Andrew Mercer has defended the NRA’s warning that UKPSA members may have been shooting while uninsured – and thereby committing criminal offences – by saying he was just being cautious and looking out for shooters.
In an interview with UK Shooting News, Mercer said the NRA became concerned about the insurance status of UKPSA members when he reviewed their NRA affiliation paperwork.
“When we looked at UKPSA they made no capitation declarations,” Mercer told us. “What I’ve been trying to get is clarity about their members’ insurance. Their constitution says they will arrange insurance for members, but if they don’t pay any capitation then their members aren’t covered by NRA insurance.”
Clubs that affiliate to the NRA declare the number of NRA members on their books along with how many non-NRA members they have. Non-NRA members attract a premium on the club’s subscription, known as capitation, payment of which includes those members within the NRA insurance scheme.
The UKPSA have previously stated that they are arranging their own insurance outside of the NRA’s scheme.
We also asked Mercer about rumours that the UKPSA had been blocked from re-affiliating to the NRA.
“We do not affiliate national governing bodies,” he said, pointing out that bodies such as the NSRA are not affiliated to the NRA. “I think it’s inappropriate for an NGB to affiliate to another. The UKPSA do their own thing so we have little control over them.”
Accordingly, the UKPSA will cease to be affiliated to the NRA from April. It appears to us that this is a new development. Additionally, the UKPSA summary of insurance cover appears to have been password-protected recently, meaning only current members can see what insurance is in place and details of what it covers.
Mercer added: “It’s not that we’re hostile, we all need to be travelling in the same direction. At the end of the day, there are people who think they are covered by insurance who are not. I’ve asked the UKPSA for their help and guidance and had nothing back.”
Dismissing suggestions that this latest spat is motivated by rivalry over the IPSC rights bid, Mercer repeated that his motivation was to help target shooting as a whole.
“It’s got nothing to do with the IPSC bid,” he said. “We are finding dynamic forms of shooting are an area of interest. We are not finding that is as a result of UKPSA activity. There are those who take a different view and they are entitled to that.”
Regular Bisley users will be aware that the NRA has revamped Butt Zero on the camp’s Stickledown Range for target shotgun. Mercer added that Cheylesmore Range is next in line for a target shotgun-friendly overhaul.
Stay tuned to UK Shooting News for more from Andrew Mercer on his plans for Bisley Camp’s Spencer Site (the former caravan Site 4 outside the RAFSAA clubhouse), the cost of refurbishing the camp infrastructure and the NRA’s plans for the rest of the shooting world outside of Bisley.