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Thread: Mandatory Training

  1. #1

    Mandatory Training

    I know we have touched upon this topic quite alot but I am not sure if it has been raised directly.

    A couple of recent posts have brought up the topic of gun handling and safety. Reading the responses its obvious that we all have a desire to be safe, but have different ideas as to what that means. In 40 odd years of shooting I have seen some shocking examples of gun handling and probably been guilty of it myself on occasion.

    We allow people to have a lethal weapon with NO formal training in etiquette or safety and I am gradually coming to the conclusion that this is wrong.

    Would be interested to have a reasoned debate.

  2. #2
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    The problem is that what some consider "good practice" others disagree with. Either because it is clearly bad practice (bolts in holsters or carriers on belts) or because they come from a different era.

    We've all seen pictures in black and white of a team of guns at the end of a day's shooting standing with shot guns closed under their arms.

    Nowadays? Well you'd see the shot guns broken at least.

    Yet some think that a gun is safer in a slip case. Hmm! Not so! As posted elsewhere that is no excuse for then waving said slipped gun about!

    But other older practices although safe would maybe be frowned upon now by those who haven't thought through the reason behind it.

    For example. In walking up grouse when crossing a stream or deer fence many would never hand a gun over or across "broken open".

    The method was to unload it, show it unloaded to the person on the other side, then close it and throw it across in a perpendicular position by upward force, usually two fingers, on the part of the butt that contacts the shoulder.

    Why? Easier to catch!

    Hammer guns? Whew! Some say break it open to unload with the hammers cocked, others say lower the hammers on live cartridges. Some say cock the hammers before closing the gun on live cartridges others say cock them only just before mounting the gun to take a shot.

    So I doubt if any would agree on some points.

    There is only one truly SAFE rule anyway. Always be "muzzle aware".

  3. #3
    Mandatory is a word i don't like it means that some one some were will make a bucket load of money out of the subject .That's just a fact of life. While i don't like to admit it i do think there should be some sort of basic safety test before you use any Firearms. But i will say this it must be all firearm users not like the DCS aiming at one section of users.

  4. #4
    with regards to formal training we really need more red tape,
    I personally dont think so,it is up to ourselves to correct people if
    we consider them to be doing something unsafe when out shooting
    or stalking, but its always possible it will be a money spinner for
    someone to come up with the appropriate training scheme and issue
    nice certs at the end of it.



  5. #5
    couldnt agree more , mandatory means red tape galore, an excuse for more armchair shooters pontificate about how it should be done , and some enterprising soul would probably corner the training market at great cost to us all,it could also mean the younger generation not being allowed guns which is what the antis are trying to do now thereby killing the sport at ground level
    I dont know about anyone else (and i will probably upset some ) but my experience has been that the less safety aware people tend to be late comers to the sport the ones who have been born and raised into it will have usually had it drummed into them from the start and by the time they are seen in public they are generally safe shots
    I would be interested to see the statitics for the number of accidents involving guns of all descriptions it must be fairly low, in 40 odd years of all types of shooting I have only seen 1 near miss
    Ill get off my soap box now

  6. #6
    I believe that more people are hurt playing bowls than are hurt taking part in shooting sports. I don't imagine bowls web forums are full of postings from those taking part suggesting that they should be subject to some form of expensive safety testing before they are allowed loose on a lawn.

    Of course I can see that we need to be safe and I understand that testing might be one way to do this but the evidence, in terms of the accident record, doesn't seem to indicate that people who go shooting have a lot of accidents. I also look at the cost of my BASC membership which includes insurance and find that the cost to insure me for a year is pretty low. Insurance companies are good at dealing with risk and they don't think that I am a high risk, in fact they don't even need me to answer detailed questions or fill out forms to assess the risk I present when I head out shooting.

    so, I think the evidence is that shooting is pretty safe and much of the risk is managed by those taking part in terms of informal advice and informal training given and recieved. I am always open to further advice or even formal training and it is true that you can't be too safe but the message we need to be sending to the public is that shooters are safe, shooters have few accidents, shooters are cheap to insure, shooters are law abiding and careful. Organise a rifle safety course in my area and I will go along keen to learn but force safety tests on shooters and you give the general public the impression that we are unsafe and in the long term, once the green/anti nutters twist the figures and pervert the truth, that will not work in our favour.

    So, I say no to mandatory testing but would certainly be open to safety courses organised by the likes of BASC as I always have more to learn. It is also very positive to note that the attitude of everyone who posts here is that they, too, have more to learn about safety which indicates to me that those who shoot are not just safe but that they take an active interest in safety and they take responsibility for their own actions and don't rely on someone else to carry the can for them.

  7. #7
    Definately a NO to mandatory testing/training, most shooters by their very interest are keen & attentive, when first instructed either by a parent or a friend, & common sense will prevail except in the most foolish of us, further training is always treated as a bonus by all that I have come into contact with, for example the dsc l1 mock stalk & safety test results in a satisfied smile at the end, but if it were to be forced I think that many would baulk at it & avoid it like the plague.

  8. #8
    I'm suprised that no-one has mentioned one of the potential benefits to mandatory testing IF it were conducted along the lines of some of the european countries such as Germany, Denmark etc.

    If purchase, possession and use of firearms was dependent on obtaining a 'hunter's licence' (for want of a better description), then the onus for deciding on how many firearms, in which calibres and where to use them could be placed firmly with the licence holder.

    By licencing the person rather than individual firearms it would, at a stroke, do away with all the misinterpretation of the Firearms Act and the imposition of sometimes bizarre and illogical conditions that some police forces put in place.

    Of course this would require a major overhaul of the current legislation, (plus the application of some common sense by the authorities), so it would have nil, zilch, zero chance of actually happening, although the creeping imposition of DSC1 and 'mentoring' by some forces seems to be already underway and not being challenged enough.

    It would be interesting to hear from some of the european contributors to the forum on how it actually works in their country and whether they consider it on balance to be a better system than that (barely) operating over here - Bavarianbrit?

  9. #9

    Mandatory Training

    Hi All, If you shoot on the NRA ranges you have to have a certificate of competence for whatever you want to shoot (Scoped Rifle, open sight rifle, Gallery, muzzle loading, etc.). BASC charge 20 for this but I couldn't find the charge for the NRA scheme.
    When we started shooting (shotguns) my brother and I taught each other gun safety, with a '5 cartridge' fine for any infringement, however small.
    As we grew older, fines increased to 50 cartridges for sons, daughters, nephews and any others new to our shoot. It worked.

  10. #10
    Self regulation, and the balls to tell people is the way forward. If they are unsafe, send them home/don't invite them. They will soon learn!!!

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