Author: whoareyou

– *NEW* NRA Cash in on Chobham Ridge?

Yes Chobham Ridge has a good view, but the NRA are charging shooters £500 (for up to 5 people) for the use of one firing point over 3.5 hours! Taking into account changeover times you would be lucky to get 40 minutes of shooting per person. Throw in the cost of the ammunition and it goes up even more. With travel time, safety briefings and stoppage for markers etc it also takes up the best part of a day.

We already pay NRA membership, have been locked down for months and are keen to get back onto the ranges, why can’t the NRA price things sensibly? Do they really need our money so much that they overprice services like this?

– NRA AGM 30 May 2020

Key questions avoided

Martin Osment asks Chairman David Lacey the following with regard to NRA auditors. The Chairman suggests that treasurer Andrew Reynolds speaks, but then reverses and refuses to answer the questions.

1. Hayes Macintyre are only reappointed auditors if the accounts are reissued with a note explaining what the professional spend on the Bisley Shooting Ground Limited matter was to December 2019 and to April 2020, and an estimate of potential spend. 

2. The trustees must include a note explaining which RICS and legal firms are advising them in this matter. They should confirm that the advice they have received meets the Charity Commission definition of commerciality. The trustees shall include in their note the estimated benefit of winning this action. 

3. The trustees shall undertake to produce annual audited service charge accounts the first of these shall be also certified by a competent RICS firm. 

4. The trustees shall issue an analysis by individual lease or other matter of the last 5 years professional spend. 

There is growing concern that the professional spend on the matter with Bisley Shooting Ground Limited is spiralling wildly out of control. The 2019 NRA accounts state “The litigation instigated by Bisley Shooting Ground Limited in June 2019 has had a significant financial effect on the NRA“. Why are we not being told what the amount is?

@thetimes suffers further abuse as NRA asked to retire their trophy:

– NRA Reviews by Employees

It is so sad that the institution we have all given so much to, seems to be going down a path that is eroding everything that the NRA stood for. As we have presented on this website the NRA has a lot to answer for, and to make up for. Unfortunately it seems that the NRA’s approach, or that of certain individuals in management positions not only affects us members, shooters, tenants, but also employees. We have found online reviews by NRA employees. These go to show how desperately the NRA needs to change.

In the 2019 NRA Annual Report and Accounts published online on 15th May 2020, new Chairman David Lacey states the below. Something doesn’t add up…

Below you will see the internal view of Mercers committed executive team committed to securing the best outcomes…

These are taken from two of the major recruitment agencies and are verified employee reviews. Unbelievably, we are informed that in the past year or so the NRA department managed by Rick Wells (Head of Range Services) has has a staff turnover of 75+ staff as the environment is so toxic.

– More NRA Trustees Change

Early March, without consultation of council or advising membership the NRA have changed their Trustees. David Evans is not a trustee. Robert Bruce, Tom Putt and Andrew Nebel have been added as trustees. These individuals are unknown to most we have spoken to.

Furthermore the National Rifle Association no longer has: a Vice Chairman, Chairman of Disciplinary Committee or Chairman of Membership Committee.

No staff or directors are mentioned at all under the National Shooting Centre (NSC).

This is all the more underhand given the NRA’s Press Release on 7th February 2020 stating:

“The improved documentation and procedures that the Trustees have put in place as a result of the action plan issued by the Commission will be of significant benefit to the charity. These include greater clarity around the separation of the NRA and its commercial subsidiary, National Shooting Centre Limited, new governance structures, a new Disciplinary Code and new procedures for the granting and renewing of leases. The Trustees appreciate the help and advice that they have received from the Charity Commission on these issues and feel strongly that the NRA is in a better position for the future having implemented the action plan. The Trustees also agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by Helen Earner, Director of Operations. Trustees are rightly expected to uphold high standards of common decency and behaviour”.


NRA Press Release in response to Charity Commission Outcome Report 7th February 2020

More details of the NRA Press Release are available here.

– The Truth Hurts…

Some of you may have noticed a downtime on our site for a few days from 19.02.20. The NRA have been using any tactic they can to silence our website, legally and otherwise, trying to bury evidence rather than deal with the issues. This led to our momentary downtime. Given our limited experience with websites we have now put in place fail-safes to ensure the public, and NRA members, continue to have access to this information.

– NRA Environmental Disaster

We have been informed by many reliable sources, as well as anonymous emails that the NRA, whilst executing their charitable duties, have illegally buried our caravans, asbestos, household appliances, lead acid batteries, plastic wads, cartridges, trailers and more. This seems to be a systematic abuse of the land on which the NRA has authority.

NRA Environmental Disaster

A huge environmental cover-up has been uncovered at the NRA. Andrew Mercer, self appointed Chief Executive of the National Shooting Centre (NSC) and Secretary General of the NRA has been dumping 1,000’s of tonnes of commercial waste on NRA property, leased from the Ministry of Defence. This shocking pollution is from the NRA’s formal discipline layout managed by Richie Vallance and shows decades of plastic waste and broken clay piling up. This is how the NRA treats a lottery funded layout by Sport England, and how they treat the environment!

NRA Environmental Waste

– David Lacey made NRA Chairman – General Council Helpless

On Friday 21st February, as per the NRA’s plan, David Lacey was made Chairman. David Lacey replaces John Webster. Unbeknown to most of the NRA General Council in December 2019 David Evans (Vice Chairman) and line manager to Andrew Mercer was been replaced by Websters co-opted trustee David Lacey. Evans remains a Trustee. David Lacey was therefore made Vice Chairman of the NRA at the end of 2019, and the Chairman’s role, as Webster was finishing his term, was not advertised. This resulted in Lacey being the only candidate.

Members of NRA General Council expressed great discontent that there has been such an absence in advertising the Chairmans’ vacancy in order to secure the best candidate. Council nevertheless voted for/against the decision to make David Lacey Chairman. The votes were counted by the Trustees and General Council informed that Lacey had been voted in. Council were not given the actual voted numbers for/against!

David Lacey has been a member of the NRA Disciplinary Committee. He is experienced at keeping the ‘status quo’ and will no doubt continue to victimise dissidents and pursue the personal agenda of Webster and other Trustees over that of the Charity.


NRA lie to Members once again…

The whole of the NRA membership has been disenfranchised and discriminated against by not allowing anyone else to apply for the role of Chairman.

At the NRA General Council meeting of 6 September 2019 (view minutes here) Chairman John Webster said he was stepping down and the vacancy for his position would be advertised on the NRA website and on social media. This never happened and as per the above the election of a new Chairman was a stitch up with a co-opted Trustee (by Webster) put forward. See below the extract of the General Council Meeting in question. We have highlighted comments on page 7.

Incidentally, Charles Brookes, who informed the General Council that their Vice President would be appointed…managed to get himself elected.

Update: Another disingenuous Press Release from Andrew Mercer. Webster has been far from a success.


John Webster may feel he has escaped being held to account over his cheating in competitions, breach of Health & Safety, lies and implicating innocent NRA members. He has not. More on Webster’s Blown Primers here.

– Charity Commission monitoring National Rifle Association after it breached rules

The Charity Commission continue their investigation of the National Rifle Association for various breaches. On 7th February they published an update on their website stating ‘the charity acted outside its charitable objects by promoting civilian recreational shooting competitions and other activities’.

“The NRA remains subject to close scrutiny by the regulator due to the seriousness of this issue”.

Charity Commission report 7th February 2020


Does the NRA take members for fools with their spun response to the Charity Commission?

Further to the Charity Commission report the National Rifle Association released their Press Release on their website on 7th February 2020 which, like all NRA communication was mostly ‘spin’. Below we will look at comments from the Charity Commission and respective extracts from the NRA Press Release.

4 Areas of focus for the Charity Commission investigation into the National Rifle Association

1. THE NRA IS NOT ALLOWED TO PROMOTE CIVILIAN SHOOTING

On this point the NRA were in agreement that “The Trustees recognise that the promotion of recreational shooting is not consistent with promoting the Efficiency of the Armed Forces. The NRA website, social media presence and
publications did not demonstrate the separation of competitive and recreational shooting with sufficient clarity”. To get round this the NRA are ensuring that the ‘commercial activity’ of recreational shooting be carried out by the National Shooting Centre (NSC). Does this mean that the existing high pricing to members will increase and that ammunition costs will go up?


2. POOR SEPARATION BETWEEN THE CHARITY AND NATIONAL SHOOTING CENTRE

Charity Commission comment: “The Commission is critical of how the charity was managing its relationship with its wholly owned trading subsidiary, the National Shooting Centre (NSC). A charity can generate funds through a trading subsidiary, however this must be managed carefully so that the charity remains focused on furthering its charitable objectives. The Commission examined this arrangement and found that it was not clear to members of the charity or the public how the two organisations were separate and independent, due to the overlapping activities. It was unclear how conflicts of interest and loyalty were managed as the charity’s CEO was the NSC’s only director and decision-maker”.

NRA comment: “The improved documentation and procedures that the Trustees have put in place as a result of the action plan issued by the Commission will be of significant benefit to the charity. These include greater clarity around the separation of the NRA and its commercial subsidiary, National Shooting Centre Limited”.

Save Bisley comment: For 6 years Andrew Mercer was sole director of the NSC which was a huge conflict of interest, particularly given his apparent bonus linked to camp turnover. To comply with the Charity Commission the National Rifle Association published the job vacancy online for an ‘Independent Director’ for the NSC on 31st October 2019 (https://nra.org.uk/the-nsc-seeks-independent-directors/). The post specifically stated “(“Independent” excludes NRA employees / current Trustees / recently retired Trustees)”. The deadline for applications was 22nd November 2019. As such it seems strange that the NRA would go to the trouble on 23rd October 2019, prior to the job opening even being made public, of making two co-opted trustees (Alice Gran & Nicholas Brasier) Directors of the NSC on Companies House. Mercer remains a director, so the NRA have only managed, with a classic lack of transparency, to surround him with more co-opted individuals. Nothing has changed for the better.

Click here for more on the NSC


3. LEASING ISSUES LED TO DAMAGING DISPUTES

Charity Commission comment: “The charity has been criticised for requiring non-charities to pay market rate for tenancies. It is appropriate for charities to do this, and indeed charity law requires trustees to get the best return on commercial tenancies with non-charities. Public trust and confidence in the charity was put at risk as a result of property disputes. The Commission was concerned about the trustees’ lack of control over the management of the leases. In particular, processes around decision-making records, and management of lease renewals, were found to be inadequate“.

NRA comment: “The NRA welcomes the Commission’s confirmation that the Trustees of the NRA were correct in seeking the best return on commercial tenancies with non-charities, thus resolving this important issue” …”The improved documentation and procedures that the Trustees have put in place as a result of the action plan issued by the Commission will be of significant benefit to the charity. These include greater clarity around the separation of the NRA and its commercial subsidiary, National Shooting Centre Limited, new governance structures, a new Disciplinary Code and new procedures for the granting and renewing of leases”.

Save Bisley comment: The issue with leases was that ‘Public trust and confidence in the charity was put at risk‘ given the ‘trustees’ lack of control‘. NRA management were going back on commitments made by previous management and with regard to rental amounts Mercer was just plucking figures out of the air. Take the case of the Artists Rifles, why did CEO Andrew ignore NRA property advisors Strutt & Parker who calculated market rent for the Clubhouse at £3,350? Instead Mercer announced rent should be £18,000 p.a, then reduced this to £14,700 when he faced resistance. Mercer never provided any evidence to support these figures. The Artists offered £5,000, despite not needing to given the prior commitment from the NRA, but Mercer refused. The whole episode caused a wave of negative national press over many years for the NRA and after spending over £300k on legal fees, the arbitrators set rent at £4,000! So due to Mercer’s aggressive actions the NRA waste funds and lose out on rent.

Have the NRA learned from the disasters of the Artists? What about the current litigation with Bisley Shooting Ground, and several other Clubhouses?


4. POOR HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS

Charity Commission comment: “The regulator also identified and advised on weaknesses in the trustees’ handling of complaints, which included members’ concerns about transparency and accountability. The Commission reminded the trustees of the importance of members’ meetings and working collaboratively to avoid any mistrust. Members should feel able to hold trustees to account for the management of their charity, so the trustees must be open and transparent as far as is possible. The implementation of a new Disciplinary Code should provide reassurance that matters can be raised respectfully without fear of reprisal“.

NRA comment: “Trustees have put in place as a result of the action plan issued by the Commission will be of significant benefit to the charity. These include greater clarity around the separation of the NRA and its commercial subsidiary, National Shooting Centre Limited, new governance structures, a new Disciplinary Code“.

Save Bisley comment: The NRA has long got away with remaining opaque and unaccountable. The governing individuals have been previously questioned by the Charity Commission for their lack of ability to run the Charity. With the majority of trustees being co-opted by the Chairman, this further underlines the lack of transparency. There is evidence all over this site and the internet proving huge mistrust and appalling bullying of dissidents. Take for example ex Chairman Robin Pizer (full details here) who was one of the many victims of the kangaroo court that is the NRA Disciplinary Committee. Dr Pizer commented to the editor of The Times regarding a piece written on the outrageous treatment of the Artists Rifles (we all know that Pizer was right given the outcome of the NRA vs Artists). Mercer acted as prosecution and recessed with the jury before a decision was made. On 12th October 2018 Mercer announced that Dr Pizer would not only be expelled from the NRA, but also banned from entering Bisley Camp. Dr Pizer appealed the decision on 22 October 2018 and the NRA have still (2020) been ‘unable’ to find a date for the Appeal Hearing.

The full Charity Commission Report can be found here.

The full NRA Press Release can be found here.

Charity Commission investigate National Rifle Association

– Selling Bisley Camp for Profit

The Proposal…a ‘Killing House’ training facility!

Selling Bisley out. Is this what is actually driving the reprehensible behaviour at the NRA? In 2017 the NRA sent out an email to members regarding a 2018-2020 ‘Strategic & Development Review’ as per the below. Spaces were limited. During the presentation NRA Chairman John Webster told the meeting that the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) had approached the NRA as they need a Southern based facility to match their other two at Sellafield and Doonray.

Bisley doesn’t have such a facility so the CNC have to train in Sellafield. The CNC would require a secure barb wired area for the ‘Killing House’ with no access for NRA members. This facility enables them to practice storming a building with live ammunition to free hostages.  However in addition to a Killing House, tactical assault teams need to practice storming planes, trains, busses, cars, abseiling or fast roping from helicopters etc. They also need to practice fire and manoeuvre in open land and built up areas so if they require such a training facility they would need more than just a building and a range.

Webster suggested that the CNC would be prepared to acquire the whole of the NRA land at Bisley. Webster went on to suggest that such a deal would require the NRA to move to a purpose built facility in a new location, such as Salisbury Plain. The reason that the CNC and other Police organisations such as the MET want Bisley is its closeness to London and easy access from the M25. Webster said it was therefore a realistic proposition which the Trustees are considering.


FULL DETAILS VIA THE LINK BELOW

NRA Chairman John Webster - selling Bisley out?
NRA Chairman John Webster

– NRA selling Faulty Ammunition

The UK NRA are now in the business of selling faulty ammunition which, as per their own description “the cartridges are now known to be overly powerful.  In some rifles this excess power may be sufficient to cause in particular but not exclusively malfunctioning of, or damage to, the boltface, extractor components, ejector components or firing pin in susceptible firearms”.


What would happen if a piece of broken extractor lodged in a barrel and obstructed the next round fired? This could very well blow up the rifle.

NRA CEO Andrew Mercer is selling faulty GGG ammunition to recover costs.

This GGG ammunition was the source of huge controversy in the last few years. An investigation even took place in January 2019 led by John Bloomfield and Andrew Mercer. This resulted in Mercer issuing a glowing report to Members concluding with his sales pitch…

The 2019 Imperial Meeting was indeed very special, however it was tainted by the continued issues with the GGG ammunition affecting many competitors and this rather overshadowed an event that is usually the highlight of the year. This is further evidence of the lack of due diligence conducted by the NRA, putting shooters at great risk.

Further to the “unacceptable number of incidents related to extractors during the Meeting” Andrew Mercer wrote the following:

After all the issues with the GGG ammunition the NRA is now trying to sell the affected ammunition as per the below.

Conveniently the disclaimer is as long as the sales pitch: “The National Shooting Centre Limited, its shareholders, directors, employees and agents, as a condition of sale of the ammunition at the discounted price, expressly disclaim direct and consequential liability arising from malfunctioning of, or damage to any of the boltface, extractor components, ejector components, firing pin or other component part of  any firearm in which the ammunition or the primed cases forming part of the ammunition is fired, regardless of the actual cause of such malfunction or damage. Fired cases should not be used for reloading”.

Why sell potentially dangerous ammunition?

Because the NRA spent a fortune of our funds purchasing it and now they want us to buy the faulty ammunition back off them.


NRA CEO Andrew Mercer has already been fined by the Guildford County court for not operating a secure Section 5 Armoury… now this. He should be held to account before he ruins the reputation of the NRA irreparably.


Link to the NRA selling faulty ammunition

Link to the NRA CEO Andrew Mercer not operating a secure Armoury