Log In

Reset Password

Shooters still waiting for permits

Several of Bermuda’s target shooters are worried that their request for a special police permit to use certain types of banned firearms won’t be approved in time for them to compete in the upcoming Isand Games.

According to Bermuda Target Shooting Association President (BTSA), Ross Roberts, police have granted the Games shooters permission to use air pistols and rifles and centrefire pistols (that are currently on a list of prohibited firearms) under condition they obtain a special permit.

But despite submitting their applications months ago, Roberts said team members were awaiting approval and he now fears that they may not receive them prior to the July 13 start of the Games.

“This is something we have been waiting for and if it doesn’t come through soon then obviously there will be no locals taking part in any of the pistol events and air rifle/pistol events,” he said. “There will probably be six people that will be affected by it and we’re looking at being represented by a team of 12. So this may or may not allow some of our athletes to actually take part in the Games.”

Roberts said the air pistols and rifles and centrefire pistols were confiscated by police two years ago.

“The current Police Commissioner (Michael DeSilva) deemed that they were illegal and confiscated them and they have been sitting at Police Headquarters since then,” he added. “That was just before the Island Games two years ago and we haven’t seen them or used them since.”

Roberts said police have since granted the local shooters permission to resume using the banned firearms to prepare for and compete at the upcoming Games once they have obtained the permit. But they are still waiting.

“We had a recent meeting with the police who have advised us that the Commissioner is going to allow us to use them for training for the Games,” he said. “But we can’t use them until we get these permits that are still sitting in police administration waiting to be processed. We only have got two and a half to three weeks left before the Games so it’s getting down to the crunch stage now.”

Roberts said once the permits had been approved the shooters will have to pay for a police officer to accompany them whenever they practise on the shooting range (in Prospect) prior to the start of the Games.

“If the permits are issued tomorrow and we want to train the police would have to escort the firearms from the police station to the range and from the range back to the police station which is fine,” he said. “But the only issue we have is the paying part on top of that, we will have to pay this officer to be there the whole time.

“We are quite happy with the police being there and if they want to shoot with us by all means they can take part. But it’s the paying part that’s hurting us and if we do get the permit we are going to try to make allowance to get the funds.”

Roberts said the dilemma had put a damper on their preparations.

“A lot of shooters haven’t been able to train and the only two that have trained have gone overseas but unfortunately they can’t train when they get back,” he said. “Obviously these are people that compete once in a while so you would think that going into a Games like this you’d be able to at least train a couple of times a week to get comfortable with your firearm.”

Chairman of Bermuda Island Games Jon Beard said he was optimistic the special permits would be granted before the start of the Games.

“As you can imagine hosting shooting has brought its own special set of problems and understandably so,” he said. “However, the efforts of the Sports Ministers in the last government and this government to help us through this has been incredible. They have been assisted by other ministries, the Police, the airport authorities; and of course the sport shooting fraternity. Laws have been amended and licences produced to allow sport shooting to take place during the Games.

“Shooting is a very popular sport in the member islands, and I believe that the team effort made by everyone will have a terrific development impact on the sport of shooting in the Island.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm)

Shooters still waiting for permits

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon