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Thread: Bisley - novice under instruction / guest

  1. #1

    Bisley - novice under instruction / guest

    Afternoon all,

    I'm heading down to Bisley this Saturday (do PM me if you are too) and wanted to take along a non-shooting friend to try and get him interested in the sport. He doesn't have any full-bore experience, nor an FAC and certainly not a shooter certification card. I have all three of course, the latter being through BASC (who have booked the time on the range for me).

    The Bisley range regulations state that spectators need ear protection and must stay behind the firing point; fair enough.

    However, they also contain the below provision, which appears to permit a novice to shoot under my supervision. It would be great if I could actually allow my pal to shoot under my instruction, as he'd take a lot more from the day.

    Does anyone have experience of this ? My BASC contact is out of the office until Thursday and it would be great to get an answer before then.

    Many thanks,

    Mauser M03

    All users of NRA ranges (other than those engaged in single shot .22” rimfire shooting inpractices governed by the rules of the NSRA) must be in possession of a current Certificateof Safety and Competence, or be a novice being coached or certified on a one-to-one basisby the holder of such a certificate. Such a certificate is only valid if it bears the signature ofthe individual’s Club Chairman or the CE of the NRA. The certificate must be valid for allthe firearms for which the user intends to fire on Bisley ranges. The certificate must beproduced to the Range Office staff when signing-in as an individual shooter. RCOs must
    certify (see regulation 5) that all members of their group will comply with the above.

  2. #2
    Hi, M03, Took my daughter down a couple of years back. Phoned the range office beforehand to confirm. All well and they didn't check my FAC or Shooter Certificate on arrival.

    Hope you have an enjoyable day.

  3. #3
    Possibly one of those questions you wish you hadn't asked. . .
    I completely agree that from their published range regulations it appears it's OK to do this. However this is contradicted by information on the NRA's FAQ page:
    Can I use the Bisley ranges if I am not an NRA member?
    You may only use Bisley Ranges, if you are not a Full Member of the NRA, if you are a member of an affiliated Club or a guest of an Affiliated Club on an official Affiliated Club Guest Day. You can also shoot here on one of our ‘Open Days’

    Can I bring a guest to shoot if I am an NRA member?
    Unfortunately not, each club is limited to 12 guest days per year, the NRA - as the Governing Body of civilian shooting in the UK as well as being Club - uses it’s guest days for corporate events.

    Up to you to decide whether to follow the Range Regulations or the NRA's FAQ's.

  4. #4
    Crikey, ok thank you both for the helpful replies.

    Triffid, technically I would argue that the Q&A are (a) over-ridden by the range regulations, which are clear that one can and (b) the Q&A are only referring to the guests of NRA members, rather than those of members of an affiliated club (BASC) so are not applicable in any event, but the reality is it will come down to the discretion of the range office / individual range control officer on the day, with whom I am sure there will be not a lot of point arguing...

    I'll ask nicely when I'm down there and see how I get on.

    In the meantime, any other responses most welcome.

  5. #5

    From what you've posted it does not appear that the circumstances described satisfy criteria for borrowing a rifle in connection with HO Approved Club activities. To save quoting chapter & verse take a look at Firearms Law guidance to police Ch18 - 18.2 which deals with HO Approved Clubs. Remember should an incident occur with your novice, Insurance, Range Competency and FAC may be null & void and up for grabs - However there is an NRA Open Day at Bisley on Saturday 8th September, check with them they may still have some tickets and your novice could shoot a variety of firearms lawfully.

    Good Luck


  6. #6
    Thanks Oracle - nice name by the way - that is a really useful guide and I have saved down for future reference.

    With respect though, I am not sure that Ch18 is relevant. Ch18 deals with the circumstances in which a member of an approved club may take possession and control of firearms without an FAC; be that through the club or from another member. It appears to me to create an exemption designed to allow individuals to shoot unsupervised within the controlled confines of a club, something which would ordinarily require the possession of an FAC. For example, it does not - from a quick review - stipulate that the exemption is conditional upon individual's being supervised on a one-on-one basis. In the situation I describe, the novice would always be under my supervision and control and thus the firearm would never be out of my possession as such term is treated for the purposes of firearms law. It also appears to cut directly across the Range Regulations, which were - presumably - drafted with this guidance in mind, so it would surprise me that the two talk at cross purposes.

    This is just based off my reading of the rules and the guidance though; it sounds like you may have more practical experience so I would value your further input.

    I will also need to check the insurance point; that to me looks like a separate issue.

    Many thanks !

  7. #7

    To follow-up, is this not just a case of the application of the "Estate Exemption", albeit within the context of the rules and regulations of the particular "private premises" being shot over (i.e. the range) ?

    All help, thoughts, guidance much appreciated.

    Mauser M03

    Borrowed rifles on private premises
    Section 16(1) of the 1988 Act enables aperson to borrow a rifle from the occupierof private premises and to use it on thosepremises in the presence of either theoccupier or their servant without holding afirearm certificate in respect of that rifle. Itshould be noted that this gives slightly moreflexibility in the use of a borrowed rifle thanis permissible with the use of a shot gunas described in paragraph 6.14, in that theborrowed rifle can also be used in thepresence of the servant of the occupier.However, the occupier and/or their servantmust hold a firearm certificate in respect ofthe firearm being used, and the borrower,who must be accompanied by the certificateholder (whether it is the occupier or theirservant), must comply with the conditionsof the certificate. These may include asafekeeping requirement and, in some cases,territorial restrictions. Section 57(4) of the1968 Act defines “premises” as including anyland. The effect of the provision is to allowa person visiting a private estate to borrowand use a rifle without a certificate. Theexemption does not extend to persons underthe age of 17 or to other types of firearm.There is no notification required on theloan of a firearm under these circumstances.A borrowed rifle should not be specificallyidentified as such on a “keeper’s” or“landowner’s” firearm certificate. The term“in the presence of” is not defined in lawbut is generally interpreted as being within
    sight and earshot.
    Last edited by MauserM03; 04-09-2012 at 18:42. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Mauser I don't think that the "estate rifle" exemption is appropriate in this instance and as Triffid suggested it would be better to check with the range office at Bisley first, their contact details are on the NRA website.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  9. #9
    Mauser, rest assured, what you're thinking of doing would be illegal. The range regs tell you that you are allowed to coach a novice, but the law states when that would be allowed.
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  10. #10
    Many thanks to both for your helpful feedback.

    I guess the point I am struggling with is that having read both the law and the home office guidance to those who enforce it - the police - it appears that what I am proposing is perfectly within the rules.

    I do have a call in to the range office at Bisley that I will follow up on in the morning, but the reality is that they cannot offer legal advice; they can just speak to their own rules and regulations that overlay on top of legislation. If they say no then that is the end of the matter as it is up to them to control who may shoot over their land as a matter of contract. However, if they say yes then it concerns me that a number of well informed members of the forum think I could be in an exposed position -legally- as a consequence of that.

    I will speak to a barrister friend of mind who specialises in firearms law but of course invite further feedback from the forum. I will also report back my findings as this may be useful to others.

    Mauser M03

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