The UK Practical Shooting Association has hit back at claims made by NRA chief executive Andrew Mercer that their members may be shooting without insurance – as it emerges that the NRA have refused to allow them to re-affiliate.
A statement from the UKPSA secretary, issued to members on their forum and passed to UK Shooting News by a UKPSA official, makes it clear that they have insurance in place:
“We received a letter from the NRA saying that they would not offer us affiliation renewal (from 1st April). After their IPSC bid and their subsequent rebuffing any hand of friendship since we’re not surprised. Accordingly I’ve been organising insurance quotes for 1st April on – unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a comparison site for this market.
Vanessa [UKPSA Chairman] then had further communications from him where he says our individual members are not insured. After double checking with the brokers they have confirmed that the Association and our individual members are covered.
We were a bit surprised that he went public with this as he was aware of the brokers’ confirmation of our cover.
At this juncture we’re more inclined to put our faith in the insurance experts.”
This casts doubt over Mercer’s statement, made earlier this week, that UKPSA members may have been shooting without insurance – and therefore committing the criminal offence of breach of certificate conditions.
The UKPSA’s latest publicly available accounts, for the year up to 31 March 2014, show that it spent £434 on insurance – a £10 decrease from FY2012-13. UK Shooting News did try comparing this to the current NRA affiliation fee for a UK association but could only make that fee add up to a shade over £400.
It’s surprising to hear that the NRA are refusing to allow the UKPSA to re-affiliate to them. There is undoubtedly bad blood between the two organisations over the NRA’s bid for the rights to host IPSC matches in the UK, which, if it won, would remove a lot of the reasons for the UKPSA to exist.
Cutting the UKPSA off altogether escalates things to a new level. So far there is no suggestion that this extends to individuals – although I’m aware that the current NRA Target Shotgun rep was invited to leave the UKPSA.
In practice, of course, cutting the UKPSA off doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference to anyone: UKPSA matches don’t take place at Bisley, while the NRA’s writ ends at the gates of Bisley Camp.
Who benefits from all this schoolgirlish bitchfighting? Answers on a postcard, please.
On a totally separate note, it’s good to see from the accounts that the UKPSA has established a fighting fund “in order to protect the membership against any legal challenge to the sport”. Last year it stood at £108,000, with the association aiming to raise £1.5m in case the worst happens.