I want to try rifle shooting. So what do I do now?
Use the form on this site to write to us and let us know that you are interested in joining. We will get back to you with further details. By law, all rifle clubs must be private, and membership must be by invitation only.The UK has some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world. This is in place to protects us, and the community from firearms misuse. Much of the legislation is recent. Some may view this as cumbersome and unnecessary, however it is the law, and therefore necessary.
You will be required to join the club as a probationary member, during this time you should demonstrate your suitability for club membership. This will involve regular attendance, displaying a willingness to learn, and adherence to safety protocols amongst other things.
Fully supervised instruction will be given during probation. During the first couple of months you will find out if shooting is for you or not. You will probably quickly improve your scores and have tried a couple of different shooting disciplines. There will be no significant cost at this stage.
The next step is to apply for a Fire Arm Certificate (FAC) via the police. This will entail submitting references, medical evidence, and a criminal record background check. If this is satisfactory, a police visit will be made to assess the candidate and the security of the premises where the rifles are to be held. This will also require a letter from the club to the police backing up your application.
As long as all is in order, a certificate will be issued. This will take time, and several months should be allowed from joining a club to being allowed to possess a firearm
You must provide a valid reason for holding each type of firearm. The Bearsted and Thurnham Rifle Club is approved for .22 calibre rifles only, however you can hold other calibre firearms if you intend to use them at other ranges that allow them. The most obvious example would be the use of full bore rifles for use at outdoor ranges such as Bisley or Lydd/Hythe. Other available variations are for expanding ammunition, sound moderators (silencers) etc for vermin hunting.
Note that this club is not involved with any hunting activities.
It must be remembered that it is a criminal offence to even touch a firearm unless signed into a club, or in possession of a Firearms Certificate. These regulations are to safeguard everybody. They are quite fair. Any breach of safety, or behaviour not appropriate to the sport, will result in club expulsion, the police being informed, and the firearms taken away forever.