Points of law

Shooting Gazette - - Elevenses - Peter Glenser, firearms bar­ris­ter and BASC chair­man, an­swers your ques­tions on shoot­ing and the law.

QAc­ci­dents on moors, whether shoot­ing re­lated or not, are thank­fully rare, but what does the law state about li­a­bil­ity should some­one in­jure them­selves or cause in­jury to an­other?

AAs the or­gan­iser of any com­mer­cial shoot which em­ploys staff, you have a le­gal obli­ga­tion to or­gan­ise and man­age the shoot in such a way as to en­sure

‘so far as is rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble’ the health and safety of those within your em­ploy and to those who might be af­fected by the ac­tiv­i­ties you are car­ry­ing out. the le­gal obli­ga­tion is to as­sess rel­e­vant risks and put in place mea­sures ei­ther to re­move the risk al­to­gether (where pos­si­ble) or else to en­sure that the op­er­a­tion is con­ducted in such a way as to re­duce the risk to the low­est pos­si­ble level. It is a good idea to en­sure that your health and safety ar­range­ments are recorded in writ­ing also – in many cases this too is a le­gal re­quire­ment. Prop­erly car­ried out risk as­sess­ments should iden­tify all and any haz­ards both re­lat­ing to how the day is or­gan­ised and any other is­sues – per­haps like some un­usual/un­even ground

As an em­ployer you will of course carry suit­able em­ployer and pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance over which should in­dem­nify you against claims from pay­ing guns, mem­bers of the pub­lic and em­ploy­ees who might be in­jured in ac­ci­dents. You can­not of course in­sure against reg­u­la­tory fines were you to be pros­e­cuted. Most in­sur­ance poli­cies will not cover you for Fees for In­ter­ven­tion costs ei­ther.

there may of course be cir­cum­stances that arise whereby an ac­ci­dent hap­pens which is noth­ing to do with the shoot or the shoot or­gan­is­ers. Whilst the com­mer­cial in­sur­ance may cover such even­tu­al­i­ties it might be an idea to see to en­sure all guns have their own pub­lic li­a­bil­ity cover – per­son­ally I think pick­ing up a gun with­out hav­ing your own in­sur­ance cover in place is a crazy thing to do. Most of the shoot­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vide pub­lic li­a­bil­ity cover as part of their mem­ber­ship – although, as with most things in life, some are bet­ter than oth­ers.

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