15 Feb 2016 – Home Office bureaucrats have U-turned on this month’s near-silent changes to the approval criteria for rifle clubs.
Regular UK Shooting News readers will recall that the main change, dated 2nd February, appeared to be that applications for approval were to be sent to the police force where the club secretary lives – and not the area where the club has its range, or shoots most often, as was previously the case.
In a very quiet website update today, the Home Office said: “Document reverted to previous version.”
UKSN has contacted the Home Office to ask for an explanation and will update this story when we hear back from them.
Neither the NSRA nor the NRA appears to have noticed the original changes of 2nd February.
The Home Office approval criteria are tertiary legislation, meaning they have the power of law behind them. They are issued in the name of the Home Secretary, although in reality that power is exercised by the firearms cell of the department’s Public Order Unit. The cell employs a handful of civil servants who directly control the Guidance on Firearms Law, the club approval criteria, the Firearms Security Handbook and various other firearms law documents and forms.