Message to all Shooters from the NSRA

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With the Lead Ammunition proposals still being decided, please find attached a message for NSRA members and affiliated clubs, but please share for every shooter in Britain.

NSRA message to all shooters 2022

If you are a shooter in Britain you use lead – it’s the one thing that all rifle, pistol and shotgun shooting disciplines have in common. Although he NSRA is focussed on small-bore, airgun and crossbow shooting disciplines our affiliated clubs and individuals take part and are insured for many other shooting sports all of which use lead. Even match crossbow shooting uses lead “bosses” in the centre of the target to stop and retain the bolt when shot.

This message is not just for NSRA members and affiliated clubs but for every shooter in Britain.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been tasked by the government to look at the risks posed by lead ammunition, when used outdoors, to health, wildlife and the environment. An initial consultation took place that the NSRA responded to with a paper outlining the issues and submitted it to the HSE and European Chemical Agency.

Lead in Small-bore Target Shooting

Following the consultation period, the HSE released a document on 6th May 2022 that makes proposals that, if they become law, will destroy shooting sport in Britain. The document is not easy reading but can be viewed at:

The basic thrust of the HSE document is that they believe that:

Shotgun ammunition:

There should be a ban on the sale and use of lead shotgun ammunition.

  • 18-month transition period.
  • Optional derogation, allowing sale and use for clay pigeon shooting by license athletes at licensed shooting grounds. A shooting ground license will require annual recovery of 90%+ of spent lead shot, containment and treatment of run-off and a ban on agricultural use in the site boundary.
  • Note: If the optional derogation is taken forward, the transition period for all uses of lead shot will be extended to 5 years.
Lead bullets (including centre-fire, rim-fire, airgun and any other projectile containing lead):

There should be a ban on the sale and use of all lead bullets.

  • 18-month transition period for large calibre (5.6mm or larger) or 5 years for small calibre (smaller than 5.6mm) including rim-fire and airguns and any projectiles not defined as gunshot
  • Optional derogation allowing continued use of lead bullets at licensed ranges with appropriate environmental protection measures. A license will require regular recovery of >90% of lead from bullet traps, ban on agricultural use in site boundary.

NSRA Position

The NSRA does not agree with the current proposals. In our view they are disproportionate and in many areas, not adequately evidenced. There is also legislation in place that covers lead contamination in water, food and animal feed. We have released a Position Statement that can be viewed at:

What Next?

The HSE has released another public consultation that can be seen at:

All shooters and organisations must respond to this consultation.

At first glance it appears the questions in the consultation are not for individuals. However, you don’t have to answer them all. Continue through the document and answer as many questions as you feel able. Keep your answers simple and to the point and avoid any answers that could undermine our arguments.

Key areas:

  • Stress how the lead ban will negatively affect your involvement in shooting sport.
  • State that there are no viable alternatives for lead in many shooting disciplines e.g. small-bore rifle, airgun and muzzle loading. This is well evidenced in our paper.
  • Target shooting already involves all the projectiles being captured in one place where they can be collected and removed.
  • On clay target ranges all shot is contained in a designated area.
  • There is a major financial impact for clubs and individuals 

The Biggest Problem

It’s sad to say but one of the big dangers is from within and it is that of apathy. Many will read this and other governing body documents and think:

  • Other people will do it so I’ll not bother
  • It won’t affect me
  • I’m a member of xyz organisation who will do it for me

The truth is the Government will look at how many people in total completed the consultation and of these, how many were for a ban on lead and how many were not. Be assured that the anti gun and anti lead lobby will not hold back. They will respond and if their voice is louder than ours we lose.

Furthermore, when we and other organisations are lobbying government we will need the numbers to underpin our argument. Please fill in the consultation. Also get friends to fill it in. If the government has asked for our opinion it will be difficult for them to ignore our response.

We will continue to fight the ban both independently and alongside other organisations including the British Shooting Sports Council but we need your help.

Please respond to the consultation