We provide fun, challenge and adventure to
over 400,000 girls and boys across the UK
a a a  A A
Member resources

Rule 9.37 Shooting


a.     This rule applies to shooting activities using firearms as defined in law (including air guns with energy greater than 1 Joule), and also to the use of crossbows with a draw weight of 1.4kg or greater, re-enactment guns. This rule does not apply to paintballing, the use of laser guns and the use of toy guns.   



b.    Shooting at targets representing human beings or animals is not permitted as a part of any Scout activity, nor on property owned or leased by, or used in the name of, the Scout Movement.

Parental consent

c.     Before engaging in shooting as an activity Leaders should take account of local feelings on shooting. 

d.    The parent/guardian should be supplied with detailed information on the nature of the activity when permission is sought. An example form is available on the shooting pages of the website. Where other forms are used they should at least include this information.

e.     When taking part in shooting activities members must have parental permission for all under 18’s taking part.

Transportation, storage and use

f.     No firearms, may be bought, owned or used by any Scout unit or campsite unless the relevant line manager has made arrangements to ensure that possession and use complies with all statutory requirements and any applicable bylaws. 

g.    Firearms may be taken on to Scout premises so long as permission is obtained from the owner or their representative and the person responsible for the activity (i.e. site warden/ manager or District Commissioner).

h.     Members operating firearms as defined in the law must do so in line with the Firearms act 1968 (as amended) and other relevant legislation.

i.      Members operating air guns and firearms in Northern Ireland must adhere to the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.

j.      Members operating in Scotland must hold a ‘target shooting club’s approval’ issued by Police Scotland. The storage and operation of air guns must be accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing Scotland Act 2015.

k.     Members running events involving air gun activities in Scotland must hold an Event Permit issued by Police Scotland and operate air guns in accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.

l.         Members travelling to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK, and transporting their airguns in order to provide shooting activities require a Visitor Permit issued by Police Scotland. This must be acquired prior to the visit for either an individual or a group. Members must ensure that all shooting activities are carried out in line with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.

m.     Wherever practical, shooting ranges should be out of bounds, except during the specified times for shooting, where the range and surrounding areas must be managed appropriately. 


n.       In every case, shooting must be supervised by a competent and appropriately qualified Range Conducting Officer who must have a knowledge of the correct use of the firearms being used and shall be responsible for ensuring compliance by all persons in the range with the relevant range safety and other rules.

o.       Members may use firearms for historical re-enactment purposes as a member or guest of a club affiliated to the National Association of Re-enactment Societies and operating in accordance with their standards and codes of practice. Members using firearms under this rule remain subject to Rule 9.37c (which forbids shooting at targets representing human beings or animals).

p.       The person in charge of crossbow activities where the crossbow has a draw weight in excess of 1.4kg must hold a minimum of YPS Tutor Sport Crossbow qualification from the National Small-Bore Rifle Association (NSRA). Where members taking part in the activity are under the age of 18, the Range Officer or another person supervising participants in the activity must be aged not less than 21.

q.       Members may practise shooting with firearms, whether requiring a Firearms Certificate or not, under any of the following circumstances:

Air guns

r.        Members may practise shooting with air guns which do not require a Firearms Certificate [except that in Northern Ireland a Firearms Certificate is always required] as follows:

Further guidance is available to support all of the above on the shooting pages of scouts.org.uk.


© Copyright The Scout Association 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW