Safety Rules

The following regulations are intended to ensure that both the members of the club and visitors to the club can enjoy the sport in a safe and accident free environment. The Club has a duty to protect the Landowners and their agents (workers, guests) and members of the public who may wander onto the shooting ground.

Should you not understand ANY point contained herein then you must seek clarification before shooting or bringing a weapon onto the club grounds.

  • Following these rules is a condition of membership. Failure to comply will be classed as unsafe conduct under the rules of the club and repeatedly breaking these rules will result in warnings and possibly the cancellation of your membership.
  • All guns used at the club must be legal and within the power range according to UK law. The club has the right to test any rifle or pistol to ensure this is upheld. Registered firearms (air rifles over 12ft/lbs) are not permitted on our ground.
  • Club members act as Marshalls and Range Officers on a rotation basis. These people can be identified by a hi-vis jacket. On competition days there will be multiple Marshalls. All members and guest must obey instructions from a Marshall.
  • If a non-Marshall brings up a safety issue you must also take heed of what they say.
  • If you are a parent or guardian of a child who is shooting, you are responsible for their actions and must make sure these rules are followed.

If you are notified that you have broken one of these rules or you have done something unsafe please do not be defensive or offended. The clubs biggest priority is safety of members and visitors. The club has not had any injuries from airguns in it’s 30+ year history, these rules are important and must be obeyed.

When is a Rifle in a Safe Condition?

It’s essential that all shooters know how to keep their rifle in a “safe condition” when arriving at the club. We expect all guns to be in a safe condition at all times unless you are at a firing line and in the process of shooting a target.

A safe condition is when your rifle has no chance of firing, all of these things must be true for that to happen:

  • No pellet must be in the rifles loading mechanism or barrel
  • If your gun uses a magazine it must be removed
  • Your gun must not be cocked
  • If you’re shooting a spring gun, either break your barrel or under lever slightly to demonstrate it’s safe

If all of these conditions are met it’s impossible for your gun to accidentally discharge or cause a problem.

You may hear this process be called “clearing your gun” at the club. Checking your gun is “clear” must be done at the firing line or designated area, it should be done every time you enter or leave the clubs grounds as well as something you do every time you leave the firing line.

How exactly you do this depends on your gun but this can be done by checking your loading port is clear, removing a magazine if your gun uses one and then pointing your gun at a safe distance in front of you and pulling the trigger to ensure it’s not cocked. Again, this must be done at the firing line.

Entry and Exit

When you arrive at the club and enter the benched area or leave the club it’s essential that your gun is in a case and in a safe condition. When leaving the firing line your gun should also be in a safe condition, another member or marshall should witness you demonstrating this before re-entering the benched area.

  • On arrival at the club, your first action on removing your gun from the case and clearing your gun at the firing line.
  • If your gun has a magazine it should be removed when you are not shooting and when you are moving in between lanes of targets or different areas of the club ground. If a magazine is in your gun it’s classed as loaded, even if it’s empty.
  • When leaving the club grounds your gun must be in a case and in a safe condition. It’s a criminal offence to have a loaded air gun in public (this included your vehicle), even if it’s in a case.
  • Your gun should always be in a case when leaving our shooting area and returning to the car park. Do not fill your gun in the car park.

General Safety

  • Treat your gun as loaded at all times. Never point it at something you don’t intend to shoot.
  • No gun will be pointed at any person, animal or building under any circumstances.
  • Guns must NEVER be loaded or sighted (Looking down the scope) at any place other than the firing line and pointing towards the target area and must be unloaded when moving from lane to lane. Do not load a gun until ready to take the shot.
  • Multi-shot rifles must have only one pellet loaded at a time and the magazine MUST be removed between lanes or when the rifle is not in use.
  • Guns should be in their case when not in use.
  • Before leaving the firing line you should demonstrate to another member that your gun is clear and in a safe condition. Magazines should be removed.
  • When moving between areas of the club your gun should be vertical with the muzzle pointing to the floor.

On the Range

At Tawd Vale, the firing line is normally the forward blue rope, and all shots are discharged into the area beyond. Always familiarise yourself with the position of this line before commencing to shoot as it can vary from time to time.

There is also a safety system – people have to enter the target area from time to time and it is essential that no one is shooting. One blast on the horn – means STOP and two blasts means ALL CLEAR. Whistles may be used at times instead of horns. At the end of the day you may hear three blasts of the horn, this signals the range is closed and it’s time to pack up and go home.

  • No shooting will ever commence unless the range is declared OPEN by the acting Marshal and the All CLEAR signal has been given (Two blasts on the horn/whistle.) and the relevant warning signs are displayed.
  • On a signal from the Marshal – one horn / whistle blast – ALL weapons will be cleared into the ground a safe distance in front of the firing point. No aimed shot is to be taken after the horn / whistle. The weapon must kept down in a rest position during a cease-fire. Shooting can only continue after two blasts of the horn/whistle have been given.
  • Only range officers or Marshals wearing a hi-vis jacket may cross the firing line during this time.
  • All shots are to be aimed only at the official targets provided – or discharged into the ground. Targets are set in accordance with safety considerations. It is not permitted to shoot at targets that are not intended to be shot from that lane/position.
  • Except for safety reasons, never distract someone that is shooting.
  • All shooters should be aware of the capabilities of their weapons and take this into consideration when shooting. If you see something that may be an issue behind the target (such as wild life), do not shoot until it’s past or notify the Marshal immediately.
  • In between lanes or when you’re waiting to shoot you gun should be placed on a cushion or mat with the muzzle over the firing line.

Having read the above rules, if there are any points you do no not understand or you wish to discuss further, please seek clarification from a club official BEFORE commencing to shoot or use the club’s facilities.