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FAC/SGC Renewals and Medcert

posted 6 Apr 2020, 07:53 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 6 Apr 2020, 14:29 ]

Following my website post on 3rd April I can now update you further.

Medcert have confirmed that they are acceptable to all police FLDs. They seek to complete the process within six weeks although this may take longer in specific cases. It must be born in mind that with the requirement for secure transfer of data etc. there are elements that can take time. That said, having a specific process in hand with your police FLD involving Medcert is preferable to an unknown situation with your GP surgery who may have said that they are unable to assist during the CV crisis. As previously mentioned you should however always start by contacting your GP, and assuming that they cannot help, providing that proof along with the reference to Medcert.

Medcert have kindly offered a 10% discount to HBSA full members. You can obtain the code to receive this discount from myself, or our Secretary Chris Reid or Treasurer Tony Cattermole.

If you have specific issues with your renewal do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay safe and stay well

Derek Stimpson

FAC/SGC Renewals during the CV crisis

posted 3 Apr 2020, 10:56 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 3 Apr 2020, 10:56 ]

FAC/SGC Renewals

As I have reported, we and BSSC have had meetings with the Home Office, the Minister ( Dept of Health was at one of the meetings) and further meetings are in hand. We are in touch with police at top level to try and secure agreement for submission of applications with medical verification to follow later providing that it has been diligently requested in good time.

We must be absolutely clear that the GP is not responsible in giving information to the police. The decision to issue or to refuse rests solely with the police.

The GPs contract with NHS does not cover this process and so they will, in most cases, charge a fee, which has not been officially fixed.

There are various differing situations with different police forces, some following 2016 guidance and some looking for a medical evidence form with the application. The CV crisis has clearly created pressures that were unforeseen and are unprecedented.

Having said that, we are receiving confirmations from some FLDs, that the best way forward is to comply with your police forces' request regarding your renewal application as best as possible, and be able to demonstrate that you have done so, or tried to do so, in good time. That is, if your GP cannot assist in completing the FLD form for any reason (very likely during the CV crisis), submit the GPs response/declinature to police along with your renewal application. Your FLD should then accept your application during this crisis period and some may issue your renewal with a condition that medical evidence must be produced within 6 months.

As an alternative, perhaps preferable, you may submit the GP declinature and your application together with a completed Medcert form, which is acceptable to most, if not all, FLDs, and your renewal should be processed normally.

Medcert appears to work well and is helpful. However they do suggest that you should approach your GP first and if they cannot assist then go to Medcert. Their website is www.medcert.co.uk and email = info@medcert,co,uk ; tel 020 8063 4503. They charge a flat fee of £50.

If members have specific difficulties taking into account the above they are welcome to call or email me.

Derek Stimpson

Manufacturer's recall of IMR 4007SSC powder

posted 2 Apr 2020, 12:01 by Tony Cattermole

Members please take note of this recall notice - follow this link>>>>
We understand a small quantity of this powder came to the UK some time ago.

Should any member have any of this specific powder, IMR 4007SSC, they should immediately follow the manufacturer's instructions in the recall notice. Equally any loaded ammunition should be dealt with as instructed in the manufacturer's recall notice.

Derek Stimpson

NRA Coronavirus Update: 2nd April 2020

posted 2 Apr 2020, 11:08 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 2 Apr 2020, 11:10 ]

Please see the notice on the NRA’s website regarding the current situation for the NRA and at Bisley and ranges around the country.

Needless to say we remain in close touch and will alert members to further news.

Please continue to monitor our website for other news and also items of interest.

We wish you and your families all continued good health during the crisis.

Derek Stimpson

Please see below the latest update which has been posted on the NRA website and other social media platforms this afternoon:

Coronavirus Update: 2 April 2020

We at the NRA hope you, your family and friends are all well during these difficult times. Our thoughts are with those affected; our admiration for those front-line workers fighting the pandemic; and our respect for those serving their local communities.

We are all coming to terms with the “new normal” that has turned our usual lives upside down. Sentiments have moved from unsettled, to worry, then unease, but I now sense a growing mood of determination to see our way through the restrictions to the time when we can see our extended families and friends, go to work, and enjoy activities we previously took for granted.

Target shooting is on pause, ranges across the country are eerily quiet, and clubs are waiting for the red light to turn to green. The NRA, like many other charities, is experiencing exceptional challenges that threaten our future. Hard decisions have been made, and more lie ahead. 60 of our terrific staff have been furloughed and are at home with their families; 17 are working from home or Bisley to serve our membership and affiliates, and maintain Bisley ranges and infrastructure.

We are determined to remain available and accessible; phone calls, letters and emails will be answered! The ranges and property at Bisley are being carefully maintained to allow shooting to return as soon as restrictions are lifted.

The NRA, like many other charities, is experiencing considerable financial stress. Although the Association is thankfully solvent, we have been obliged to arrange financing to cover cash shortfalls that will arise from the lengthy closedown of our ranges over the busiest months of the year. The continuing support of our members and affiliates will be critical, and we have been heartened with the messages of support received over the last few days.

Closing the ranges, furloughing staff, and cancelling all competitions until September made for a miserable week. Losing the Imperial was a special blow; it survived many National crises in the past, which highlighted, if anyone was unaware, the extraordinary circumstances we are all experiencing.

NSC and NRA staff are now focused on the future; resetting thousands of range bookings, rescheduling training courses, servicing targetry and other range infrastructure, and exploring options for an autumn series of competitions. We have even seeded the unattractive NCSC clay ranges, and I find myself for once praying for Bisley rain to chit the grass seed. There is no certainty when our ranges will open, but we will be ready whenever the restrictions are lifted.

Target shooting away from Bisley faces similar challenges, and staff have been busy fielding calls from club officials. Sport England has just announced a new fund to support sports clubs experiencing short term financial hardship or closure; see the NRA website for further details.

Finally good luck, and best wishes from us all. We hope you and yours stay well, and look forward to welcoming you back to Bisley soon.

Andrew Mercer
Secretary General, National Rifle Association
Chief Executive, National Shooting Centre

Please visit the NRA website regularly for updates.
Kind regards
Georgina Thatcher
Head of Membership & Office Services

April shooting

posted 1 Apr 2020, 03:29 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 1 Apr 2020, 03:30 ]

Dear Members

Just to confirm there are no HBSA shoots this month (April).

Regards Dave Carroll

Bisley Ranges and the NRA Queen's Prize

posted 30 Mar 2020, 07:49 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 30 Mar 2020, 07:49 ]

This film was forwarded to me by a friend in the US, Tom Rowe, author and publisher of many rifle books which members will know well, collector, and keen shot and fisherman.

I had not seen it before. Many old friends seen here, including an interview with our late Patron, Lord Cottesloe. Some rifle handling which is now “updated” although no one got shot!

The Script Editor is Susie Cornfield authoress of "The Queen’s Prize”.

In all quite a well put together view of the history of marksmanship, Bisley and the Queen’s Prize.

Something to cheer you in your isolation.

Stay well everyone!

Best wishes

Derek Stimpson

Message from Inspector Chris Downs, in charge of Met FET

posted 30 Mar 2020, 07:37 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 30 Mar 2020, 07:37 ]

The following is a message from Inspector Chris Downs, in charge of Met FET to me as a member of the Met Independent Advisory Group, which I quote in its entirety so that you can appreciate their supportive approach. Members may address any questions to me at :- chairman@hbsa-uk.org

We will post any updates or further information as and when received

Trusting that you are all staying well!

Derek Stimpson

"I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that all public services, the Metropolitan Police Service included, are currently finding themselves operating in very difficult and rapidly changing environment. As a result I have had to make some difficult decisions in order to maintain our core business during this period and I have summarised these below for your information.

Renewals of all certification will take place via remote assessment via video, on the most widely available electronic mediums, and telephones calls.

We will take absolutely every measure to avoid certificate holders going in to unlawful possession but there may be some occasions where this is unavoidable. I am sensitive to the closure of RFDs but we have secured cooperation from a number of these across London to provide emergency storage in the event of no other alternative. If you, your colleagues, members or friends find themselves in this position then please contact us electronically and we will assist in making the necessary arrangements.

Wherever possible we will aim to avoid the issue of temporary permits as this in turn creates an additional demand on the team that we can ill afford.

Currently we have placed all new grants and variations on hold until this situation is under control. I do not at this time intend to return the paperwork associated with new grants but will on request. Applications for variations are now in the process of being returned with an explanatory note.

Responses to requests for materials for appeals will also be subject for delays but again we will make every effort to service this demand.

In terms of the bigger picture we have now reached the point where my staff and I will be required to assist the policing response across the Capital. This does not mean that our business will stop but does means that it will be maintained by absolutely minimal staff from Monday onwards and there may be service disruptions which occur at short notice.

As our partners in this endeavour I ask for your patience and understanding as we deal with these unprecedented times and your assistance in ensuring that our customers continue to receive the best possible service that we can offer.

The key messages I would ask for your help in delivering are:

· We remain committed to providing our service and Firearms Licensing remains a priority for the MPS.
· That we are suffering disruption to our normal service due to these extraordinary circumstances.
· Only contact us when absolutely necessary and please utilise the internet based options to do so (Email - FETLondonAll@met.police.uk or general enquiry form found at https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fi/af/firearms-licensing/mht/contact-firearms-team/ )
· Existing certificate holders should apply early (12 - 16 weeks) for at least the next six months in order to secure the statutory extension and give us the best possible opportunity to renew within time.
· If anyone finds themselves requiring renewal at timescales shorter than that described above they should make their renewal application electronically and follow this with an electronic contact to our office. We have a process in place to offer assistance in these circumstances but this is the most efficient way to access our services.
· We will be sympathetic to issues that shooters may experience in having opportunity to access ranges and shoots during these difficult times. This will be taken into consideration when we are considering evidence of continuing “good reason”
· We are well aware of the pressure felt across the NHS and will work together with our shooters and health partners to ensure a pragmatic approach is taken to addressing any medical issues raised.

I hope to rearrange our planned stakeholder meeting that was scheduled in April as soon as reasonably practicable so that I can provide fuller information.

With kind regards and wishing you all the best for the future.

Coronavirus - Update

posted 26 Mar 2020, 03:34 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 26 Mar 2020, 03:34 ]

Many members will have seen the notice posted on the NRA website which you can find here :- https://nra.org.uk/news/

Most forms of shooting are now suspended in the UK for the foreseeable future and members should follow the Government instructions which can be found here :-


We continue in touch with the NRA, BSSC, Police and Government and will keep you appraised of any developments, so please keep an eye on our website.

We are in communication with Police also regarding FAC/SGC renewals during this testing time.
Any member with an issue should contact me :- chairman@hbsa-uk.org

Since our own indoor meetings are also suspended for the time being we looking at ways forward with web based and e-activity, communication with membership and regarding handling our daily business.

Announcements will follow when we are in a position to report further.

We wish all our members and their families safely through this difficult period.

Derek Stimpson

Use of Steel Ammunition & Proof Mark Equivalency Table

posted 22 Mar 2020, 09:50 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 22 Mar 2020, 09:50 ]

We have received this information from the Birmingham Proof House. If you have any queries, please direct them to me and not to the Proof House.

Dear All,

Please see the attached paper relating to the use of steel ammunition and the relevant CIP/equivalent UK national proof mark table I have produced on behalf of the British Proof Authority.

There are currently a number of papers in circulation, most concentrating on the history leading up to the current position, or the political situation. This paper is intended to be as simple as possible, providing dealers and the general shooting public a guide to what options are currently available to them in a format they can understand. 

Please feel free to circulate, we will also be distributing through our customer and associates network.

Best regards,

Samuel S Perry
Deputy Proof Master
Birmingham Proof House
Banbury Street
B5 5RH

Derek Stimpson

Covid-19 virus and the HBSA

posted 17 Mar 2020, 13:13 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 17 Mar 2020, 13:14 ]

As members will know we cancelled the March meeting at the Museum of London. Given current Government advice it is likely that our meetings in London will be cancelled for the months of April and possibly May. Please keep an eye on the website for future changes in the situation. We will be looking at ways of providing web-based alternatives to members.

At the time of writing the ranges at Bisley remain open but please refer to the NRA website for full details. We have taken the decision to suspend HBSA shoots for two months and review the situation again then. Members are reminded to follow the current Government guidelines including social distancing, high risk individuals, non essential travel, etc. 

We are liaising with police through BSSC regarding potential issues with renewal of Firearms or Shotgun Certificates during this period (in particular GPs workload) and if you have any issues relating to this please get in touch with me at chairman@hbsa-uk.org

We wish you well in the crisis and for a speedy end to it. 

Derek Stimpson"

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