NRA Explore
APPEARS IN News

Olympic Shooting Sports on the Rise, But Not in the UK

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just as governments are meeting to negotiate a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that could have devastating effects on legal gun ownership everywhere, word comes that the shooting sports are more popular than ever across the globe. With the lineups for the 2012 London Olympics set, there are a total of 390 shooters from 108 countries competing at the games. The number of competitors places shooting in the top four sports at the Olympics and the total countries represented is up from the two previous games.

The good news comes from British Shooting, the governing body for the British shooters at the games. Unfortunately, after the article notes this encouraging development, the news regarding shooting sports in the host country is less positive. The author points out that for shooting to appear in the top four sports "is some feat for a sport that many in the United Kingdom see as one of the 'smaller' ones," and goes on to quote Great Britain shooting team member Phil Scanlan, who says, "In this country [shooting] is not as big as it could be."

The author of the article and Scanlan are omitting the obvious: UK interest in the shooting sports is small because civilian gun owners have been under attack from the UK government for nearly a century.

For London to simply host the three .22 caliber pistol shooting events (Men's 50m, Men's 50m Rapid Fire and Women's 25m) required an act of Parliament. Those training for the Olympics after the 1997 handgun ban had to practice for the 2000, 2004, and 2008 games at ranges overseas.

Britain relented, to a small degree, for the 2012 games. In 2009, the Home Office allowed for the creation of a limited "Elite Cartridge Pistol Squad" that would be allowed to practice in England and Wales prior to the games. The "Squad" was selected "by a committee comprising the British Shooting Head Pistol Coach and the Pistol Coaches of England, Wales and Scotland." Even with this compromise, a pistol shooting hopeful would have to spend years training outside the UK in order to acquire the skills and recognition required to be considered by the committee for domestic practice.

The bureaucratic barriers facing shotgunners and riflemen are only slightly less daunting. To own a shotgun with a capacity of two or fewer shells, there is an onerous certificate application process that costs £50 and demands the completion of a four-page form that asks probing health questions and requires a co-signer who is not related to the applicant. Those seeking to own shotguns with a capacity greater than two shells, or to own rifles, must apply for a firearms certificate, which requires completion of an eight-page form that includes all of the information required of shotgun certificate applicant, along with a requirement for two references to answer questions about the applicant's mental and physical health history and social relationships. Both types of certificate holders are subject to home inspections from a Firearms Enquiry Officer to make sure that they are in compliance with stringent storage requirements. Semi-automatic center-fire rifles are completely banned.

With all these barriers to participation in the shooting sports, it is no mystery why shooting is not popular in the UK. But Scanlan remains hopeful for the sport, stating, "I truly think that having the Olympic Games on home soil will have a hugely positive impact on participation in the sport, and that excites me for what's to come in the future."

Let's hope his optimism isn't misplaced, and that the London 2012 games foster a rebirth of the shooting sports in the UK. If those with renewed interest in the shooting sports are able to make some legislative or regulatory headway, maybe someday the UK will once again recognize George Orwell's wisdom when he wrote, "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

TRENDING NOW

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Social Security Administration Releases Proposed Rulemaking on Disability-Related Gun Ban

On Friday, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released a draft of a proposed rulemaking that would supposedly bring the agency into compliance with what it claims is its responsibility to report prohibited persons to the ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Say What? Gun Control Advocates Try to Change the Language of Crime

As a cabinet level official in the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both reflected and informed the regime’s values and tactics, some of which she has carried forward into her own campaign ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Aging Rocker to College Students: You’re Too Drunk, Violent, and Stupid for Your Rights

Throughout its history, rock-n-roll music has provided youth who are fed up with being lectured and condescended to by out-of-touch or hypocritical elders a voice to respond and to advocate for their own generation. Athens, ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton to Attack Gun Owners Her “Very First Day” in Office

In what has become as reliable as clockwork, with the passing of another week comes another Hillary Clinton attack on gun owners. This time, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination explained to supporters her ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Michigan: Important Firearm Preemption Legislation Will Likely Receive Committee Vote Next Week

Next Wednesday, May 4, the House Local Government Committee is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on House Bill 4795, as substituted.  HB 4795, sponsored by Chairman Lee Chatfield (R-District 107), is important legislation aimed ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hollywood Ramps up Anti-gun Campaign

Gun control advocates and Hollywood have long been allied in an effort to propagandize the public against firearm ownership. However, as detailed in an April 27 piece in entertainment industry trade publication Variety, anti-gun groups ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Louisiana: House Committee to Vote Tuesday on Dangerous Bill Gutting Louisiana’s Firearms Preemption Law

Imagine the City of New Orleans having the statutory authority to pass any law they wanted governing the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms and ammunition.

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

NRA Statement on President Obama's Latest Gun Control

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) issued the following statements on President Obama’s latest gun control push.

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poll: Voters Not Swayed by Clinton’s Anti-Gun Duplicity

We’ve been reporting on Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her anti-gun mentality for months. She has been especially focused on the alleged immunity gun manufacturers have under federal law, the Protection in Lawful Commerce ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.