Memorandum by the United Kingdom Practical
LETTER TO THE CLERK OF THE COMMITTEE
The UKPSA was founded in 1977 to promote and
control International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)
style shooting in this country. Over the years we have worked
hard with various authorities and police forces and have established
that we are a responsible Association. We are a member of the
British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC).
We should make it clear that the UKPSA is the
governing body for all IPSC disciplines in the UK. We cannot speak
on behalf of any other association or body which may purport to
represent or administer other forms of "practical shooting"
in the UK.
Since the recent legislation following the tragedy
at Dunblane our Association has been faced with the loss of our
main discipline of pistol shooting. We have worked hard to develop
the existing disciplines of Practical Shotgun and Practical Rifle
along with developing new disciplines such as Mini-Rifle, using
.22 semi-automatic rifles, CO2 pistol and, at present,
looking at a carbine based discipline.
The various training programmes and syllabuses
which we have in place demonstrate that safety is our primary
concern. Copies of our existing training programmes have been
circulated to the Home Office and we are in the process of revising
our competitor training programmes for the remaining disciplines
with a view to improving participant understanding and to update
them in line with the modern development of the sport.
UKPSA controlled Practical Shooting is shot
in this country by approximately 500 individual members and by
some 3,000 affiliated club members. It is part of a world-wide
sporting discipline shot in some 70 IPSC regions. We are unaware
of any firearms related accidents or injuries in the UK resulting
from this discipline. Our safety record is second to none.
We have produced and circulated to various police
forces and the Home Office a number of documents and booklets
which demonstrate our attention to safety and the infra-structure
that the UKPSA has built up. These are as follows:
UKPSA/IPSC Practical Shotgun. This document
had been requested by various police forces so that they could
better understand the sport.
UKPSA/IPSC Practical Shotgun Competitions.
This document has been widely circulated and shows the requirements
and criteria for holding competitions.
UKPSA Rule BookPistolShotgunRifle.
These detail the rules by which the sport is shot internationally.
UKPSA Range Safety Officer Criteria.
This document shows the requirements for our range safety officers.
UKPSA Training Manual for Range OfficerChief
Range OfficerRangemaster. This document details the
syllabus for our Range Officer Training.
At the moment, because of restrictive conditions
being placed on firearms certificates by some police forces, they
are forcing certificate holders to join the UKPSA. Whilst the
Association always welcomes new members we feel that it is better
to attract voluntary members rather than forcing people to join
our Association for whatever reason. Our existing members are
committed to an Association that promotes an extensive competition
calendar and to the ethos of UKPSA/IPSC Practical Shooting. We
have made suggestions of alternative wording and conditions to
the Firearms Consultative Committee in a submission dated 15 April
We question the rationale behind the reclassification
of large capacity magazine shotguns with barrels over 24"
from Section 2 to Section 1 of the Firearms Act as amended in
1988 given that large magazine shotguns are ballistically identical
and use, with the exception of slug, the same ammunition as Section
2 shotguns. It seems that this upgrade in status was not justified.
We are unaware of any statistical evidence that suggests there
has been an improvement in public safety. We ask that your Committee
look at this point and give consideration to advising that this
classification ought to be reversed.
Should you require any further expansion on
any of the above points, please do not hesitate to contact us.
United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association.
13 October 1999