National police chief gives clear guidance on shooting under Covid-19 restrictions

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Orford, the national lead on firearms licensing, has provided clarity on shooting in England under the current Covid-19 guidance following concerns raised by BASC, other shooting organisations and police forces.

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DCC Orford says he has clarified the position with government and he will give clear instructions to individual constabularies that shooting can take place under the current regulations as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

He said: “When considering outdoor shooting, police should view it in the same way they would for golf and fishing.”

“My guidance to forces is clear; any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities, including shooting ranges, can now reopen, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with related public health guidance.

“My advice extends to outdoor pest control and deer management, on the proviso that they are doing so in line with guidance and within the law.

“I’m really grateful to the shooting community for their support and forbearance through these times. I would ask that do their utmost to follow the coronavirus guidelines on activities and the management of locations.”

Dr Conor O’Gorman, head of campaigns and policy at BASC, said: “This advice sets out a clear marker for police forces to follow and it should clarify some of the confusion that has been evident in the last week or so.

“Shooting is back open for business as long as people follow the sensible social distancing guidelines laid down by government.”

Please note this advice only relates to England – BASC will be reporting on guidance for shooting in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales when it becomes available. 

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