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Brodie

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Someone suggested I join their local clay club. It appears to be very informal with no insurance cover, no qualified safety officer and despite no exemption certificate encourages non certificate novices to attend and shoot.

Am I paranoid in thinking this is one to avoid? 

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I really do think that you should check it out for yourself, before coming to any conclusions. I go to a club where there is no 'obvious' Safety Officer, BUT are we not ALL Safety Officers and if not, then we should be  ?  When I am shooting, if I see anything that I feel is unsafe, then I will have a quiet word with the Offender. If that does not work and there is a repeat of the wrongdoing, it ceases to be a 'quiet' word. All to often I see people shaking heads and muttering about someone's gun safety,  but it is left to 'someone else' to say something. Even if the Club have a Safety Officer, he only has 2 eyes (usually) and can not be everywhere on the ground, especially at a sporting venue which can be spread around several stands.  One of my worst shooting experiences ever, involved the training of Army cadets. It was a regular occurrence to be on the adjoining range and be looking down the business end of a set of shotgun barrels as the cadets were shown how to operate a shotgun. When I had the audacity to complain, I was informed that their 'Instructors' were far more qualified than any civvie Instructors and if we did not like it we knew where the gate was !

Go to the club, ask a few questions and watch proceedings, then judge !  Oh, and yes, I am 'qualified'.

Just to add, I ran an 'affiliated' club for a good number of years, in fact, until we questioned exactly what the CPSA did for us. The answer was NOWT, and as such we took out an extension to our existing Insurance, we already had 6 Safety Officers (CPSA qualified) and 2 qualified Instructors (again CPSA qualified). We did not hold any Competitions and when the annual subscription went up yet again, we swiftly became 'Unaffiliated'. It did not change the way that the club was run though.

Edited by Westley

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Quite agree Westley re the safety officer issue. My main concern would be that without club insurance cover, and no guarantee that individuals have cover, would members be jointly liable in the event of any accident. I understand game shoot syndicate members can be held jointly liable in the absence of cover.

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2 minutes ago, Brodie said:

Quite agree Westley re the safety officer issue. My main concern would be that without club insurance cover, and no guarantee that individuals have cover, would members be jointly liable in the event of any accident. I understand game shoot syndicate members can be held jointly liable in the absence of cover.

I fully agree with the insurance issue and I think if the wheel came off, the 'Members' or more, the shoot organiser can be held responsible. Insist upon the matter of Insurance being dealt with BEFORE you join  ?  Having been an 'Expert witness'  for an injured party,  I can assure you,  the Insurance Company pulled every trick in the book to avoid paying out, so sometimes the Insurance is not worth a jot. I therefore have a Life membership to one of the shooting bodies AND an inclusion on my Household Policy, a bit of a belt and braces job.

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1 hour ago, Brodie said:

Someone suggested I join their local clay club. It appears to be very informal with no insurance cover, no qualified safety officer and despite no exemption certificate encourages non certificate novices to attend and shoot.

Am I paranoid in thinking this is one to avoid? 

That sounds more like rough shooting ?

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10 hours ago, Vince Green said:

There are a lot of 'clubs' like that though,  to be honest, 

Agreed and I see no problem if each individual has insurance. Main concern for me is uninsured shooters with no certificate.  Get someone off work after being hit by a piece of clay and they'll soon start looking for someone to claim off for loss of earnings.

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14 hours ago, Brodie said:

Someone suggested I join their local clay club. It appears to be very informal with no insurance cover, no qualified safety officer and despite no exemption certificate encourages non certificate novices to attend and shoot.

Am I paranoid in thinking this is one to avoid? 

No you're not being paranoid. No club insurance means you are relying on individual members insurance (if they have it) to cover in the event of an accident.

Whilst an exemption certificate (sec 11/6) is not required if the novice is always chaperoned, they cannot use club or members guns unattended.

As said , safety officers need common sense more than a CPSA qualification.

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I think a lot of people put too much faith in having public liability insurance. First of all, you never want to be in a position of having to claim, and I do not know anyone who has ever had to for a shooting matter, to be fair.

However, on a separate work related forum there was a long running thread about workplace public liability insurance and the very real problems people have encountered trying to process genuine claims. If the stories were to be believed, and I see no reason to doubt them, the Insurance companies behaved appallingly.

I think it is unwise to believe that it is a simple as many people assume it to be. 

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2 hours ago, Vince Green said:

 

I think it is unwise to believe that it is a simple as many people assume it to be. 

I'm sure it isn't, but for a business it's a legal responsibility, for a club it's a better idea than relying on your own personal ,public liability insurance through Basc ect, who could easily turn round and say that you are not covered on a clay ground.

Leaving you wide open (heaven forbid there was a serious accident) to having your pants sued off you.

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Many of you already know that My son and I run Rixton & Astley Shooting Club.

We became a CPSA Affiliated club a couple of years ago.

For me it was a no brainer as we got free advertising for the shoot in the PULL magazine, and a FREE Safety Officers Course, which Young Webber made good use of.

We did get a quote from the CPSA nominated insurer, but we stayed with our existing insurer via Blufin.

I agree that it difficult to see what CPSA does for Affiliated clubs, but their check list of requirements for affiliation is worthy of completing for any club, just to ensure that you have all the bases covered.

Club insurance for accidents is basic.  I would strongly urge all those who go shooting to join either BASC or CPSA.

 

webber

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Thanks for all the replies. Varied opinions as I expected but all valid.

I decided today to go and have a look at the ground the club uses. No sooner had I arrived than an irate gentleman appeared asking what I intended to do about the lead shot landing in his garden every shoot!. I offered my sympathy and departed.

Nice and local as the club is I am in the enviable position I can shoot weekdays for less money at a commercial ground without any concerns other than my own conduct.

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7 hours ago, Rewulf said:

No you're not being paranoid. No club insurance means you are relying on individual members insurance (if they have it) to cover in the event of an accident.

Whilst an exemption certificate (sec 11/6) is not required if the novice is always chaperoned, they cannot use club or members guns unattended.

As said , safety officers need common sense more than a CPSA qualification.

You can have all the common sense in the world BUT it counts for nothing if the fertiliser hits the fan !  All H & S are interested in is "who was in charge at the time of the incident, was a risk assessment completed AND what qualifications did that person hold" ?  You need that bit of paper.  We were once visited by a young couple one Sunday morning, asking if they could shoot. We explained that they would have to book a lesson for another Sunday, but were welcome to look around. They asked several shooters a lot of questions which aroused my suspicions. When I challenged them about this, they admitted to being H & S staff who were investigating a shooting incident at another ground in Lancashire and they were trying to see how easy it was to be let loose with a gun !

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1 hour ago, Westley said:

You can have all the common sense in the world BUT it counts for nothing if the fertiliser hits the fan !  All H & S are interested in is "who was in charge at the time of the incident, was a risk assessment completed AND what qualifications did that person hold" ?  You need that bit of paper.  We were once visited by a young couple one Sunday morning, asking if they could shoot. We explained that they would have to book a lesson for another Sunday, but were welcome to look around. They asked several shooters a lot of questions which aroused my suspicions. When I challenged them about this, they admitted to being H & S staff who were investigating a shooting incident at another ground in Lancashire and they were trying to see how easy it was to be let loose with a gun !

I think we have our wires crossed.

I wasn't saying a CPSA qualification wasn't advantageous, but it's most definitely not (in my experience) a guarantee of common sense!

It also won't matter whatsoever, once that  recent novice, or indeed SGC carrying, 50 year experienced veteran, does something stupid. You cannot be with members/shooters ALL the time.

Accidents are mercifully rare at clay grounds, but to suggest any accidents that occur, due to user stupidity, are directly blamed on the ground safety officer(s) , would entail nobody wanting to be one!

Setting the course up safely, and making sure new members are taught correct safety practices, before they are left to their own devices, whilst warning against breaches of safety protocol, and if necessary, banning unsafe users for repeated breaches, is the limit of what can be done.

You simply can't guarantee against every eventuality, partly because you can't be everywhere at once.

It would be like blaming your driving instructor for an accident, after you passed your test.

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