Last year Council approved the migration from our long-serving membership management system to a carefully researched on-line membership platform.
This move is necessary as the support of our existing solution has ended, and further it is not compatible with newer versions of the MS-Access software that underpins it.
Moving to a professional UK Based membership solution will give all of us access to our membership records and enable us to make card payments via the membership portal.
There are also other benefits in terms of automatic backups, reduced postage, decentralised storage and improved security.
There will be further announcements on the topic as well as instructions and time to familiarise oneself with the new software before renewal next year, however in line with our current Privacy Notice we are letting everyone know that our GDPR Privacy Notice had been updated.
Changes have been made to keep up with the evolving terminology and interpretation of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, as well as add the new membership software processor, namely “Membermojo”. We have added other processors at the same time; YouTube, Flickr, Zoom and Stripe card payments. We have also added Sussex Police to reflect the fact that Surrey and Sussex FLDs are now one and the same. We have changed some of our retention periods of data due to system capabilities but remain within regulation and guidelines.
The updated privacy notice (v2) can be found here: https://www.hbsa-uk.org/About-the-HBSA/hbsa-data-privacy-notice
If you have any questions about the privacy notice you may direct them to me
We are sad to report that Ken Hocking passed away on the evening of 15th April 2020 from pneumonia.
Ken was well known to us all for his keen interest in collecting and extensive knowledge of historic arms. He represented MLAGB on HBSA Council for many years, as well as at shows and at other organisations, including FESAC. He was elected to HBSA in 1975.
Ken was chairman of MLAGB from 2009 to 2014, and continued to represent MLAGB with British Shooting Sports Council for several years after his retirement as chairman
We send our sincere condolences to his widow Sheila.
We will advise any further details when known.
For members wishing to renew a Section 5 authority please see the email below from the Home Office.
Applications should be on line and the following is the link on to the application/renewal site = Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-or-manage-a-section-5-shooting-club-or-museum-licence
The e-mail address to which applicants should write for queries before applying is = email@example.com
. However, once they have applied for a renewal etc they will receive an acknowledgment email from an iCasework email address that is linked to their case and that would be the email address they should use for all future enquiries about their case.
If you have issues please let me know and I will try to assist.
15 April 2020
Home Office Firearms Licensing- COVID-19 Response
I am writing to you in my capacity as the Head of the Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) at the Home Office.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents us all with significant challenges and represents a time of great uncertainty. But, for all this uncertainty, it is clear that DFLU have a key role to play in the UK’s response to the pandemic, in terms of providing the framework and delivering the regulatory structures for relevant controlled drugs to reach those who need them most. Our primary focus has to be on controlled drug supplies at this time.
I would like to update you on some changes to the way we deliver our services presently and ask you all for your help so that we can allocate our limited resources to ensure we can respond to those who need us most in these challenging times.
Changes to service delivery:
Following the Prime Minister’s advice on 23 March and a move to more societal isolation, we had to take the decision to cease in-office regulatory delivery. With effect from close of business Tuesday 24 March we have paused all non-essential casework and administrative functions, to allow us to clinically imperative drug licences applications and firearms licences that require progressing for National Security reasons.
Since 24 March we have been working out of the office only and with reduced staffing levels. We have reviewed every pending firearms licence application to progress each one as far as possible at this time and have, with the support of the police, identified any which need processing urgently on grounds of National Security.
What we are delivering:
We have been testing our remote working practices, systems and methods for case escalation. We are not actively caseworking firearms licence applications at this time, but will keep all applications under review according to our reduced resourcing and if the police identify any case that requires progression on grounds of National Security.
I can now let you know that we continue to offer services as follows:
- Firearms licence application consideration, where they require progressing for National Security reasons;
- Consideration of grants of Temporary Section 5 authority, while consideration of a further licence application is ongoing;
- System administration
How to request a grant of temporary authority:
If you are a current licence holder who is seeking a further licence and consideration of a grant of temporary authority under Section 5 of the Firearms Act we require additional information from you to be able to consider granting a temporary authority. Please provide a high-resolution electronic version of all copies of your existing authority as part of your application. If your application has already been submitted please now send a copy via the casework link to your case. You must also indicate clearly whether your application is on a like-for-like renewal basis or if not, summarise the changes requested.
Please note, that the submission of a request for temporary authority on additional grounds to those on which the previous licence was issued will be considered but we cannot guarantee that that this will be agreed.
Please also note that the issue of a temporary authority is not an indication that we will grant a further authority of any kind in future.
All other applications:
We cannot prioritise other applications at this time but will continue to consider them as and when we have capacity.
Telephone and email enquiries:
As we are not currently working in the office we are not currently able to answer any telephone enquiries and will not receive any mail items posted to us. Due to this and a number of staffing changes immediately before Covid 19 please ensure that you reply to the icasework email address that is linked to your case to contact us, please do not email anyone in the team directly as they may not be able to see or respond to your enquiry.
Please note that DFLU only deal with enquiries about specific licensing matters on individual cases so if your query is about the policy itself please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance and Invoice Payment:
We expect to be able to issue invoices as usual, and are not amending our terms of payment at this time. If you expect to face any administrative difficulties sending payments, please contact email@example.com
This is an emerging situation and we will have to regularly reappraise our resources and how they match up to demand. We are a relatively small regulatory body, and, our capacity it significantly reduced by remote working. It is on this point that I ask you all for your support in these challenging times.
What are your business hours:
We aim to provide cover for our core services across normal weekday business hours Monday- Friday 9:00 – 17:00. Please be aware that in this time individual team staff hours may be variable.
How can we help you?
Our biggest challenges will be delivering a more limited service remotely and with reduced staffing. Please therefore only contact us when necessary and ensure you are providing us all the information we need. It is important to be respectful of the criteria for cases to receive priority processing in these challenging and difficult times, to ensure we do not misallocate our limited resources.
DFLU appreciate your support and remain committed to delivering an excellent regulatory service, just in a different way to that we would like at the moment.
Head of Drugs & Firearms Licensing Unit, Home Office.
UK Competent Authority for Controlled Drug and Drug Precursor Chemical Licensing.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Secretary General, National Rifle Association
Chief Executive, National Shooting Centre
Please visit the NRA website regularly for updates.
Head of Membership & Office Services
Just to confirm there are no HBSA shoots this month (April).
Regards Dave Carroll
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!
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 :- firstname.lastname@example.org
We will post any updates or further information as and when received
Trusting that you are all staying well!
“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.