Stay safe everybody

  1. If you go out shooting, remember to keep a two metre distance away from anybody you come across – and two metres away from any companion you go shooting with at all times. Do not share a gun. In fact, don’t touch somebody else’s gun. It’s also a good idea to take out your own ammunition and cartridge bags so you don’t touch anything belonging to anybody else.
  2. Your firearms licence may take even longer to renew and if you are a first-time applicant you may not even receive one. The British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) warns that it has evidence that some forces will be refusing all first time applications. In addition police forces are starting to divert officers away from functions considered non-essential, like firearms licensing. If medical records are required for a licence, these may be delayed due to increased pressure on GPs and health services. BASC advises that it has called for a six-month extension for all firearms licences due to expire to help farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers who need firearms for their work.
  3. The UK’s clay grounds have now closed and clayshooters are following Government advice and staying home.
  4. If you have a reasonable sized garden, this could be a good time to introduce a youngster to garden airgunning.
  5. Carry tissues with you while shooting and put them in the bin safely when you get home. Wash your hands on returning home and don’t touch your face if your hands are not clean.
  6. With more people working from home and off work, remember that you may come across more members of the public on footpaths and land. It is against the law to fire a gun within 50ft of a road if it endangers lives but this doesn’t extend to footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways. BASC recommends that shooting should stop when a member of the public approaches and resume when they are out of earshot. The association adds: “To shoot across a footpath or bridleway that is in use by walkers or riders may constitute a public nuisance or wilful obstruction. There may also be a liability in negligence if it is known that people are on, or likely to be on, the path.”
  7. If you have a shooting permission check with the farmer or landowner to see if they are still happy for you to shoot on their land, or whether they would rather as few people enter their property as possible.
  8. The UK is currently not on full lockdown like Spain and Italy, and with no official guidance it looks like you can still go on shooting for pest control alone. The Government says we should keep a safe distance of two metres from others.
  9. On Monday 23rd March the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.This included details that people will only be allowed to leave their homes for:
    • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle, alone or with members of their household;
    • travelling to and from work, but only where it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
  10. If one person in a household is suffering from a persistent cough or a fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days. They should also avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” but they can still leave the house for exercise if they maintain a safe distance from others.
  11. There is plenty you can do to improve your shooting while staying at home. For example, you can practise your gun mount in the mirror (find our tips here.) You can clean your air rifle, rifle or shotgun. Wash your air rifle pellets to make them perform better. We have plenty of videos to watch with advice on improving your shooting.