Empty clip - Jamaican shooters want more ammo for training
David McMorris, Jamaica Open Division competitor at the Pan American Handgun Championships, currently being staged in the island, says the law restricting local competitors to 200 rounds per day puts them at a disadvantage against other nations, who have access to unlimited rounds when they compete in major tournaments.
McMorris believes competitive shooters should be allowed 500 rounds per day, and is calling on the Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA) to assist.
"We came into this (Pan Am) tournament at a big disadvantage because we weren't able to practise as much as we wanted to because of limited rounds. Two hundred rounds per day cannot prepare us for a tournament of this calibre, while other shooters (nations) have access to unlimited rounds.
"Shooting is a perishable skill. If you don't use it, you lose it. We need to practise. If we could get 500 rounds per day to practise, especially when we have big tournaments, it would be a plus, as it would give us a sharper edge," he told The Gleaner on day two of the championship at Woodleigh.
Although members have lodged complaints, it has so far not had any positive results.
"They (JRA) say they are going to try, so we are hoping it gets better, but it needs to be addressed fast. Jamaica has a very good team and every year, we do about six matches in the States and we need to be competitive.
"Those guys in the States, shooting 1,000 rounds a day is nothing. So we need to adjust the limitations, especially for competitive shooters," he argued.
DOING MUCH WITH LITTLE
JRA President Andrew Gardner said it's amazing how Jamaicans perform at such high standards despite limited resources. However, he says they have always and will continue to advocate for more rounds to be available for competitive shooters.
"We have to be respectful and mindful of the laws. The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) regulates that, and we work with them and in adherence to the rules they put down.
"However, we advocated for our athletes as we believe giving them the time they need behind the equipment they use will produce better athletes. So anything that we can do by working with the authorities to provide more practice, we will," he said.
"It's a legitimate sport, with legitimate athletes who have to practise, who have to be mentally prepared. You don't want to go into a tournament with the world's best thinking you are underprepared or at a disadvantage. So we will advocate to the Ministry of National Security and to the Firearm Licensing Authority to try and make that happen."
He noted that at the Pan American Championship, a level-four event which is one level below a world shoot event, Jamaicans are leading the way.
"It's just amazing what Jamaicans can do with limited resources. But we (JRA) are working hard to make things easier for our athletes to get the practice they deserve to excel," added.