wales and the West Midlands should be aware that a temporary restriction on all firearms that exceed 7.62mm calibre is now in place. The restriction includes muzzle loading firearms and High Muzzle Energy firearms.  A review of ME and MV limits for all ranges is under way.   Please ensure that all shoots comply with the new restriction.  More details to follow as they become available.

What we DON’T know

  1. Why this temporary ban has been imposed
  2. What risk or danger this is intended to address
  3. Why it only refers to Wales and West Midlands MoD ranges
  4. If it this means ALL muzzle-loading firearms are prohibited
  5. Exactly what “exceeding 7.62mm” means.

What we believe to be true:

  1. The NRA have taken the matter up at national level, and will be having a meeting with senior MoD officers on 21st October.
  2. That some in the MoD believe that it is the measurement of calibre – the actual, physical bore of the firearm – is what is being used as a yardstick
  3. 7.62 Nato bullets are 7.82mm – thus exceeding the ban limit if 2. is true.
  4. To date, no formal MoD safety notice has yet been issued as far as we know.
  5. There appears to be considerable confusion within the MoD.
  6. The Muzzle-Loaders Association of Great Britain are also taking the matter up.
  7. BASC, the NRA and MLAGB are aware of the situation.
  8. That we MUST (somehow) comply with this nebulous and confusing order.

Clay dates at Phil’s place

These are the provisional dates we have for the winter clay shoots –

All Saturdays

9th November 2019 Sorry, this date is NOT available.

14th December 2019 Sorry, this date is NOT available.

28th December 2019

8th  February 2020

29th  February 2020

28th  March 2020

However, since the MoD have proved so difficult with our Sealand bookings this year, we MAY have to exchange some of these dates in order to use them for Sealand – or vice-versa!

Clubs “Good Practice Guide.”

This document was put together by the Metropolitan Police Firearms Enquiry Team together with representatives from the British Shooting Sports Council.

You may recognise one or two of the photos in the guide, so you can guess where the main input from the BSSC came from.

I’d particularly like to bring to your attention a statement in the foreword-

“We must do whatever we can reasonably do to support the continued lawful practice of target shooting, whilst protecting public safety.”

Rob Atkin MBE (T. Commander, Met police Armed Policing)

The whole document rests on honest and clear co-operation between the police and the clubs, and if all police forces and clubs were to adopt this guide, we’d be in a much better place than we are at present.

Met Police Clubs Good Practice Guide.

This document is worth reading as it explains a lot about the relationship between clubs and firearms licensing departments, and while the Home Office have started to charge for things which weren’t chargeable before, the main thrust of the guide remains good.

More tax (attacks?) on Target Shooting Clubs

The Home Office have just published their response to the consultation of various fees for Firearms related businesses, clubs and schools.

They are –
Club 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. to quote the Home Office – “The review led to fees that are approximately 58% lower than those proposed in the consultation.”

We have always tried had to keep costs to a bare minimum to Phoenix members, but these extras will have to be factored into our subscriptions or range fees over the coming  years.  but basically it means that our costs will rise by £60 a year, although paid out in a lump sum every six years – 2020 being our next renewal.

That’s £60 a year we will not be able to use for the benefit of the club or the sport.

 

The Sealand dates we have asked for from May Onwards

The current system of booking ranges at Sealand has become bureaucratic and slow.  Previously we put our bids in for a year (as we did this year) and were provided with one calendar for the year.

Now, having submitted our bids for the year they are being sent out roughly monthly, a month at a time which makes planning difficult. We still  (9/4/19) don’t have our May dates yet.

To try to help you we’ve listed the dates we’ve bid for below, but we can’t guarantee that we’ll be granted all of them.

Sealand B Range 11th May 2019
Sealand A Range 25th May 2019
Sealand A Range 8th June 2019
Sealand B Range 22nd June 2019
Sealand A Range 6th July 2019
Sealand A Range 20th July 2019
Sealand A Range 3rd August 2019
Sealand B Range 10th August 2019
Sealand A Range 7th September 2019
Sealand A Range 21st September 2019
Sealand A Range 5th October 2019
Sealand B Range 19th October 2019
Sealand A Range 2nd November 2019
Sealand A Range 16th November 2019
Sealand A Range 30th November 2019
Sealand A Range 7th December 2019
Sealand A Range 21st December 2019