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Gun & Shooting Clubs

Information relating to membership and associated practice of Gun and Shooting clubs. You will also find information on the shooting season.

New club criteria will come into effect from 1 August 2016.  In particular, please note the changes in determining which force is responsible for a club. For full information please read the CLUBS CRITERIA LEAFLET [265KB] .

Farmer's FieldDo I have to be a member of an approved target shooting club?

Under section 44 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, a person wishing to possess a rifle or muzzle-loading pistol solely for target shooting must be a member of an approved rifle club or, as the case may be, approved muzzle-loading pistol club.

Members of approved target shooting clubs are subject to the discipline codes, rules and regulations laid down in their constitution. Every responsible club will have safety as a top priority. Range marshals should always be present to see that all members adhere to the rules and regulations and ensure that safety is not jeopardised.

Such rules and regulations are mostly common sense, or have come about because of a previous incident.


  • Abide by your club's rules and regulations. They are there for your safety.
  • Prove every weapon before accepting it from or handing it to someone else.
  • Follow the directions of your instructor or range marshal.
  • Ensure it is safe to shoot, before pulling the trigger.


  • Point a gun, loaded or unloaded, at anyone.
  • Hand a gun to someone else without proving it.
  • Put down a loaded gun.

Comprehensive guidance for approval of rifle and muzzle-loading pistol clubs.

When are the Shooting Seasons?

There are a number of birds, wildfowl (ducks and geese) and mammals which can be shot legally by license holders who have permission to be on the land where they are found. For many species there is a closed season during which time it is illegal to shoot them.

The provision of this undisturbed period ensures that they are able to breed and disperse and the young are able to grow. Seasons vary for each species and may be different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Please refer to the British Association of Shooting and Conservation for full details of the shooting seasons.