by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Costs and inadequate facilities associated with sport shooting threaten its survival
- Sport not yet recognised by the Grenada Olympic Association
- GGRA hosts its 4th National Handgun Championship on 7 to 8 April
The ever-increasing costs associated with sport shooting coupled with inadequate facilities, threaten the survival of the sport which is yet to be recognised by the Grenada Olympic Association.
The Grenada Gun and Rifle Association (GGRA) is aware of this challenge and has set their eyes on ensuring that sport shooting is formally recognised and will be able to attract fewer customs duties.
Negotiations have started with the International Shooting Sports Federation to have the GGRA recognised by the Grenada Olympic Association. GGRA President Duane Noel said, “We have applied to the international body, and they have indicated that we meet all the requirements except that we need to be recognised by the Grenada Olympic Association.” Noel indicated the GGRA has to formally engage the association to get that assistance.
Another expense in sport shooting is the ammunition. On average a box of ammunition costs $90, with an average practice session requiring the use of 7 to 8 boxes per week. Noel said, “A lot of our members can’t afford to practice every weekend, so we practice when we can and hope at one point we can get to that level where we can expend that kind of financial resources on ammunition.”
Within the region, visiting sport shooters are not charged by customs when entering other countries with their firearm. The GGRA has had the government waive the 6% customs charge in Grenada. With the customs charge waived, Noel said this would continue to attract sport shooters to participate in Grenada’s tournaments.
The GGRA hosts its 4th National Handgun Championship on 7 to 8 April at the GGRA range in Petit Etang. Over 40 participants are expected to attend from Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Guyana and Barbados.
The competition will involve Precision and Practical shooting in a range of categories under International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Rules and the 3 main disciplines are Air Rifle/Pistol, Trap/Clay Shooting, and Pistol.
Grenada’s tournament is now at the level 2 stage, but the GGRA continues to attract level 3 competitors to Grenada due to their comradery with other sport shooters throughout the region.
“Level 1 and level 2 are the local shoots. Once you start level 3 and above, you then invite different countries to take part in your event. Most sport shooters will normally travel to countries that are hosting level 3 tournaments. Our tournament is a level 2 however because Grenada is developing the sport we have a good relationship with many of the other islands,” Noel said.
Noel indicated for the sport to get to level 3, the GGRA must have a large shooting range that can accommodate at least 12 different types of shooting competition. “One of the challenges to have a level 3 event is that you must have 12 different events. The range that we use is relatively small which can only accommodate events in sequence. The other islands have much larger ranges that can accommodate 12 different events simultaneously, so while we develop the sport, we are looking at other locations.”
The GGRA will use the Saturday, 7 April tournament to prepare for the upcoming Pan American Handgun Championship in Jamaica in July. 4 sport shooters from Grenada will be attending.
Last year a 5-member delegation competed successfully at the 2017 Calypso Cup Sport Shooting Competition held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Earl McLeish won first place in the Calypso Cup–High Foreign and League Match High Foreign categories, while Team Grenada won overall gold in the Production Team Division.
The GGRA was formed on 21 November 2003 as a non-profit organisation. Its objectives include:
- The promotion of sporting and educational activities which ensure the safe and proper use firearms;
- The introduction of sport shooting as a highly skilled and competitive activity;
- The development of stronger family and community-oriented ties through sport; and
- The promotion of not-for-profit activity in relation to responsible firearm use.