The SSAA NSW Port Macquarie Branch played host to seven Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inspectors on 15 March.
The inspectors, who hailed from Newcastle and outlying regions, were at the range to update their firearms accreditation. Branch secretary Dennis Adlington says that, with the help of four volunteers who lent a hand, the guys completed their accreditation in two hours.
During their visit the inspectors gave branch staff an insight into the demands of RSPCA work, explaining that they can be called out at any time of the day or night to attend to animals in distress, often confronting situations where wounded, traumatised animals need to be euthanased quickly, sometimes in very challenging conditions. Recently they had to deal with injured cattle in a trailer which overturned near Coffs Harbour, using their firearms within the confined space.
“I think the guys appreciated the range and they said they would like to return,” Dennis says.
The Sport Access Foundation is inviting young Australians aged seven to 17 who are living with a disability to apply for one of three inaugural $2000 grants to help them achieve their sporting ambitions.
The grants are donated to help with the costs of participating in their chosen sport that these youngsters and their families otherwise cannot afford.
Applicants must be Australian citizens or residents, and athletes, coaches, umpires or referees in championship-level or state or national competitions.
The full list of selection criteria and an online application can be found on the Sports Access Foundation website. Applications close 30 April 2017. Grant recipients will be announced in June.
Shooting involves visual acuity, coordination and accuracy, and is an excellent sport for many types of disability, requiring no special compensatory equipment, nor do shooters need to compete in special categories. SSAA NSW urges young members living with a disability to follow their dreams!
SSAA NSW is cautious about the recently announced gun amnesty. Details are yet to be released, and as we all know the devil is often in the detail, so we’ll reserve our judgment until we know more. Interestingly, there is already a mechanism within NSW Legislation for law abiding firearms owners, and members of the community to hand in such firearms and have them registered if they are already, or are applying to become, licensed. So what is the amnesty going to achieve? In fact, we put forward a proposal almost two years ago for a mechanism that would simplify this process and in-effect be an ongoing amnesty.
But, the big question is ‘How will the amnesty address the issue of illegal firearms currently in the hands of criminals?’ Criminals by their very nature do not abide by the law, so how realistic is it for the Government, and the community, to expect that criminals will front up to their local firearms dealership or police station to hand in their ill-gotten firearms; firearms that have more than likely been used in the commission of crime? Governments, Federal as well as states and territories, need to get serious about tackling illegal firearms and the criminals that use them to commit their crimes. SSAA NSW has repeatedly stated publicly and in its representations that more funding needs to be dedicated to front line policing and border protection if they’re serious about tackling illegal firearms and gun crime.
From the reported comments, it appears that the amnesty will provide an opportunity for people to hand in firearms that have come into their possession through various means, including as the result of a death in the family. Let’s hope it includes an option for those people to legally register these firearms if they so choose. The amnesty also appears to be an opportunity for people in possession of firearms that are currently determined as illegal and unable to be registered to hand these over without fear of recrimination. We haven’t seen any mentions of a buy-back, it’s just an amnesty to surrender unwanted firearms without any compensation. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.
The recent COAG decision to re-classify lever action shotguns is yet another example of the Government’s poor judgement and unwillingness to base firearms laws and policy on facts and evidence.
This ludicrous decision is ill informed and appears only aimed at appeasing the noisy anti-gun lobby who continue to espouse misinformation and manipulate the community and decision makers to achieve their own anti-gun agendas.
SSAA NSW continues to publicly state its opposition to classification of firearms, and specifically its opposition to the re-classification of the Adler A110 shotgun and any form of re-classification that could result in added restriction of access for licensed firearms owners. Further SSAA NSW, has continually advocated it’s position that firearms laws and policies need to be evidence based and not a result of knee jerk reaction to emotion and misinformation so often peddled by the media and anti-gun groups. SSAA NSW will continue to advocate these positions at all levels through meetings and representation on groups and forums. Representations so far includes meetings with the Police Minister, Office for Police and Justice Department as well as the Firearms Registry.
For a period there was a glimmer of hope with the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant publicly stating the problem is criminals and illegal guns, not licensed firearms owners who abide by the law, and his call for facts based reasoning when considering the re-classification of lever action shotguns. Unfortunately, it appears he has been overridden by the Premier and Police Commissioner, and without opposition from any other State or Territory the Federal Government has been able to push through this decision.
Before the re-classification can be affected it requires a change in legislation, so this is not the time to give up. SSAA NSW will continue it’s representation to those that have an influence on the decision.
Of utmost importance is a united approach from all bodies that support firearms ownership and the shooting sports. Division within the SSAA organisation achieves nothing except to play right into the hands of the greens and the anti-gun agenda of divide and conquer. We have all faced adversity, but diverting the blame on to others that are working to achieve the same goals is simply counterproductive.
It’s also very disappointing to see other pro-firearms bodies taking cheap shots at, and making false unsubstantiated claims about, the SSAA NSW efforts. We all at some time face criticism, but a united voice is the only way to achieve good outcomes. No one body can alone achieve positive results for firearms owners and the shooting sports – we’re better off directing criticism to those that are responsible for negative decisions and instead, working together using our varied resources to achieve end goals that will deliver positive benefits to licensed firearms owners and the shooting sports.
Members can also play an important role and we’ve been calling on SSAA members to take action for a while now. SSAA NSW, again, strongly encourages all members to write to their local state and federal members of parliament to express their disappointment with the recent decision and the need for firearms laws to be evidence based, rather than as a knee jerk reaction to emotion and hype. Firearms laws should not be onerous on law abiding firearms owners and must be effective in reducing illegal firearms and gun crime. Members should visit the Action Centre on the SSAA NSW website for the contact details of their local state MP.
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