A Message From the Secretary General of the National Rifle Association

Post date: Dec 19, 2010 7:35:26 PM

From: Karen Robertson

Sent: 19 December 2010 11:27

Subject: A Message From the Secretary General of the National Rifle Association

Dear Members,

As you maybe aware there is a debate scheduled to take place in Parliament on Firearms Legislation on Monday 20 December 2010. The debate of course is driven by the sad events that unfolded this summer in Cumbria and Northumbria.

On your behalf, the NRA has been engaged from the outset on the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) to ensure that all of the major shooting bodies were speaking with a single voice. We advocated that the government should not make a knee-jerk response to events. It seems on this occasion by working together our opinions were heard by a Government that has steadfastly stated it will not be rushed into legislation which might have unforeseen consequences, to the detriment of lawful shooting.

We have been most concerned to ensure a unified stance by the Target Shooting National Governing Bodies (NGBs) on BSSC. To that end, the NRA has acted as the lead body on behalf of the Target Shooting bodies on BSSC. In that capacity, we have been involved in all the negotiations regarding a joint approach and we have met with Members of Parliament and Ministers to represent your views and ensure they are listened to.

When the Home Affairs Committee (HAC) announced they were looking at Firearms Licensing and legislation, the NRA joined with the other bodies to ensure members were adequately briefed to put their individual views to the Committee on the issues raised, while at the same time making our own submission. We have also given evidence to the Home Affairs Committee and worked with the other NGBs and BSSC to host an introduction to shooting for the HAC at Bisley.

Latterly, the NRA has acted as the lead agency in dealing with ACPO in relation to Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting’s report on Firearms Licensing. Our concern was that this report made recommendations that might have unfortunate consequences for Target Shooting Clubs. Both we and BSSC are now confident that we can work with ACPO to get the correct outcomes for clubs going forward.

Finally, one of the things that was clear from our engagement with MPs was their need for an introduction to the legal issues and the basic technicalities of shooting. To that end, in concert with the other Target Shooting NGBs, we wrote a short paper explaining how the possession and use of firearms is managed in terms of legislation and Governance. We also produced a position statement that gave a view from a Target Shooting perspective on issues such as young people in shooting, the potential requirement for medical vetting etc which complements the BSSC submissions to both the Commons debate and in response to the ACPO report from Adrian Whiting. We also made the case for the reintroduction of target pistol. Both of these documents were e-mailed directly to every MP this week in advance of the parliamentary debate on Monday.

You can find the “Facts About Firearms”, “Governing Bodies Proposals”, plus the submissions for the debate from BSSC on the NRA website.


Glynn Alger