Category Archives: Public

The NRA have provided us with a risk assessment and declaration which the MoD have now accepted for use by clubs wishing to shoot on their ranges.
The NSRA have done a similar one for the indoor ranges such as the Sheepshed and both are required by the government under the current COVID-19 regulations if we want to shoot on these two ranges.
Together these documents amount to fourteen A4 pages, but much of the wording tells us what we already know (but which legally has to be stated) or is duplicated.

The general requirements for BOTH ranges are:

  1. NO member is to attend who is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, or who is a part of a household where someone has those symptoms. In the case of a member with symptoms, they must self-isolate for SEVEN days. In the case of a member who is not displaying symptoms, yet is a member of a household where some IS, then they must self-isolate for FOURTEEN days.
  2. Members MUST book a place at least 24 hours before the shoot.
  3. Any member who falls into the above situations after they have attended a shoot in the previous TEN days must inform the club, who must keep a record for the “track & trace system.
  4. Face masks must be worn in some circumstances.
  5. No food or drink is to be consumed at either premises.
  6. There will be NO club ammunition available until the restrictions are changed. (Soon, we hope.)
  7. There will be NO range fees.
  8. Strict social distancing must be enforced.
  9. Members must provide their own guns, ammunition, protective and other equipment.
  10. Bookings MUST be made in advance – NO turning up unannounced.
  11. NO sharing of equipment.

    For Sealand there are specific requirements:
  12. Social distancing of TWO metres (NOT as above!)
  13. NO probationary members.
  14. Shooters must carry their competency card.
  15. Only one shooter per firing point
  16. Only one marker per target in the butts.
  17. All targets, pointers and target frames to be sanitised after each marking detail.
  18. Each butt marker must sanitise their hands before and after each marking detail.
  19. No spectators or guests are allowed.
  20. All waste to be placed in sealed bags and removed by the club.
  21. Shooters must provide their own disinfectant spray/gel/wipes etc.
  22. The shed should have no more than five people in it at any one time. Members must shoot in timed squads – which means that everyone on a shooting detail must start and finish at the same time.
  23. Club radios must be sanitised and kept in a ziploc bag (also sanitised.)
  24. Masks to be worn in the butts.
  25. A maximum of THIRTY people attending at one time – including ROs etc.
  26. There are a number of other rules and regulations which will affect the ROs and the club officials, but they should not affect members in general.
    Targets-
  27. The matter of preserving targets is a difficult one: sanitising them is obviously not practical, so for the duration of the crisis we will have to rely on accurate and prompt marking. Butts parties to note!
    If two or more members have an arrangement that one will photograph the others’ target in the butts then send it to the shooter – that’s fine: sharing mobiles however is not fine, as viewing a target on someone else’s mobile will require a distance of less than two metres.

    As for the Sheepshed:
  28. Our first Sheepshed shoot is on Wednesday 29th July – an evening shoot starting at 19:00. You must let us know at least 24 hours in advance if you want to come along, with places allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. If we find that we get fully booked, we’ll post that as a notice on the website.
  29. Only a 15 shooters can attend due to the limited area of the clubroom and range –
  30. Members must sanitise their hands on arrival at the clubroom.
  31. Due to the narrow corridor outside, no-one must leave the clubroom without permission from Mary.
  32. Anyone wishing to enter the clubroom must first get permission from Mary – through the window at the range end of the room.
  33. No-one must enter or leave the range itself without permission of the RO.
  34. When a detail leaves the range, they must NOT enter the narrow corridor outside the clubroom but wait – suitably distanced – near the entrance until Mary gives permission for them to enter. This will not be done until the next detail has entered the range.
  35. Social distancing of 1+ metres will apply at all times, except for members of the same household.
  36. There will be a set of targets available in the range and once you have taken one, you must not replace it or hand it to anyone else. You must take your targets away with you at the end of the shoot.
  37. The toilet cannot be used.
  38. Members must take their own waste paper etc away with them.
  39. Air rifles are of course permitted.

    In order to get us started shooting again we have had to sign up to an agreement that we will do ALL of the above – plus several other requirements relating to Risk Assessments, record keeping etc.

    We know these conditions seem strict, but as they get us shooting again, then that’s a beginning. It’s certain that the COID-19 regulations will change as the law requires them to be reviewed every twenty-one days, but remember that a review does not necessarily mean a change, although so far – it has!

Deactivated Firearms Guidance

The latest (last!?) EU legislation on deactivated firearms is complex and confusing, but the Deactivated Weapons Association (DWA) has put together a guide to what should be notified and when – see the tables at the bottom of this page.)

We may be officially “out” of the EU, but we’re still in the transition period sat the moment (18/2/20) and this particular law was enacted before we left.

You’ll note that the “who” to notify hasn’t been included, but now that’s been made (nearly) clear at – Deactivatedfirearmsnotifications@homeoffice.gov.uk

You should use the forms provided at – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0102019-firearms-regulations-2019-and-the-firearms-amendment-no2-rules-2019

What possible way this can enhance public safety is – to say the least – questionable, but it prevents the UK having to pay a massive fine to the EU if they haven’t “done something” to comply.
This is the very least they could do to comply with the legislation and still avoid that fine.

Possession
Type of Deactivation? Notify? When to Notify?
UK legacy specifications deactivated prior to 7th April 2016 No N/A
2010 UK Specification (for firearms outside the scope of the EU Regulation – mortars, flare pistols, launchers, etc.) deactivated from 8th April 2016 No N/A
EU Regulation 2015/2403 (EU Spec 1) deactivated from 8th April 2016 to 27th June 2018 Yes BUT Not before March 14th 2021
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 28th June 2018 to 13th September 2018 Yes March 14th 2021 if taken into your possession by 13/09/18 or from now if taken into your possession on or after 14/09/18
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 14th September 2018 Yes Now
Transfer (for more than 14 days)
Type of Deactivation? Notify? When to Notify?
UK legacy specifications deactivated prior to 7th April 2016 No N/A
2010 UK Specification (for firearms outside the scope of the EU Regulation – mortars, flare pistols, launchers, etc.) deactivated from 8th April 2016 No N/A
EU Regulation 2015/2403 (EU Spec 1) deactivated from 8th April 2016 to 27th June 2018 No N/A
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 28th June 2018 to 13th September 2018 Yes From now upon sale/transfer
EU Regulation 2018/337 (EU Spec 2) deactivated from 14th September 2018 Yes From now upon sale/transfer

“Lever Release” and “Bump Stock” rifles

On our behalf, the British Shooting Sports Council [BSSC] has been looking into the status of the hand-in and compensation scheme for these rifles which were prohibited under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.

The BSSC were originally told that this scheme would be announced towards the end of 2019 and would become active in February/March 2020.

The Home Office have told the BSSC that further legislation is required before the scheme can come into effect. Consequently, they cannot be more precise at the moment.

However they hope to be able to launch the scheme ‘in the Spring’ [no mention of which year !] and will provide more detail in due course.

When we hear anything we’ll post it here.

Please Note !

Have you got any de-activated firearms?

If so, you’ll need to look at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0102019-firearms-regulations-2019-and-the-firearms-amendment-no2-rules-2019

Because of the EU law ( Directive (EU) 2017/853 ) which we have already accepted, we are now subjected to the ridiculous system of recording items which were not controlled or registered – until now.

Below are some edited extracts from the circular, but note that they are NOT the law – you will need to look at the whole thing.

(Firearms which were deactivated prior to 8 April 2016 are not covered by these provisions. )

The notification of the transfer of a deactivated firearm only applies to those acquired since 14 September 2018.

A person commits an offence if they are in possession of a deactivated firearm unless they have given notice to the appropriate authority or the transfer has already been notified by the person who previously possessed it.

In practice this means that details of deactivated firearms acquired between 8 April 2016 (the date the EU technical specifications came into effect) and 14 September 2018, and which have remained unaltered ever since do not need to be notified to the appropriate national authority until 14 March 2021. If at any time before that date they transfer the deactivated firearm then they will need to notify the Home Office of the transfer.

It is an offence if a person transfers a deactivated firearm to another and does not give notice to the appropriate national authority (Home Office). A person guilty of an offence is liable to a fine of up to £200.

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.

 

Twittubeface

As an experiment, I’ve started a twitter account under the “tag” @ShootersPhoenix .

It may be of use to us – I don’t know – but please, if you think it’s any use (or if you think it’s a waste of time !)  let us know.