Approved Clubs – New Home Office Guidance
The Home Office has just published new guidance for Approved Rifle and Pistol Clubs; key changes include:-
We are pleased that the NRA’s amendments have been accepted; the definition of “guest member” has been extended to include any member of another Approved Club; and visitors with a FAC or Visitor’s permit.
This is helpful and will allow Approved Clubs greater opportunities to broaden the use of guest membership. For example guests who are members of another Approved Club or possess a FAC or Visitor’s permit will not require one-to-one supervision, and may be invited to shoot in club competitions and events.
Clubs are required to notify the police of guest days only where the guest(s) are neither / nor members of another Approved Club or visitors with a FAC or Visitor’s permit.
The NRA Club Insurance policy covers guest membership; we will review this cover at the end of this year in the light of these new regulations.
The long standing requirement for Clubs shooting at Bisley to notify the range office of guest days continue; this allows range staff to monitor the activities / supervision of shooters without NRA Shooter Certification Cards (NRA SCC).
For the avoidance of doubt all Club members (including all categories of guests) who shoot at Bisley and MoD ranges who do not have an relevant NRA SCC must be supervised on a one-to-one basis by a club member with a relevant NRA SCC or NRA qualified instructor.
Membership Application, Cessation of Membership, Attendance and Non-Attendance
Applications for new membership to be notified to the police must now include full name with date and place of birth.
An attendance register should be kept of all members; for those members with a FAC the register should include the calibre, type and serial number of the firearm(s) used and date used. The NRA’s membership database has an online facility for members to record their shooting and includes a helpful print facility.
Clubs are required to notify the police if a membership ceases (within 1 month notice) or if the member has not shot (as soon as practicable and ideally within 1 month notice) with the club for a period of 12 months; the police will then check that FAC holders are still regularly using their firearms. This requirement does not extend to Guest Members.
Club officers are required to ensure they are aware of firearms laws relevant to the membership of the clubs and use their best efforts to ensure that all members remain of good character. The NRA’s professional staff can provide advice; contact the membership department in the first instance.
The police have good intelligence regarding the conduct of FAC holders; this is not necessarily the case with members of Approved Clubs who do not possess their own FAC and clubs should remain alert to changes in these members’ circumstances.
Ranges and Insurance
Approved clubs are expected to have access to a range deemed suitable to their approval (full bore, small bore and muzzle loading pistol); and have adequate financial arrangements (such as the NRA club insurance policy) in place to meet any injury or damage claim.
For full details of the new Home Office Guidance click here