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(1)Subject to subsection (4) below, a member of a rifle club approved by the Secretary of State [F2or the Scottish Ministers (by virtue of provision made under section 63 of the Scotland Act 1998)] may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a rifle and ammunition when engaged as a member of the club in connection with target shooting.
(2)Any rifle club may apply for approval, whether or not it is intended that any club members will, by virtue of subsection (1) above, have rifles or ammunition in their possession without holding firearm certificates.
(3)The Secretary of State may publish such guidance as he considers appropriate for the purpose of informing those seeking approval for a club of criteria that must be met before any application for such approval will be considered.
(4)The application of subsection (1) above to members of an approved rifle club may—
(a)be excluded in relation to the club, or
(b)be restricted to target shooting with specified types of rifle,
by limitations contained in the approval.
(a)may be granted subject to such conditions specified in it as the Secretary of State thinks [F3or, as the case may be, the Scottish Ministers think] fit;
(b)may at any time be varied or withdrawn by the Secretary of State [F3or, as the case may be, the Scottish Ministers]; and
(c)shall (unless withdrawn) continue in force for six years from the date on which it is granted or last renewed.
(6)There shall be payable on the grant or renewal of an approval a fee of £84 but this subsection shall be included in the provisions which may be amended by an order under section 43 of the principal Act.
(7)A constable or civilian officer authorised in writing in that behalf may, on producing if required his authority, enter any premises occupied or used by an approved rifle club and inspect those premises, and anything on them, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of this section, and any limitations or conditions in the approval, are being complied with.
(8)The power of a constable or civilian officer under subsection (7) above to inspect anything on club premises shall include power to require any information which is kept by means of a computer and is accessible from the premises to be made available for inspection in a visible and legible form.
(9)It is an offence for a person intentionally to obstruct a constable or civilian officer in the exercise of his powers under subsection (7) above; and that offence shall be punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(10)In this section and section 15A below—
“approval”, means an approval under this section; and “approved” shall be construed accordingly;
“civilian officer” has the same meaning as in the principal Act; and
“rifle club” includes a miniature rifle club.
(11)This section applies in relation to a muzzle-loading pistol club and its members as it applies to a rifle club and its members with the substitution for any reference to a rifle of a reference to a muzzle-loading pistol.
(12)In subsection (11) above—
“muzzle-loading pistol club” means a club where muzzle-loading pistols are used for target shooting; and
“muzzle-loading pistol” means a pistol designed to be loaded at the muzzle end of the barrel or chamber with a loose charge and a separate ball (or other missile).]
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