National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom
National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom logo.jpg
HeadquartersThe National Shooting Centre at Bisley
Official language

The National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom is registered charity with a Royal Charter, whose charitable objectives are to promote and encourage marksmanship throughout the Queen’s dominions in the interest of defence and the permanence of the volunteer and auxiliary forces, naval, military and air.[1] The formal purposes of the charity are to promote the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or the police, fire and rescue or ambulance services. The National Shooting Centre at Bisley is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association.[2]


The National Rifle Association was founded in 1859,[3] based on Putney Heath & Wimbledon Common, 12 years before its better known American namesake. In 1890 Queen Victoria granted the National Rifle Association a Royal Charter of Incorporation.[4] Its founding aim was to raise the funds for an annual national rifle meeting (now known as the Imperial Meeting) "for the promotion of marksmanship in the interests of Defence of the Realm and permanence of the Volunteer Forces, Navy, Military and Air".[3]

In 1878 Edward Walford wrote "These annual gatherings are attended by the élite of fashion, and always include a large number of ladies, who generally evince the greatest interest in the target practice of the various competitors, whether it be for the honour of carrying off the Elcho Shield, the Queen's or the Prince of Wales's Prize, or the shield shot for by our great Public Schools, or the Annual Rifle Match between the Houses of Lords and Commons."[5]

The Charity Commission gave the Association formal regulatory advice in 2019 because it found it had acted outside its charitable objects when it had promoted civilian recreational shooting . In 2020 the Commission stated that the Association had made progress but it is being kept under close regulatory scrutiny.[2]

The National Shooting Centre[edit]

The National Shooting Centre is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of the National Rifle Association.[2] The original centre was at Wimbledon, but in the late 1880s the National Rifle Association began searching for a new site. In early 1888 it seemed that Cannock Chase was to be selected from several locations under consideration. However, that plan fell through a few months later, and the other potential venues again put their cases, with the Middlesex Chronicle newspaper suggesting that a large site at Staines was a likely home for "The New Wimbledon". Eventually, though, Bisley was selected. The principal ranges used at Bisley today are as originally laid out in 1890 to accommodate modern full-bore rifle shooting.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome to The National Rifle Association". Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Decision: Regulatory compliance case: National Rifle Association". 7 February 2020. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "National Rifle Association: From origins on Wimbledon Common". Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  4. ^ Charter of Incorporation Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ 'Putney', Old and New London: Volume 6 Archived 2 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine (1878), pp. 489–503. Date accessed: 17 May 2014.
  6. ^ "National Rifle Association: The move to Bisley". Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • MacDonnell, R. J. (1877), The National Rifle Association: A Sketch of Its History and Progress, 1859–1876
  • Martin, John. "The Transformation of Lowland Game Shooting in England and Wales in the Twentieth Century: The Neglected Metamorphosis." International Journal of the History of Sport 29.8 (2012): 1141-1158.
  • Osborne, Harvey, and Michael Winstanley. "Rural and urban poaching in Victorian England." Rural History 17.2 (2006): 187–212. online

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°18′40″N 0°39′22″W / 51.311°N 0.656°W / 51.311; -0.656