SSAA NSW PRESIDENT RETIRES

 

After 8½ years as President of SSAA NSW, Paul McNabb has decided to retire.

The SSAA NSW Board has appointed Board Member Lance Miller to fill the casual vacancy until the 2018 SSAA NSW Annual General Meeting.

During Paul’s time as President the various Boards have taken SSAA NSW to a new level of growth and professionalism; the Board was tasked with developing innovative ideas, strategic plans, range additions and improvements, increasing funding and support at the grass roots level and new Constitutions.  SSAA NSW is now without question the leading shooting organisation in New South Wales and highly respected nationally.

Today, the position of SSAA NSW is made stronger by our extensive political connections within the State Government, Firearms Registry and Office of Police. Going forward, new President Lance Miller will be well positioned to develop these established relationships to further protect our members and the State’s shooting sports.

Having spent 17 years on the Camera House Board, the last 3 as Chairman and having run his own business for 29 years, Lance moves into the role backed by an impressive resume.

Lance was part of the team tasked with developing and implementing the new Constitutions and is the driving force behind the new communication platform currently being developed by SSAA NSW which will see our stakeholder communication at a level second to none.

Paul will continue as Senior Vice President of SSAA National and as a member of the SSAA Insurance Brokers Board.

The SSAA NSW Board wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation to Paul for his leadership and achievements during his term; and looks forward to continuing its successes under the leadership of Lance.

POLICE MINISTER COMMITS TO ONGOING CONSULTATION WITH SSAA NSW

SSAA NSW met with Police Minister Troy Grant yesterday to preview the final draft of the Firearms Regulation 2017.

During our meeting the Minister gave a firm commitment to continue consultation with SSAA NSW through regular meetings.  These meetings will focus on achieving workable options to address issues raised by SSAA NSW, and its members.

SSAA NSW has had success in having some of its recommendations adopted in the Firearms Regulation 2017.  These include:

  • Removal of the Commissioner’s discretionary power to refuse licenses or permits where the applicant has not been prosecuted or convicted of an offence;
  • Retention of the existing forms of written permission (letter or statutory declaration) to shoot on rural land;
  • The ability for category AB licence holders with only a recreational hunting/vermin control genuine reason to participate in target shooting matches as practice or in competition under a P650;
  • The removal of the proposed requirement that shooting events or competitions need to be approved for individual ranges;
  • The removal of the proposal to limit club approvals to 5 years and retaining lifetime club approvals;
  • The removal of the proposed additional monthly reporting requirements for clubs with the status quo of annual reporting being retained;
  • Change in the definition of ‘compliance period’ to revert to the status quo rather than the licence anniversary date.

However, completion of the Regulation review does not mean an end to our work with the Minister.

In our ongoing consultations with the Minister we’ll be working on ways to achieve the following:

  • amalgamation of target shooting and recreational hunting/vermin control genuine reasons for AB licence holders;
  • increasing the number and variety of matches available for high calibre handguns;
  • altering the current approach to firearm classification from an appearance based model to one with a focus on functionality;
  • repealing the Ammo Bill and the unnecessary burden it places on dealers and club armourers;
  • increasing access to suppressors for recreational and sporting purposes;
  • removing mandatory participation (attendance) requirements for longarms licence holders;
  • removing the restrictive criteria imposed on the approved activities for shooting ranges; and
  • exempting firearms with folding stocks from being classified as prohibited firearms where it is clear the folding stock is required to facilitate legitimate operation of the firearm.

In addition, we’ll also be working on other issues as they arise and are brought to our attention by members.

SSAA NSW remains committed to achieving fair and workable firearms laws that are not onerous on law abiding firearms licence holders, but are effective in addressing the issue of illegal firearms and gun crime.

We look forward to working with the Minister through genuine consultation to continue delivering positive outcomes for our members, the Association and shooting sports overall.

SSAA NSW SUBMISSION - DRAFT REGULATIONS

SSAA NSW has lodged its submission in response to the draft Firearms Regulation 2017 and draft Weapons Prohibition Regulation 2017.

The suggestions included in our submission provide sensible, workable options to address matters of concern identified by SSAA NSW and its members, without raising any risk to public safety.  Please click here to view the submission.

SSAA NSW supports firearms legislation and policy that is evidence-based using sound facts and current data rather than outdated policies, intuition, ideology and emotion.  In order for this to occur there needs to be genuine consultation with stakeholders at the decision-making level.  SSAA NSW will continue to push for this in its meetings with politicians from various parties, regulators and bureaucrats.

Unfortunately, consultation on the remake of the regulations has been rushed without the provision of a reasonable period for stakeholders to provide considered and meaningful input.  Despite this being discussed for over 12 months, with acknowledgment of the 1 September 2017 deadline, the documents were released on 7 July, providing stakeholders with little more than 3 weeks to provide comment.  This is in direct conflict with the minimum consultation period of 28 days stated in the NSW Guide to Better Regulation published in October 2016 by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.  A point we have included in our submission.

Thank you to those that provided comment and input – the submission has been developed using feedback from a number of sources.  Thank you also to those that have taken the time to lodge your own submissions – it’s vital that we have as many submissions lodged as possible – the more voices we have the more effective we can be.

LOWERING THE AGE FOR MINORS PERMITS

SSAA NSW supports the lowering of the minimum age for minors firearms permits to 10 years – something we’ve been advocating for some years now.

It makes perfect sense, especially as shooting is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport; one that Australian representatives are very successful at.  Reducing the minimum age will increase the opportunity for minors to develop their skills and enable Australia to grow the pool and ability of its representative talent.

It was good to see a relatively balanced article in the Sydney Morning Herald on this subject; SSAA NSW was asked to provide comment and our statement can be read here.  

As is to be expected, the comments made by Gun Control Australia are misleading with claims that:

  • large numbers of guns being stolen from residential homes” easily refuted with the fact that:
    • A 2014 Greens-led Senate Inquiry into ‘The ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community’ found no evidence to suggest that firearms stolen from licensed owners is the predominant source of supply for criminals or the black market. In fact, the Senate Inquiry report signed by the majority of Committee members found that “The hypothesis that illegal guns are mainly stolen from registered gun owners was not supported by the evidence presented to the Committee.” The Senate Inquiry majority report also acknowledged our nation’s porous borders and lack of policing and border patrol resources as having a real effect on the number of illegal firearms coming into our country and into the hands of criminals of organised crime syndicates.
    • Both the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant and Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan have publicly stated that the issue is criminals and illegal firearms NOT the law abiding firearms owners.  More than 97% of gun crime is committed using illegal firearms.
    • The Australian Institute of Criminology has previously stated that less than 1 per cent of shipping containers bringing goods into this country are checked by the Australian Border Force or Customs. According to the AIC, police and other sources, the existing black market in Australia is mostly divided into criminal gangs, whose main focus are crimes rather than dealing with firearms, or small networks of individuals who buy or sell by word of mouth. Nonetheless, firearms traffickers play a significant role in supplying firearms to persons with a criminal intent.
  • minors permits are a breach of the 1996 Port Arthur Firearm Agreement” easily refuted with the fact that:
    • The minimum age set out in the NFA only refers to eligible age for a shooters licence which would allow a person to own and use firearms. Minors of an age prescribed in the regulations may only shoot under strict supervision of a licenced adult. They cannot own any firearms or shoot unsupervised.
    • This was also reiterated by the NSW Police spokesman who said that minors’ permits were not in breach of the agreement: "It addresses the age for licences and puts this at 18 years." and "Supervision of minor[s] is strictly enforced by clubs and ranges – parent allows a minor to shoot on their own property under supervision.”
    • The minimum age for a minors permit in Queensland is 10 years and there has not been any incidents as a result. 

Further claims that “gun ownership in Australia was increasing” are easily explained by the growth in population.  Legal ownership of firearms is in accordance with strict laws that dictate access is only available to those with a firearms licence.  These laws also dictate that a permit is required to purchase every firearm, what types of firearms can be possessed as well as how and where they can be used.

Statements like “a dismantling of our gun laws” are yet another example of baseless comments with absolutely no evidence to back them.  There has been no dismantling of firearms laws in NSW. Successive state governments have aligned with the NFA, and have in fact introduced laws and policies that go beyond the NFA such as the additional requirements introduced for the purchase and recording of ammunition sales. 

As usual, GCA and the Greens have nothing credible to add to the debate, they continue to use misinformation and scaremongering campaigns based on nonsense to peddle their anti-gun agenda.

DRAFT REGULATIONS FOR COMMENT: FIREARMS REGULATION 2017 & WEAPONS PROHIBITION REGULATION 2017


The draft Firearms Regulation 2017 and draft Weapons Prohibition Regulation 2017 have been released for public consultation. 
The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Monday 31 July 2017.

SSAA NSW will be lodging a submission and we encourage all members to also submit their own response – the more voices the more effective we can be.

Ideally, we’d like to include points of concern raised by members to maximise our response to the drafts.
So, members are also encouraged to provide commentary back to SSAA NSW for inclusion in our submission.
We will need these by close of business next Monday 17 July 2017 and they should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One issue to note is that we were extremely successful in getting bi-partisan support for the removal of mandatory longarms attendances as part of the initial round of input into the Regulation Review; this included support from industry and regulatory representatives.

The authors of the draft Regulation have ignored this, despite the industry and regulatory support, and ultimately not taken this into account for the draft; so it’s important that we continue to advocate for this very reasonable position.

Multiple responses to these reviews are vital to show that SSAA NSW is not a lone voice – to be effective everyone has to play their part.
We need to make the decision makers genuinely concerned about the views of the 200,000 law abiding firearms owners in New South Wales.

Please click on the following links for the:

There is no set format for submissions if you wish to make comments.  Only comments relating to the Draft Regulations can be considered.  If you wish to keep your comments private, please mark your submission as confidential.

Submissions can be made by email or post, however, posted submission must reach the Office for Police by the close of the submission date.  Email is the preferred option.

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post:
Firearms Submissions
Office for Police, Department of Justice
GPO Box 5434
SYDNEY  NSW  2001

Submissions must be received no later than 5.00pm Monday 31 July 2017.

Copies of all documents are also available on the Department of Justice website:
http://www.justice.nsw.gov.au/justicepolicy/Pages/lpclrd/lpclrd_consultation/proposed-firearms-and-weapons-prohibition-regulation-2017.aspx

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here

NSW Shooter now online

Click here if you would like to view the September 2017 NSW Shooter Quarterly Review

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