The Times attacks practical shooting and UKPSA

23 March 2019 – The Times has published a hit job against the UKPSA this morning, linking practical shotgun disciplines with the New Zealand mass murders last week.

The articles begin on the splash (front page), continue on page 2 and end with a double-page spread on 6 and 7 that has a picture of the NZ murderer Brenton Tarrant next to a picture of a UKPSA competitor firing a modern sporting rifle through a typical match barricade.

The articles extensively quote the Gun Control Network while including a series of quotes from UKPSA. They also quote a couple of RFDs, one of whom said “Are people going to feel safer being shot by one that doesn’t look like a shotgun?”

It appears likely that the GCN has steered and influenced the Times, given that that newspaper also quoted Mike Yardley, well known in the sporting shooting world for his demands to ban anything that is not a traditional English shotgun. Quoting Yardley is like quoting Alan Sked on anything to do with UKIP, or asking bonkers and legally dubious American tech bloke John McAfee to comment on the activities of McAfee the antivirus firm, which he happened to found decades ago.

UKSN speculates that The Times, looking for anti-shooting voices to quote in support of its opening shots, stumbled across one of the GCN’s four members and discovered a whole world of single-issue obsessives happy to lend their names to an anti-shooting campaign.

We can expect followup articles quoting police workers and Labour MPs next week. We should be fully prepared for reporters contacting us with inaccurate, sensationalist and one-sided questions in the hope of getting a new angle on the story.

UKSN, dormant for the past few years, will be reactivating to respond to this. It appears likely that this is the first stage of a Times campaign to have all semi-autos banned in the UK and quite possibly the total destruction of UKPSA, in the same way as the National Pistol Association ceased to exist after the post-Dunblane murder bans.

Practical advice for clubs and RFDs will follow later. For now, politely refer all media requests for comment to your affiliated national shooting body.

8 thoughts on “The Times attacks practical shooting and UKPSA

  1. Frank Fisher

    Depressingly familiar, and if Labour get in do not think they will stop at semi-auto rimfires either. I do not know what Mike Yardley thinks he’s doing.

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  2. Mick McGurran

    Here we go again!
    When will our shooting organisations wise up and stop guarding thier own little corner. you are right to quote what happened after Dunblane when the pistol fraternity were thrown to the wolves by some .
    STAND TOGETHER OR FALL ON YOUR OWN IT IS YOUR CHOICE !
    DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

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  3. Nick Harman

    Practical shotgun does seem to be a potential training ground for warfare or for people who fancy a bit of close combat fighting. Running, shooting, targets that react and 8 rounds in the magazine, some of which can be slugs. I can see why it’s looked on with some disfavour. A person so inclined could do a lot of harm in a short period of time.

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    1. Nick B

      Nick H – What about the army that’s a good training ground for warfare – and indeed where I learned my skills, I also shoot practical shotgun – they’re utterly different. You’d know that if you’d either served or tried practical shotgun.

      On that subject – what’s wrong with people fancying a bit of close combat fighting – or would you advocate the banning of the sealed knot / re-enactors / airsoft / paintball?

      As per usual you’re very anti anything that isn’t your discipline (which if I recall correctly is TR right?) This is how all our sport ends up banned when we don’t stick together and support ALL shooting disciplines for ALL shooters.

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  4. Solidslug

    With all due respect to Nick H – he’s talking absolute B^*^*ks – if you went in to a combat situation using your IPSC or practical shooting techniques, you’d be dead in seconds – watch this from Larry Vickers – a Combat vet and KC Eusebio an IPSC shooter if you want some education

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  5. Giles

    This is absolutely lead by the GCN, as per their newsletter I received yesterday. They have an agenda and are taken seriously as none of our bodies call them out.

    Luckily (maybe) Parliament is paralysed by Brexit so I doubt this has any legs.

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  6. Adrian

    It will have legs.
    Once Brexit is done there’s a consultation to be done (again) on banning HME rifles. Fresh from successfully banning MARS and lever release rifles with no real opposition it will be easy for continuity ACPO to get hi cap shotguns & semi auto .22s included in the review on the basis of “what if a terrorist got one”. With the precedent for pre-emptive bans having been set it will be a slam dunk.
    Our associations need to challenge the MARS & lever release ban under human rights laws or they will just keep coming back over and over for more types of gun.

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  7. Dan Schmidt

    I have never heard such a load of crap in my life , IPSC practical shooting was indeed developed many many decades ago from combat training as in teaching police officers and military personnel how to shoot and move as opposed to stand still, take aim then present a decent target of yourself to the bad guys , however there is absolutely no connection with what is today a very dynamic shooting discipline . To say that it is a training ground for would be jihadists couldn’t be further from the truth . I have been involved in all disciplines of shooting ( at targets not live quarry ) for over 45 years and can say hand on heart that the one to one supervision given at a practical shotgun , handgun or rifle match by the highly qualified range officers is second to none and certainly makes it one of the safest disciplines to take part in . I have been on many a “static ” range when members have walked in and begun playing around with their firearms whilst people have been down range putting up new targets , clay grounds where i have been swept numerous times – all very scary , I have a motto in life – don’t knock it until you have tried it . I have shot alongside hundreds of serving police and military personnel around the world in practical disciplines and guess what – never seen anyone injured as a result of a negligent discharge or unsafe gun handling . The members of the UKPSA all know who is responsible for stirring up the Times reporter it is one of their own members who for some unkown reason chose to turn against the organisation that enabled him to become what he is today . He has an axe to grind in his own head and when shooting clubs lose their charitable status as a result of his childish actions I can only hope that he will be named as the person responsible for the demise of smaller shooting clubs that rely on their charitable status to exist

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