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Range Safety Certificates

Volume 210: debated on Tuesday 30 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change the system of granting range safety certificates.

There are no plans to do so.

I am sorry to hear that, because a ludicrous situation has arisen in my constituency. A civilian gun club at Ruthin wishes to build a safe range; unfortunately, the only source of advice is the Ministry of Defence, and the gun club has no way of checking the accuracy of that advice because the handbook on which it is based is classified. Will the Minister declassify that document—or is he scared that Saddam Hussein will build safer ranges than ours?

That question is misleading. If the gun club applies through the National Rifle Association, it will be able to gain access to all the information contained in the booklet. That booklet is restricted the—lowest form of classification—because it is a training document, and we classify all our training documents.

The National Rifle Association will point the way ahead. I gather that consultation is under way and that the gun club is complying with many of the regulations. We hope to be able to send a military man down soon, so that he can check the place out and give the club the cover that it wants.