They work for you is a fantastic service, most days I get an email from them with links to different debates & questions most of them are not of interest but every now and then a nugget of a question comes up and today is no exception.
Jerry Donaldson a DUP MP for the Lagan Valley has asked the Secretary of State for Defence about the arrangements for civilian gun clubs to gain access to MOD ranges to shoot along with a very well worded question asking how long it takes on average for the club members to under go a counter terrorism check to gain access to the MOD facility.
Now we all know that firearms licensing is quite a process where the police look into your suitability to hold firearms and you are granted or declined your firearms certificate as a result but as far as I am aware I am not too sure that I have ever undergone a counter terrorism check (CTC) to gain access to a MOD site so I can shoot on it.
If this website is accurate http://www.certes.co.uk/counter-terrorist-check-jobs and I see no reason why it should not be I think I would have remembered filling out the form and waiting the upto 6 months to gain such a clearance, I would also have remembered going through the motions every 3 years to get it renewed.
It is interesting to read that Andrew Robathan did not say that the counter terrorism check is not undertaken by members of a club but then again perhaps it is part of the standard Firearms Licensing application that is undertaken every 5 years by all firearms certificate holders, I do not know.
I wonder if Jerry Donaldson will be asking a follow up question as in my mind Andrew Robathan has sidestepped the question, perhaps all club members wishing to shoot on an MOD range will need to apply for a CTC check before that can go onto MOD ranges, and before you say no worries this does not apply to me Bisley is still classed as an MOD range.
Anyway I will leave you with the question & answer:
Jeffrey M Donaldson DUP member for Lagan Valley
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many firing ranges are operated by (a) his Department and (b) the Defence Infrastructure Organisation; on how many such ranges licensed civilian gun clubs are not permitted regular access; for what reasons civilian gun clubs are not given regular access to certain ranges; on how many such ranges licensed civilian gun clubs are required to undergo counter terrorism check vetting; and how long it took on average for vetting of civilian gun clubs for access to defence firing ranges in the latest period for which figures are available.
Andrew Robathan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans), Defence & Conservative member for South Leicestershire:
holding answer 11 June 2012
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) operates and manages 542 firing ranges.
MOD ranges are made available for use by civilian gun clubs only when there is spare capacity. Military training requirements always take precedence. All gun clubs must be licensed and it is an individual Station Commander’s responsibility to approve or deny access to their station.
Access to all military sites is subject to strict security arrangements.
Figures on the duration for vetting of civilian gun clubs, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.