Is Shooting safe?
Extremely safe! Safety is very important to us and we never let anyone handle a rifle unsupervised until we are absolutely certain they are safe. We ensure that everyone is given a safety talk and is able to demonstrate a knowledge of the safety requirements. Through these measures observed by all clubs, the sport is much safer than skiing or football.
What about the Law and Police?
You do not need to have a Firearms certificate to be a member of the club but you will need one to buy and own a firearm which you will want to do if you take it up as a serious hobby. Getting a licence is a long and complicated business.
First of all you have to demonstrate that you have a 'good reason' to hold a firearm - just being a member of a shooting club isn't necessarily a good reason as it is also a requirement that you attend the club regularly! Independent referees will have to provide confidential character statements in which they will have to go into significant detail about your state of mind, social situation and attitude towards guns. Your background will then be checked through the Police National Computer and your doctor will be consulted for evidence of drug and alcohol abuse and they will need to provide details of any personality or mental disorder recorded on their files. The Social Services may also be consulted to see if they know of any reason why an application should be turned down. Only after these rigorous investigations have been considered would you be considered for a licence. Prior to the licence being granted you would also be visited by the local police firearms officer who would check your premises and ensure that you have a secure cabinet located in an acceptable part of the house where your guns will be stored.
Note: Police checks include GP reports and also social worker reports if deemed necessary. In addition, you will need to provide two referees for character assessments.
More information about firearms licencing can be found on the Avon and Somerset website.
Is Shooting expensive?
Like all sports there is a huge range. Using Club owned equipment all you would have to purchase would be ammunition on top of your membership fees. A typical box of 50 rounds costs about £6 and would typically last a couple of weeks.
Once you become more committed you will want to buy some clothing - such as a jacket, glove and sling. Rifles themselves are readily available second hand for £200 or so. Top end rifles can be £3000 or more.