Frequently Asked Question
Membership - Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions as such, the overriding factor is can the individual safely handle a firearm or air rifle. In the case of juniors the club has frequently found they are not physically able to hold and handle a firearm until they are over 10 years old. An assessment can be made at the club.
It should be stressed that in the case of juniors a parent or guardian will be expected to remain present with the junior. Whilst all the club members are security cleared for the purposes of firearms, they are not cleared for child protection purposes. In the interests of safety of the junior and other club members there could be occasions when it might be necessary to, for example, touch an arm to advise on weapons handling. So in the interests of everyone the club decreed that the juniors parent or guardian must be present. Simply dropping the junior off at the club or asking a friend to oversee their child is not permissible.
Membership - how much How much does it cost to shoot?
As with many sports there are no easy answers as it depends on the discipline you chose to follow. The core elements will be club membership, weekly range fees and ammunition costs. After that it will be down to factors such as whether you purchase your own firearms, the storage facilities required, ammunition used and any travelling expenses.
Membership - How much is club membership?
See below under 'Membership Processes' for new joiners fees.
For Full Members the 2016 annual club membership fees are:
- £120 adults
- £30 juniors
- £70 seniors (over 65)
- £190 couples
In addition there are range fees of £3 to pay when attending the club range. Other locations such as Bisley would be more expensive.
The club year runs January – December. When a Full Member pays the annual membership fees before the end of January they are allocated a number of vouchers which can be used to help offset against the cost of range fees.
Membership - How do I become a member and how long does it take?
The process to become a member takes approximately 6 months. The process has a number of stages. It appears long and weary but at the end of it you could apply for a firearms licence and we must be as sure as we can be that you would be safe. We are a Home Office Approved Club and take such matters very seriously. We do not entertain members whose sole purpose is to obtain a licence, we encourage participation in club activities.
- If you would like to come along to the club to find out more and meet with one of the Section Secretaries please email the 'Membership Enquiries Link'. You must provide your full name and address before you will be invited to attend. Please note - if the link is not present on the website then it means that are waiting lists are full and we are not currently accepting any enquiries from potential new members.
- You will be sent a letter inviting you along at a date and time and advised to bring two forms of ID.
- Once the date is confirmed we will provide more information as to where to find the club.
- On the evening you will be provided with more information about the club and its activities. You will be asked to complete a general questionnaire. If appropriate an assessment will be made as to whether you or the junior can manage a firearm/air rifle.
- You will be allowed to attend a couple of occasions and then you will need to decide if you wish to formally start the membership process known as a Registered Applicant (RA). The club constitution only allows for 20 RA’s at any one time. This is because these 20 are all new joiners requiring tuition and a higher level of management. A small waiting list is held and as a RA becomes a Full Member the next person on the list will be invited to commence.
- The RA process starts with the completion of Form A and a notional joining fee paid (currently £50 or £25 juniors). It is now that the six months starts. During this time the club expects a high level of attendance. This is because we will not know you; your ability to learn safe weapons handling and shooting skills. It is at this time that we advise the police that you have become a Registered Applicant.
It is recognised that work/college/school can interfere with regular attendance and we would ask that you discuss this with us so we can offer the best options to you for this period. For example, we normally have new members coming along on a Monday or Tuesday night but if your shift work meant that you maybe could only attend one of those in a month we would see if another section could assist you during that time.
Once you become a Full Member there is significant flexibility around your attendance both in the days open to you and the amount of times you need attend in a year. It is just this first 6 months that’s tighter.
- During the 6 months an attendance sheet will need to be signed by yourself and a Section Secretary.
- We will train you during this time and that includes an evening of more intensive general training. The club bases it training on the National Rifle Association (NRA) training course. We are also well aware that once you become a Full Member you could apply for a firearms licence.
- At the end of the 6 months so long as you have been regularly attending and are safe around firearms you will be invited to complete a Form B which is a proposal form which goes to the club committee seeking full membership along with your attendance record.
- At the next committee meeting the application will be discussed. All members of the committee must agree to the application. Occasionally, a request may be turned down but its most frequently based on poor attendance. The individual would be advised at what was expected and when to resubmit the request for approval.
- Once approved, you would be advised and invited to join the club as a Full Member. There will be the annual membership fee to pay at this time (or the remaining part of eg half if six months into the year).
- Once you have completed this final process and paid the required amount. Then the police will be advised. It is at this time that you can apply for a firearms licence should you wish to.
The overriding factor for all these stages is safety. We are a gun club and safety has to be the most important thing.
Membership – I already have a licence and want to join the club – do I still have to do the 6 months?
Yes. We do not know you and therefore how safe you are with a firearm. Once we have determined you are safe you will be able to shoot your own firearm at the club range (if appropriate for the range).
Membership – What if I only want to have an air weapon – do I still have to do the 6 months?
Yes. You still need to understand safe weapons handling. Once a member you can still choose to get a firearms licence and so we aim to cover all aspects.
Membership - I have a disability – can I join the club and shoot?
We have had severely disabled members. The same criteria applies here as for age, safety is paramount for everyone and the ability to manage firearms is the overriding factor and so each case is treated separately. The best option is to make contact with the club via the membership email address and arrangements can be made for a visit and a chat. Even if it transpires it is not viable to shoot at our club we can help direct you to organisations who work with disabled shooters who can offer a wealth of support and advice so everyone can enjoy the sport.
Firearms licence - When can I apply for a firearms licence?
The police will not accept requests for firearms licences unless you have somewhere legitimate to shoot eg appropriate land where you have permission to shoot or you are a full member of a gun club. Likewise they will only grant licences for the appropriate weapons.
Full information on the firearms licencing process including the forms and the current waiting times (which can be lengthy) can be found on Essex Police website or your own local constabulary.
Equipment - Will the club provide equipment for me especially in the early stages?
Yes. There are club firearms available to use along with safety glasses and ear defenders. It is often not necessary to purchase specific equipment or clothing, that may come later depending on the form of shooting you undertake. However it is advisable that you wear sensible clothing such as t. shirts and trousers, as you need movement in your arms. V necked or open neck tops should be avoided as the spent cartridge cases can be hot when ejected and they could pop down the front of the neck. The range can also be cold in winter (The lounge area much warmer). You will quickly work out what suits you and is comfortable. Most people start with buying their own ear defenders or safety glasses.