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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