While the International Practical Shooting Confederation ponder its bid for the rights to host IPSC Level 2 and 3 matches in Britain, the UK National Rifle Association has now resorted to telling UKPSA members they might be in breach of firearm certificate conditions.
Andrew Mercer, the NRA chief executive, seems to have suggested (in an official NRA Facebook post) that the UKPSA doesn’t offer sufficient insurance for its members, implying that UKPSA members relying on its insurance arrangements are – effectively – in breach of the conditions on their firearm and shotgun certificates. At least, that’s my personal reading of the words “I would urge all UKPSA members who think they are covered by public liability policies arranged through their membership of the UKPSA to contact them as a matter of urgency”.
Readers without a firearm or shotgun certificate of their own may not know that the majority of FACs and SGCs have a legal condition which states that the holder may only shoot where he has “adequate financial arrangements to meet any injury or damage claims” in place – generally meaning insurance. Not meeting that condition could be a criminal offence under section 1(2) of the Firearms Act 1968.
The UKPSA website’s insurance page was last updated in 2010. The membership page of the site does not mention insurance at all. Absence of public information, however, does not mean the UKPSA doesn’t have adequate insurance for its members.
These are strong words with serious intent from the NRA. Will the UKPSA fire back?
Mercer’s Facebook post is copied below in full.
UKPSA Members – Insurance Notice
It has come to our attention that some members of the UKPSA may be under the impression that they are covered by the NRA’s insurance policies. Our records indicate this is not the case; we have attempted to seek clarification on a number of occasions from the UKPSA Chairman but to date no satisfactory response has been forthcoming.
Insurance is a routine condition for most FAC’s; I would urge all UKPSA members who think they are covered by public liability etc. policies arranged through their membership of the UKPSA to contact them as a matter of urgency to confirm what cover has been / is in place.
For the avoidance of doubt this notice refers solely to UKPSA members who are not full members of the NRA.
Contact details for the UKPSA can be found at www.ukpsa.co.uk
Group Chief Executive and Secretary General
If you know more about what’s going on in the background here, head to the about page of UKSN and drop us a line.
Update: A previous version of this blog post said the NRA had lost its IPSC bid. That is not the case and we’re happy to make that clear.