A GROUP of recreational shooters have threatened court action after they were thrown out of a gun and rifle club.

Michelle Lumley, 42, who has competed for Great Britain in shooting world championships, joined Basildon Gun and Rifle club last October, along with her son Cory, 19, and partner Steve Smith, 51.

However, the trio and eight of their friends, who also joined the club in Gardiners Close, have now been kicked out.

They are so angry they are considering legal action against the club.

Michelle, who lives in West Thurrock , said: “We joined the club last year and have helped build it up by improving the shooting range.

“We were given full memberships when we joined, because we are experienced and have had firearms licences for years.

“Our memberships were looked at by the leadership and we were told we had been rejected, and no reasons have been given.

“We are going to fight this with court action. It’s so serious because we can now not even join another club. We have been shooting for 20 years and never had a problem.

“Now, all of a sudden its like someone there took a dislike to 11 people and they say they don’t have to give a reason for the decision.

“We are going to contact a solicitor and look at defamation of character and they will be getting a bill for the work which we did on a range. “It is a total lifestyle for us and this decision to throw us out of the club for no reason is very damaging. It makes no sense and is totally out of order.”

Michelle and Andy Haines represented Great Britain at the world championships, in Brazil, in 1996.

Mr Haines, 47, from Little Thurrock, said: “It is totally bizarre and in twenty years of being members of gun and rifle clubs I have never experienced anything like this.”

Ken Shingler, general secretary for the club, said: “A group of people joined Basildon Gun and Rifle Club in October 2011 and were granted probationary membership.

“The group’s section officer put their names before the general committee at the 2012 general meeting at the end of their probation.

“The 11 people whose membership was up for renewal were refused – one of the people has threatened court proceedings.

“The club is a Home Office-approved facility. We abide by a constitution and no rules have been broken.

“In the light of any impending court proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further.”