The importance of rifle fit

As we all know, getting a gun that fits properly will help your shooting in leaps and bounds. However, when it comes to rifles, we often neglect this important aspect which can lead to some bad habits creeping in that will affect your accurate shooting.

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Using airguns as part of squirrel conservation

JDJ Braithwaite reports on the role of modern thermal imaging technology and its use when coupled with airgun hunting methods for the humane removal of grey squirrels from our woodlands. He talks about his experience and the issues he faces in his local town, Lakeland.

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Long delays in Scottish firearms licensing are unacceptable

Delays of up to nine months in processing firearms licence applications and renewals by Police Scotland have been described as unacceptable by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Applications for the grant and renewal of firearm and shotgun licences should be processed within a few weeks but a backlog is building up in Scotland.

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Airgun licensing in Scotland

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 15 May, grouping a proposed airgun licensing scheme for Scotland with alcohol licensing, scrap metal dealers and sexual entertainment venues. Use this briefing to find out more.

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Airgun licensing in Scotland a costly and bureaucratic mistake

A system to license the estimated half-a-million airguns in Scotland will be a costly and bureaucratic mistake, brought in as airgun crime has fallen by 75%, according to Scotland’s largest shooting organisation, BASC Scotland. BASC Scotland says airgun licensing is unnecessary, costly and impractical, despite the Scottish Government’s publication of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. It flies in the face of evidence, the results of the public consultation and fails on every principle of good regulation. BASC says a licensing system will place unnecessary burdens on police time and budgets, will only be taken up by already law-abiding airgun users, and will have little effect on criminal misuse. Dr Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland, said: “Offences involving air weapons in Scotland have fallen by 75% in recent years. In 2006-07 there was a ten-year-peak of 683 air weapon offences. In 2012-13, after six years of steady decline, there were 171 offences. In addition, all firearms offences are now at the lowest level since records began. Airguns are already extensively regulated by law, with more than thirty offences on the statute books. Bringing in this legislation will not deter those who are already determined to break the law.” “The drop in crimes has been achieved by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and shooting organisations such as BASC working together to improve education and enforcement of existing legislation. Further work in this direction would reap greater benefits than a disproportionate, expensive and bureaucratic licensing system that would have to accommodate the estimated 500,000 air weapons in Scotland. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill recently announced that this “education and enforcement” approach has also proved successful in reducing knife crime in the west of Scotland. If this is good enough for knife crime why would anyone think that licensing of all air weapons in Scotland, and all those brought in by visitors, is proportional, practical or affordable?” “Currently, 60,000 people in Scotland already hold firearms licences. Increasing the licensing requirement to cover hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland plus visitors will place existing Police Scotland licensing staff under a massive administrative burden when offences have fallen significantly and the police are subject to pressure on both budgets and staffing.”

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BASC seeks airgun coaches

More people are being asked to come forward to train as airgun coaches under a new coaching award run by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). David Ilsley from BASC said: “The award is not about teaching you how to shoot, it’s about teaching you how to teach others to shoot. It is very important that the modern airgun coach is equipped to provide training in a variety of situations and ensure high standards in shooting.” The award is made up of five modules, delivered through a training programme developed by BASC. The modules focus on safety, instructional techniques, airgun ballistics, risk assessment and range conducting. Two days’ training will be followed by a day’s assessment. For more information about becoming a BASC airgun coach, email Nick Lane or click here. BASC currently has a team of more than 40 airgun coaches and has already received more than 60 enquiries about the new award. BASC is also offering to sponsor club competitions at airgun clubs. David Ilsley added: “We will provide you with prizes and material for one club competition which we would ideally like to be open to non-club members too.” For more information email David Ilsley.

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