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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:17 am 
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https://nra.org.uk/home-office-public-c ... -guidance/


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:03 am 
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posted up...

Home Office Public Consultation – Firearms Safety Guidance to NRA Members and Affiliates December 2020

NRA members, affiliates and the wider shooting community are encouraged to respond to the Public Consultation on Firearms Safety found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... rms-safety

Our opinions and arguments will be persuasive if made by large numbers of sensible voices – do not leave it to others to have your views heard – deadline 16th February 2021.

BACKGROUND

The Government, whilst recognising that UK firearms laws are among the toughest in the world, is seeking the views of the shooting community and wider public on four substantive issues, namely:-

High Muzzle Energy rifles (over 10,000 ft-lbs / 13,600J – not to be confused with the limit of the same name but of 4500J-7000J imposed on military gallery ranges) – enhanced security for .50” calibre and similar rifles
Air Weapons – use by young people and safe storage
Miniature Rifle Ranges – licensing of operators for rifles and ammunition
Ammunition Components – reducing the risk of criminal assembly of ammunition

Having consulted with other shooting organisations, we have set out below the key points that you may wish to include in your response.

HIGH MUZZLE ENERGY (HME) RIFLES

Firearm security

The Firearms Security Handbook describes three broad levels of security. The Handbook says they are not intended to be prescriptive, but rather to provide guidance on what might be considered proportionate in each case.

Level 3 security

In the case of most certificate holders, security to levels 1 or 2 is appropriate. However, if the risk is assessed as being greater due to additional factors such as higher crime rate, increased risk of burglary, or a large number of firearms held, then the Handbook indicates that “the following should be considered as well as the previous level of security: a) Dividing the risk, for example by the provision of separate cabinets, perhaps in different locations within the premises, to break down the number of firearms per enclosure. b) Additional target hardening of the storage (cabinet with individual gun locks, or extending to a gun room). c) Protected by an intruder alarm or equivalent and ideally monitored by a NSI monitoring centre with an appropriate response.”

For HME rifles, it is appropriate that that security requirements are proportionate, not overly prescriptive and reflect the individual circumstances of each case. Therefore elements of level 3 security may be considered for those with HME rifles.

The Consultation asks for views about certain additional security requirements. Our view on these is as follows:

A requirement for shutters, grilles and CCTV would place an unreasonable cost burden upon certificate holders. It may be impractical in conservation areas or listed buildings and would potentially draw attention to a property as potentially containing items worth stealing.
Panic alarms are impractical on the remote ranges where HME rifle users operate; nearly every shooter has a mobile phone.
It is reasonable that a critical component such as the bolt or breechblock should be kept separately from the receiver of the rifle, both in storage and transport. Given that separation of the critical components renders the firearm non-functional and that the risk being mitigated is that of criminal misuse, such separation is significant mitigation.
It is unreasonable and impractical for parts of a certificate holder’s rifle to be stored by other club members or by an RFD. That would necessitate components having to be retrieved possibly several days before a shoot, perhaps only during RFD opening hours, returned afterwards and stored at the certificate holder’s premises in the interim.
It is reasonable that ammunition should be kept in a separate secure cabinet from the rifle. The amount of ammunition that a certificate holder can possess is already restricted.
The ranges used in long range target shooting with .50” calibre and other HME rifles are typically in remote locations, where facilities for storage of rifles are not available. Were such facilities to be developed on site, the firearms would be stored in a remote, unmanned place rendering them potentially far more vulnerable to theft.

AIR WEAPONS

Airgun shooting is one of the most popular shooting activities in the UK. Both professional and amateur pest controllers commonly use airguns, mainly due to their quiet operation and the low cost of ammunition. Airguns are also used for both recreational and formal target shooting, the latter to Olympic level. The UK boasts World and European champions in almost all airgun target shooting disciplines. Airgun shooting is also the perfect introduction for young people into the sport of shooting, where all the basic principles – including safety – can be taught at low cost and with only minimal space and protective measures. Many of today’s shooters started their shooting career with an airgun.

Use of airguns by young people

The law on airguns and young people is already strict and was carefully considered by Parliament when age limits were amended in 2003. Those aged 14-17 may only borrow an airgun for unsupervised use on private premises where they have permission to shoot.
A person under 18 may not buy an airgun or be given one as a gift.
They (and any persons) commit an offence if they fire a pellet beyond the boundary of the property where they have permission.
They cannot carry an airgun in a public place unless supervised by someone aged 21 or over.

We feel that the present law is adequate but that it should be better enforced.

Airgun safety

All firearms, including airguns, must be stored securely, and we agree that when young people under 18 are on the premises airguns should be:

Locked to prevent use, for example in a secure cupboard, by having a trigger lock or securicord fitted, and
Kept out of sight

We agree that the Government should work with airgun manufacturers and the gun trade to improve airgun safety.

MINIATURE RIFLE RANGES

The law currently allows people operating a ‘miniature rifle range’ to acquire and possess rifles and ammunition less than .23 inches in calibre without holding a Firearm Certificate. It also allows people to use rifles on such a range without holding a Firearm Certificate. This exemption (Firearms Act 1968 S11(4)) provides a valuable opportunity for introduction into the sport of shooting for Scouts, Cadets, youth organisations, schools, colleges and universities as well as the wider public via Home Office approved clubs, clubs operating exclusively under the exemption and small businesses which operate commercial ranges. The Government is supportive of these aspects of the exemption; that is welcome.

However, we recognise concerns that a person who does not hold a Firearm Certificate, and thus has neither been vetted nor placed under legal obligation, may purchase or acquire or possess small calibre (typically .22RF) rifles and ammunition.

We agree that the operator of a miniature rifle range should hold a Firearm Certificate in order to purchase, acquire and possess firearms and ammunition. That would ensure that they were subject to the same checks as other firearm owners and that they could be held responsible for the security of the firearms and ammunition. We do not agree that the person running such a range under the direction of the operator should also be required to hold a Firearm Certificate.

Miniature rifle ranges have traditionally used .22 rimfire rifles. We agree that this should remain the case and would be content for that to be enshrined in legislation provided that lesser-powered firearms (eg air pistols and air rifles) were not accidentally excluded.
Self-loading .22 rimfire rifles are widely used in competition, as well as for other purposes such as pest control. We contend that they should continue to be considered ‘miniature rifles’ for the purposes of this provision.

AMMUNITION COMPONENTS

Large numbers of full bore target shooters load centre fire ammunition. They do so to save costs, improve accuracy and provide a source of ammunition (for example for vintage or historic firearms) that is not commercially available. Viable ammunition requires both a primer and a propellant, and these are already controlled. Primers for metallic cartridges and primed cases may only be acquired on presentation of a Firearm Certificate. An explosives licence is necessary in order to acquire and keep black powder. Smokeless powders are controlled under Explosives Regulations 2014 for acquisition by certificate or permit holders only.

Assembled ammunition may only be possessed with a suitably conditioned Firearm Certificate. Any ammunition loaded must conform to the calibre and quantity specified on the Firearm Certificate and cartridges must be stored securely to prevent access to them by unauthorised persons.

Shooters who hold the relevant valid certificates, permits and licences, and load ammunition authorised by their certificates do not commit an offence. However, inert components of ammunition such as cartridge cases, bullets, shot or wads, are not controlled and are possessed by many people. That possession may be entirely unconnected with shooting activities; empty cases and inert items consisting of an unprimed case with a bullet inserted are routinely incorporated in ammunition collections, clothing, souvenirs and works of art.

Any legislation designed to criminalise those with intent to manufacture unauthorised ammunition must be drafted in such a way that it does not inadvertently criminalise those who lawfully possess ammunition or component parts of it, or who intend to manufacture authorised rounds. In particular, simple possession by such a person of components sufficient to assemble ammunition in excess of the limit of their certificate should be explicitly excluded from the definition of “intent” in any legislation.
Any such legislation should apply only in cases where a person possesses all the necessary components and has criminal intent.



Andrew Mercer

Secretary General

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:57 pm 
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I've just circulated this to my Club members, copied in to Andrew Mercer. I'm disappointed that the NRA is rolling over to accept more firearms controls.

>>>>>
Please see the attached response from the NRA regarding the current Home Office consultation on Firearms Safety.

Please take the time to respond to the Home Office consultation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... rms-safety

In my opinion, the NRA’s response remains too weak, rolling over to accept greater regulation on key issues. I would point out that the consultation paper provide no actual evidence of the scale of any of the issues it tries to address. In fact there are already prescriptive controls over all the aspects within the consultation, but these are not enforced.

1. HME Security. The NRA accepts ‘that elements of level 3 security may be considered for HME rifles’. In doing so it accepts that HME rifles are a special case and just sets them up for additional future controls. There is no evidence that HME rifles are being targeted by criminals. My understanding is that for the single example of an HME rifle that was stolen, the rifle was later found abandoned (ie as being useless to the criminal). Also consider the size of these rifles. The availability of ammunition for them. The highly specialised nature of their use, requiring considerable training and expertise to use.

2. Airgun Shooting. The consultation proposes that airguns should be locked in rifle cabinets and that 14-18 year olds should not be allowed to use them unsupervised. The example used is the tragic case of a teenager killed when messing around with an airgun with his friends. It’s an obvious simple fact that had the rifle been secured as the law currently requires this would not have happened. Equally, had it not been loaded. Additional laws will not make the situation any less likely to happen. Regarding supervision, this proposal would continue to throttle shooting.

3. Miniature rifle ranges: Again the Home Office is proposing a solution without identifying a problem and the NRA agrees that operators of these ranges should hold FAC’s. In my opinion this will inevitably lead to fewer of these ranges, meaning that fewer people will be able to attend ‘taster’ sessions and so go on to join our Clubs. Remember that there are now controls on ‘Guests’ attending shooting clubs – this is an attack on grass-roots shooting which again will throttle our sport.

4. Ammunition components: In effect the proposal is to put empty cases and bullets within the same licensing regime as loaded ammunition. There are already controls on the ‘explosive’ parts of a round. The only impact of this is going to be on the legitimate shooters wanting to buy components. If a criminal can already obtain powders & primers, then getting bullets and cases will not present a significant challenge to them will it? The NRA again accepts the Home Office argument that such components are worthy of control but requests that FAC holders should be excluded.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:38 pm 
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Home club or Range: The Highlands of Scotland. Cycling Proficiency 1964. Felton & District rifle club. HBSA full voting member. Durham Constabulary Gun Club Catterick. Teesdale Pistol and Rifle club.
I will echo the above points, once again they roll over and loose on our behalf, as soon as you subscribe to the the premis that guns in and of them selves are dangerous then you have lost the argument.

None of our national bodies have any rectitude let alone balls this wishy washy response document is a disgrace and only marginally better that doing nothing. Instead of playing semantics around the proposal they should be getting to the nub of the issue, it is the lack of enforcement of the current system and laws that will help public safety not trying to stop shooting by chipping away 'till it withers on the vine.

Why aren't the NRA raising these key issues and challenging these cynical back door assaults for what the really are, a dogma driven anti gun agenda rather masquerading as a public safety issue.

Yet again we come as forelock tugging supplicants hoping for some crumbs of largesse from this anti gun table.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:43 pm 
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I was waiting to see the NRA response and while I am not entirely in agreement with all that they have written I think it is a considered response. I cannot say the same about the response that was posted by BASC some weeks ago, I found that very disappointing and was rather angry about it at the time of reading it. Frankly I think that Bill Harriman has just given up and hoisted the white flag. So glad now that I decided to discontinue wasting my money on membership of that organisation a few years back.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:43 pm
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Location: Bisley
Home club or Range: NRA Bisley
Triffid wrote:
I've just circulated this to my Club members, copied in to Andrew Mercer. I'm disappointed that the NRA is rolling over to accept more firearms controls.

>>>>>
Please see the attached response from the NRA regarding the current Home Office consultation on Firearms Safety.

Please take the time to respond to the Home Office consultation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... rms-safety

In my opinion, the NRA’s response remains too weak, rolling over to accept greater regulation on key issues. I would point out that the consultation paper provide no actual evidence of the scale of any of the issues it tries to address. In fact there are already prescriptive controls over all the aspects within the consultation, but these are not enforced.

1. HME Security. The NRA accepts ‘that elements of level 3 security may be considered for HME rifles’. In doing so it accepts that HME rifles are a special case and just sets them up for additional future controls. There is no evidence that HME rifles are being targeted by criminals. My understanding is that for the single example of an HME rifle that was stolen, the rifle was later found abandoned (ie as being useless to the criminal). Also consider the size of these rifles. The availability of ammunition for them. The highly specialised nature of their use, requiring considerable training and expertise to use.

2. Airgun Shooting. The consultation proposes that airguns should be locked in rifle cabinets and that 14-18 year olds should not be allowed to use them unsupervised. The example used is the tragic case of a teenager killed when messing around with an airgun with his friends. It’s an obvious simple fact that had the rifle been secured as the law currently requires this would not have happened. Equally, had it not been loaded. Additional laws will not make the situation any less likely to happen. Regarding supervision, this proposal would continue to throttle shooting.

3. Miniature rifle ranges: Again the Home Office is proposing a solution without identifying a problem and the NRA agrees that operators of these ranges should hold FAC’s. In my opinion this will inevitably lead to fewer of these ranges, meaning that fewer people will be able to attend ‘taster’ sessions and so go on to join our Clubs. Remember that there are now controls on ‘Guests’ attending shooting clubs – this is an attack on grass-roots shooting which again will throttle our sport.

4. Ammunition components: In effect the proposal is to put empty cases and bullets within the same licensing regime as loaded ammunition. There are already controls on the ‘explosive’ parts of a round. The only impact of this is going to be on the legitimate shooters wanting to buy components. If a criminal can already obtain powders & primers, then getting bullets and cases will not present a significant challenge to them will it? The NRA again accepts the Home Office argument that such components are worthy of control but requests that FAC holders should be excluded.


The only items that the NRA endorses re HME rifles is the separation of the receiver, working parts and ammunition, which provides, as a single step, significant mitigation of the perceived risk. One might infer therefore that once that is done any other additional security is redundant.

The NRA does not endorse any measures that are not already law or guidance in respect of airguns.

Following the "M25 Hooligans" case earlier this year, where a court was unable to convict on a charge of unauthorised possession - the defence of operating a miniature rifle range seems to have been accepted by the jury despite massive effort to convince them otherwise - I'm afraid that the completely uncontrolled nature of the S11(4) exemption is a dead duck. If some limited control is not put in place, we risk (as the Shadow Home Secretary has proposed every time she gets an opportunity) that the entire thing is repealed. Requiring a FAC (or, it could be argued an RFD) to purchase or acquire the rifles and ammo, while leaving the possession and use uncontrolled is a simple way to bring oversight of those relying on the exemption while minimising impact on the end-users.

The ammo proposal is absolutely not to bring cases and bullet within the same regime. It is to make it an offence to possess them with intent to assemble unauthorised ammunition. The problem from the enforcement point of view is that intent is notoriously difficult to prove, and no doubt the police will seek to have what constitutes intent drawn as widely as possible. The problem from the lawful shooter point of view is that capability may be mistaken for intent. So we need to kill that latter possibility before any draft legislation goes public.

The government runs consultations on all manner of proposals. The number of responses is usually fairly small. We need everyone who can be persuaded to respond to this in a reasoned manner, assertive not aggresive.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:13 pm 
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Quote:

The only items that the NRA endorses re HME rifles is the separation of the receiver, working parts and ammunition, which provides, as a single step, significant mitigation of the perceived risk. One might infer therefore that once that is done any other additional security is redundant.


If this is so then why wasn't the same approach taken with LR. From what I am led to believe, the NRA accepted the HO "put up or shut up" line and even went so far as to turn down opportunities re media / adaptive shooters and so forth.

Whilst the FCSA challenged at committee stage for evidence, the same was not so of others (the NRA was there) in respect of LR.

I have to say that there is hardly a track record of the NRA fighting tooth and nail to save anything... In my opinion, it even does the shooting community a dis-service by holding itself out as "the" national representative for shooters rights, when infact a re-brand to the Bisley Gun Club may be more appropriate. That said, there is hardly a track record of any shooting body doing any better and looking outside of their own silo of interest.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:25 pm 
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BooBoo wrote:
Quote:


Whilst the FCSA challenged at committee stage for evidence, the same was not so of others (the NRA was there) in respect of LR.



Unless I completely missed something, the NRA was not invited to give evidence at committee stage.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:48 pm 
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BooBoo wrote:
Quote:

The only items that the NRA endorses re HME rifles is the separation of the receiver, working parts and ammunition, which provides, as a single step, significant mitigation of the perceived risk. One might infer therefore that once that is done any other additional security is redundant.


If this is so then why wasn't the same approach taken with LR. From what I am led to believe, the NRA accepted the HO "put up or shut up" line and even went so far as to turn down opportunities re media / adaptive shooters and so forth.



I would have thought that was obvious. Here we are arguing the merits and necessity of security measures. In MARS / LR we were trying to counter a view that they were a means to subvert the 1988 ban on semi-automatics. There was Youtube footage from owners ("look how fast I can shoot") that tended rather effectively to confirm that view. Media was thus a lost cause before start. We sought evidence from adaptive shooters, and while what we got was well-presented and persuasive, the number of responses was trivial as a proportion of the number of firearms. The case was made, best as we could with what we had, and failed.

The NRA did not "accept the HO ... line". But one has to have an arguable position that MPs will recognise in substantial numbers. We didn't.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:51 pm 
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IainWR wrote:
Unless I completely missed something, the NRA was not invited to give evidence at committee stage.


Did they ask to be considered to give evidence?


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