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  1. This rule applies to shooting activities using firearms as defined in law (including air guns with energy greater than 1 Joule), and also to the use of crossbows with a draw weight of 1.4kg or greater, re-enactment guns. This rule does not apply to paintballing, the use of laser guns and the use of toy guns.

  2. Shooting at targets representing human beings or animals is not permitted as a part of any Scout activity, nor on property owned or leased by, or used in the name of, the Scout Movement.

    Parental consent
  3. Before engaging in shooting as an activity Leaders should take account of local feelings on shooting.

  4. The parent/guardian should be supplied with detailed information on the nature of the activity when permission is sought. An example form is available on the shooting pages of the website.  Where other forms are used they should at least include this information.

  5. When taking part in shooting activities members must have parental permission for all under 18’s taking part.

    Transportation, storage and use
  6. No firearms, may be bought, owned or used by any Scout unit or campsite unless the relevant line manager has made arrangements to ensure that possession and use complies with all statutory requirements and any applicable bylaws.

  7. Firearms may be taken on to Scout premises so long as permission is obtained from the owner or their representative and the person responsible for the activity (i.e. site warden/ manager or District Commissioner).

  8. Members operating firearms as defined in the law must do so in line with the Firearms act 1968 (as amended) and other relevant legislation.

  9. Members operating air guns and firearms in Northern Ireland must adhere to the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.

  10. Members operating in Scotland must hold a ‘target shooting club’s approval’ issued by Police Scotland. The storage and operation of air guns must be accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.

  11. Members running events involving air gun activities in Scotland must hold an Event Permit issued by Police Scotland and operate air guns in accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.

  12. Members travelling to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK, and transporting their airguns in order to provide shooting activities require a Visitor Permit issued by Police Scotland. This must be acquired prior to the visit for either an individual or a group. Members must ensure that all shooting activities are carried out in line with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.

  13. Wherever practical, shooting ranges should be out of bounds, except during the specified times for shooting, where the range and surrounding areas must be managed appropriately.

  14. In every case, shooting must be supervised by a competent and appropriately qualified Range Conducting Officer who must have a knowledge of the correct use of the firearms being used and shall be responsible for ensuring compliance by all persons in the range with the relevant range safety and other rules.

  15. Members may use firearms for historical re-enactment purposes as a member or guest of a club affiliated to the National Association of Re-enactment Societies and operating in accordance with their standards and codes of practice. Members using firearms under this rule remain subject to Rule 9.37c (which forbids shooting at targets representing human beings or animals).

  16. The person in charge of crossbow activities where the crossbow has a draw weight in excess of 1.4kg must hold a minimum of YPS Tutor Sport Crossbow qualification from the National SmallBore Rifle Association (NSRA). Where members taking part in the activity are under the age of 18, the Range Officer or another person supervising participants in the activity must be aged not less than 21.

  17. Members may practise shooting with firearms, whether requiring a Firearms Certificate or not, under any of the following circumstances:
    • as a member or guest of a club approved for this purpose by the relevant Government Department;
    • on Service premises under the supervision of an authorised member of the armed forces;
    • if the firearms are shotguns, clay pigeon shooting under the standards and controls of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA);

      Air guns
  18. Members may practise shooting with air guns which do not require a Firearms Certificate [except that in Northern Ireland a Firearms Certificate is always required] as follows:
    • the ranges must have been properly constructed to comply with guidelines issued by the NSRA or the National Rifle Association (NRA) and with any bye laws relevant to the location of the range;
    • the guns used must not be of an automatic nature;
    • the pellets used must be ‘diabolo shaped’ and of soft deformable metal such as lead;
    • the Range Conducting Officer must hold one of the qualifications listed in the current issue of the factsheet FS120004 Shooting and, if any of those shooting is under the age of 14, the Range Conducting Officer or another person supervising participants in the activity must be aged not less than 21;
    • for a temporary range, the Range Officer shall prescribe appropriate range safety and other rules, taking account of the particular circumstances of the range;
    • where the air guns being used are of greater than .177inch (4.5mm) calibre, shooting must take place outdoors on a range with a minimum distance to target of 12m.

      Further guidance is available to support all of the above on the shooting pages of