Stourport On Severn Pistol & Rifle Club Newsletter
M L A G B Newsletter
Welcome to the MLAGB April 2018 Newsletter
April is here, the clocks have gone forward, the 'Beast from The East' came and went, and the new shooting season is very much here. The UKPSA Postal Competitions for LBF and Shotgun get underway this month - see the Events Section below for details.
The UKPSA Winter Postal Competition was a great success for the club. In the Practical Shotgun Competition, we had 10 entries, taking 7 of the top 30 Places, including 5th and 7th. In the Standard Manual a Stourport Shooter took 3rd Place. In the LBF Competition we had 14 entries. In the .22 Rifle Open Division we had 7 entries, all placing in the top 50, our highest being 11th. In .22 Rifle Standard we took 2nd and 5th place, in LBR we took 2nd Place and in LBP 4th and 16th. This is excellent for the individuals and the club.
Full details in the SPRC Results section below.
Report on West Mercia & Warwickshire Firearms & Explosives Licencing Independent Advisory Group Meeting on 22nd March 2018
Very pleased to report that processing of renewals and new applications has continued and if you get your renewal forms back within a week of receiving them, you should get the licence within 8 weeks. They reported a take up of about 80% of people asked are agreeing to have shorter periods for their licence to even out the workload over a five year period. If they are awaiting a GP’s letter / response for some reason, they will issue a temporary certificate which will allow purchase of ammunition. We are all aware of the problems of getting GP letters – some charge for these, others do not even bother to respond. Therefore, if the police request a letter from your GP and there is no reply within 21 days, they are now assuming everything is OK. Common sense at last! However, there is likely to be a requirement in the future (done via a change in legislation) for licence holders to obtain a GP letter as part of the licence application – a bit like getting a doctors certificate for a HGV application. The BMA’s comments on the subject keep changing but generally revolve around how much to charge As you will be aware, in Scotland they have licencing for air weapons. Currently, it is a bit of a shambles in policing this as they do not know who holds air rifles, etc. However, it was advised that the licencing is “proving its worth” preventing some undesirable persons having air weapons. So, surprise surprise the various police forces in England and Wales are pushing hard for all air rifles and guns to be like wise licenced, not only those putting out more than 12 ft. lbs. Security of such weapons is likely to be the same as currently licenced firearms. Before the next meeting in July, if anyone has any strong opinions on this, please pass then on to me. I am against the proposals and will voice this. Also, if anyone has any useful statistics which can be thrown at the police / Home Office, then please pass them on. One thing I seem to have read somewhere is that in tests in the USA, they found it needed a force over 50 ft. lbs. in an air rifle to seriously hurt someone with a pellet. Interestingly, at the last meeting of the UK police forces to discuss firearms, the banning of .50 cal. rifles was discussed and most of the forces – including Warwickshire and West Mercia – expressed no opinion on the subject. It appears the National Ballistics Intelligence Service are still advocating banning this calibre. Further, the theft of a .50 which seems to have provoked the attempt to ban them was only stolen for a short time as the police found it within a few days. Note also the Firearms Licencing Manger, Steve Millington, is retiring next month which is a shame as he has proved very helpful in assisting when any club member has had a licencing problem.
Some Information on Nitro Propellants - If you Reload you need to read this explanation lifted from Full-Bore UK
With regard to propellants, the REACH proposals are implemented as of 01.06.2018 which means any non-compliant products cannot be imported into the country / EU on or after that date. Anything arrived and through customs before that date is OK and can still enter the distribution / retail chain.
Edgar Brothers is still ordering affected products and hopes to get as much as possible in before the axe falls, and no doubt odd tins will still turn up in retailers' cupboard in 20 (50?) years time given the number of ancient steel grey-painted tins of ICI Nobel powders around that have somehow survived. The problem Edgars have is that they already have literally thousands of pounds of Hodgdon powder on back order whose chances of eventual delivery even without the REACH cut-off is small to nil. (Let's be honest and just say nil!) So, although some more is going to arrive, it won't last long. All European manufactured grades are OK - so Viht, Nitrochemie (Reload Swiss), Alliant ATK Reloder rifle grades (all made by Bofors and Nitrochemie), Ramshot (manufactured by PB Clermont in Belgium, part of the SNPE Eurenco group); SNPE Vectan are compliant.
Losing their CE certification as of 1st June next year are:
All Hodgdon ADI Manufactured extruded grades (also includes two IMR branded grades - 8208 XBR and Trail Boss), so H4198 through to H1000 and Retumbo 'gone'.
All General Dynamics St. Marks Powder Florida factory grades bar maybe a couple - all Winchester powders and nearly all Hodgdon 'spherical' powders are non-compliant. Hodgdon Lil Gun is compliant, and there is a question mark re the most recent introduction - H. CFE223. So, H335, BL-C(2), H414 and so-called 'Hybrid' powders made by St Marks (H100V and a few more), H. Super and Lever ... formance spherical powders will no longer be imported from the middle of next year.
All 'legacy' IMR powders made by General Dynamics Canada, in Valleyfield, Quebec are non-compliant, ie the traditional grades made by the Du Pont Corporation in the USA and taken to Canada under new ownership are non-compliant. Ie IMR-4198 through to IMR-7828 and including many old favourites such as 3031, 4895, and 4064.
GD Canada has introduced five new 'green' pistol / revolver grades and four rifle grades that are all REACH compliant, although not all may have been CE certified under the new standards yet. In rifle propellants, that's the new IMR 'Enduron' quartet - and I would hope that this number will be expanded but have no hard information as to whether that is a possibility. The Endurons are: IMR-4166 (H4895 / VarGet replacement); 4451 (vice IMR/H4350); 4955 (vice IMR-4831/H4831); 7977 (vice IMR-7828/H1000). 4166, 4451, and 7977 are CE certified and available now - having tried them, I'm impressed and reckon they will fill many gaps. IMR-4955 has only recently been introduced and hasn't got here yet.
UKPSA Winter Postal
We have completed the UKPSA Winter Postal Competitions for Practical Shotgun and LBF. W e had 10 entrants for Shotgun and 14 for LBF - 7 shooting Rifle Open, 2 Rifle Standard, 2 LBR and 3 LBP - a great selection and good representation from the club.
Shoots for February
Sunday 4th - Guest Day
Sunday 11th - Practical Shooting - B Range
Saturday 24th - Speed Steels - A Range - 0900 -
Contact Rob Forbes to book a place
scores will be submitted - watch this space for results !
SHOOTING & TRAINING
Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from Shooting & Training Division.
To get in touch, please call 01483 797 777 x 160,139,146,149 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from the Range Office.
To get in touch with Rick Wells, please call 01483 797 777 x 182 or email: email@example.com
Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from Membership.
To get in touch with the Membership Team, please call 01483 797 777 x 122, 138, 142, 162 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the link below to find out the latest news from the NRA Discipline Reps.
To find out more about any NRA discipline, please email: email@example.com
UKPSA Winter Postal - Shotgun
5th Place - Graeme Cooper
9th Place - Andy Newns
19th Place - Andy Walker
20th Place - Rob Forbes
21st Place - Des Greaves
25th Place - Butch White
3rd Place - Matt Bolton
.22 Rifle Open Division
11th Place - Graham Wells
22nd Place - Andy Newns
25th Place - Des Greaves
44th Place - Butch White
45th Place - Richard Marchant
50th Place - Kate Forbes
.22 Rifle Standard Division
2nd Place - Graeme Cooper
5th Place - Andy Walker
2nd Place - Rob Forbes
4th Place - Mark Griffiths
16th Place - Milton Holland
Sunday 11th - 0930
Practical Shooting (Bianchi Barricade)
Saturday 14th - 1300
UKPSA Practical Shotgun Postal Round 1
Sunday 22nd - 0930
UKPSA LBF (.22 Rifle, LBR, LBP) Postal Roun
Report on West Mercia & Warwickshire Firearms & Explosives Licencing Independent Advisory Group Meeting on 23rd November 2017 27th July 2017.
Long Barrel Pistols I advised after the last meeting in July that it was illegal to loan or let anyone use a long barrel pistol not on their licence. I had asked for clarification as – like much firearms legislation – it was an anomaly. In short, do not expect any changes. As stated previously:- It is illegal for long barrelled revolvers (or any long barrelled pistol) to be borrowed at a range for use by any other club member. If you own a long barrelled pistol only you can use it! Licencing Very pleased to report that processing of renewals and new applications has reduced from the backlog of 7,400 to a 1,000 which represents a maximum waiting time of 3 months. Therefore, get your renewals in promptly you receive your renewal notice. No new temporary permits are now required. In fairness, this has been a good turnaround, let us hope it continues. One development is that due to very wide fluctuations in the numbers of various applications per year, 2017 being a “high” year, shotgun certificate holders applying for renewals are being asked over the next few months if they will take a shorter period for their licence from the normal 5 years to 3 or 4 (at pro-rata fees) to smooth things out for future years. If there are not sufficient takers, they are to move on to firearms licence holders. If they do, I see problems for coterminous licences. The Warwickshire / West Mercia licencing web-site is continuing to improve. Any changes or additions are being notified to Clubs and Dealers via email, therefore we should all get notifications early. They are trying to set up a forum for Clubs and Dealers to comment, which is very proactive for them! Can only be useful if it works. They have promised to have on-line licence renewal applications and payments working by August 2018. Next was the issue of GP letters for renewals. They on line application / renewal forms are to show a full list of illnesses, etc., on their application forms for which a doctors letter is required. Some horror stories were given (not by police) of the situation in Lincolnshire whereby GP’s were stating if their fees were not paid, they would advise police that the applicant was not suitable, i.e. blackmail! This appears to have been stamped on. The Thames Valley GP’s were advising the police that applicants “may or may not be suitable to hold firearms” to remove any associated liability to them in the event of an incident. If anyone is still having problems with licence renewals, please let me know. Offensive Weapons Legislation Consultation There were no comments regarding acid / corrosive materials and knives for this proposal, other than it is badly worded. However, the proposed firearms sections produced a very active debate as follows:-
1. Banning of .50 Cal Weapons The police stated at the meeting that they have “little influence” over legislation, although they have been asked to comment. They said they merely have to implement the law with regards to licencing. 2 The huge anomalies in the proposals were pointed out, particularly as there has been an amendment to “include other similar high powered rifles”. It was pointed out that .50 Cal rifles would include black powder, so would they be banned as well? Black powder rifles can go up to .75 Cal and beyond. Are they going to try to ban heavy sporting game rifles? Other “high power” rifles in other calibres are not defined, although their main concern seems to be the Browning and Barrett M107, one of which was stolen this year. These is can use anti-materiel bullets i.e. armour piercing, expanding and tracer, but I don’t think any licence holder has permission for that ammo! Barrett also do sniper rifles in .338 and .400 Cal which also have effective ranges of 2,000 yards. The .50 Cal is 57 inches long and weighs 28.5 lbs, plus ammo clip of 4.17 lbs. Not exactly easy to cart around for terrorists. It appears they are concerned at terrorists getting their hands on high powered sniper weapons, but I asked how many terrorists have used such weapons for sniping over the past 25 years or so in the UK and Europe – none it appears. Sniping was carried out in Northern Ireland during the troubles, but using different weapons. Terrorists (and to a much lesser extent criminals) have used close quarter weapons in this country and Europe for their atrocities, favourites being AK’s. It is obvious AK’s and similar are relatively easy for terrorists to obtain abroad as they seem to favour auto weapons for maximum destruction. I suggested if they are trying to ban any “high power rifles”, they need to specify a full definition (max 10,000 ft muzzle energy?). Better still to actually specify the individual weapons they want to ban. The ammo situation is already covered. This will not, of course, affect terrorists who will obtain whatever weapons and ammo they want illegally. It is the normal knee jerk reaction to something that has not happened. I suggested – and all non-police persons present considered these to be fair and accurate reasons – for the Public Consultation to be poorly presented, not evidence based and is fatally flawed. The Impact Assessment in the Consultation suggesting only a few would be affected is rubbish, with their estimate of costs way below what they would actually be due to the much higher number of weapons which would actually be banned. It was suggested to the police that this would make a rod for their own back due to lack of proper definition, making it very hard to implement. The Home Office should go back to the drawing board and issue a proper and meaningful Consultation document instead of the current one. There was a certain tacit agreement from the Firearms Dept. that there will be problems in its current form.
2. Manually Actuated Release Systems (MARS) The general opinion was that if the only problem was to ban the VZ58 MARS Rifle, then specify this in the legislation, including the Cal of the weapons. Most such weapons use a double trigger release or trigger and lever for each round fired. Yes they can fire rapidly, but any terrorist or criminal would want to use a fully automatic weapon such as the AK47 or 74 which can be set to single shot with one trigger pull or empty the clip by keeping your finger down giving a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. Many of us own an under-lever rifle (explained to the new Superintendent as “the type John Wayne used”) which could come under the definition of MARS, as these fire rapidly. So too, does my semi-auto shotgun. There was no history of any crimes being committed using a licenced MARS rifle in the UK. If there is a genuine problem, spell it out and give something evidence based. Yet again, the Consultation is seriously flawed, as is the Impact Assessment with estimated costs far too low and totally wrong. 3 Proposed Legislation for Antique Firearms I confess to knowing too little about antique firearms and “old” calibre ammo to have given any meaningful contribution. However, I would ask Club members to let me know what they consider to be any flaws in the proposed legislation and I will do my best to pass on constructive information, etc. Overall Please, every member should write to the Home Office and their MP giving the reasons for this Consultation to be poorly worded, presented not evidence based and specify why. If it would help for anyone to receive a copy of this document in Word format to assist, just ask. The proposed legislation if unchallenged will give a dangerous legacy to all shooters.
Sorry for the length of this report, but it is necessary to give as much information as possible.
PLEASE SEE BELOW INFORMATION RE FIREARMS LICENSING
Home Office Consultation - Firearms Licensing Fees 16th February 2017
The Home Office opened a public consultation in regards to the proposed changes to Firearms Licensing Fees. We have set out below various points for you to consider when responding to the consultation which covers proposed fees for Section 5 dealers and carriers, Museums, Olympic and Commonwealth Games shooters (pistol) as well as Approved Shooting Clubs and other licences.
Club Approval fees are proposed to rise from £84 to £1050 for a grant and £900 for a renewal lasting six years. It is vitally important that clubs and individuals respond before the 9th March 2017. There may be insufficient room on the online consultation document for all your comments so we advise you send a covering letter / email if needed. The Consultation Document can be found here and the Impact Assessment can be found here. For best effect, please send a copy of your response to your local MP. Better still, if you have the time and can get an appointment please visit your MP at their surgery to discuss your points.
Points you might like to make (in your own words);
Home Office Approval of clubs claims to be a 'matter of public safety'. If this is the case then the cost should be paid out of the public purse from general taxation. If this argument fails then we should be pressing for inflation based (RPI) increase since the fees were set in 1995. This would lead to an increase from £84 to £152 for a six year approval. We do not accept that shooting in general and un-certified shooters in particular present an increased risk to public safety. Indeed, approved clubs are legally required to inform the Police when an individual first applies to join the club and are generally under one-to-one supervision until they have proved themselves safe and competent. The Home Office has failed to provide any detailed justification for these proposed huge increases. When FAC/SGC fees were being revised last time the Home Office provided a detailed breakdown of the number of minutes different grades of Firearms Enquiry Officers in the police spent on each part of the process of the grant/renewal. They haven't this time which leads to the suspicion that they would struggle to justify their figures. The British Shooting Sports Council has asked the Home Office for this information on behalf of all Shooting Organisations.
Most of the work involved with club approvals is undertaken by the Police. The Home Office no longer send out reminders when club approval is due for renewal (cost saving). They only send a letter requesting payment once the police recommend approval and then send the formal approval document once payment is received. In other words they provide limited administrative support to the process. The Police have a list of questions as part of their enquiries which takes a maximum 20 minutes to answer. In some Police forces where their intelligence databases indicate there are no problems with the club they will deal with the questions by telephone and not carry out a club visit. Clearly the time taken on the above enquiries and the salaries of staff making them cannot justify the proposed fees. Even if the staff costs were trebled to include overheads they still come nowhere near the costs claimed. The Home Office is based in a very expensive part of London for office rental costs, which means higher overheads, although in view of their limited input to the process it is unlikely to make a big difference. The 'Impact Assessment' claims that the police role which involves interviews, possible club visits and report writing, currently costs £69,000 per year while the Home Office costs are claimed to be £596,000 per year for a bit of administrative support. Although limited numbers of licences are granted for Olympic and Commonwealth Games pistol shooters it is proposed that a fee of £470 will be charged for a three year licence. Firstly, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycles are each of four years, so a three year licence is of no use and a five year licence would be much more sensible which would bring it into line with normal FAC's.
The shooters are sponsored by British Shooting which limits the need for additional security checks on the individuals involved. There are more rigorous requirements on the storage, transport and use of pistols. None of this adds up to much additional work by the Police or Home Office. In summary please respond to the consultation right away and make sure you do it well before the 9th March deadline. Please also send a copy to your MP. Do not leave it to somebody else, encourage every club member to take part and have your say.
SPRC Newsletter Team