SSAA NSW Range Closures Following Latest Government Announcement

COVID-19

The World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Governments all over the world, including the Australian and NSW Government, are responding to its rapid spread.

We are advised that although this new strain of virus has been likened to the flu, it is much more contagious and appears to have a higher mortality rate. As a new virus, at present, the worldwide population has minimal immunity.

The Government and Chief Medical Officer’s responses are rapidly changing and increasing in severity, with new containment measures being introduced multiple times a week.

SSAA NSW continues to monitor the situation around the clock and is in contact with relevant authorities. Like all other law-abiding and responsible organisations, we are following advice.

Most Recent Update from National Cabinet: Sporting Activities

Last night the National Cabinet met. This meeting included the Prime Minister, Premier, Chief Ministers from all States and Territories and the Chief Medical Officer. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister announced many new restrictions and measures with relation to travel bans and social gatherings.

One of those measures was that from midnight tonight sporting activities should not occur. As a result of that advice and the escalation of the COVID-19 Pandemic SSAA NSW has put the following into place effective midnight tonight:

ALL SSAA NSW OWNED RANGES:

  • Will be closed from end of today until further notice.

RANGES WHERE SSAA NSW DO NOT OWN THE RANGE BUT A SSAA BRANCH OPERATES THE RANGE:

  • In this circumstance, SSAA NSW advises Branches to close the range by the end of today if not already closed until further notice.

RANGES WHERE SSAA NSW DO NOT OWN THE RANGE AND THE SSAA BRANCH DO NOT OPERATE THE RANGE BUT HAVE ACCESS TO ONE:

  • In this circumstance, SSAA NSW advises SSAA Branches to advise members not to shoot at the range in the unlikely event the range is still open by the end of today until further notice.

Safety

Due to the announcement of the National Cabinet and until lifted by it, SSAA NSW advises members not to shoot at any range after the end of today until further notice.

SSAA NSW cannot enforce a lockdown on a range that we do not own or direct an individual’s activity in that regard. However, we do strongly advise that everyone abides by Government and Health advice.

Insurance may not cover people who do not follow Government and Health advice in this regard and certainly would not provide cover in the event a law is breached.

SSAA NSW has not made this decision lightly. Safety is our paramount concern; for our members, volunteers, staff and the general public.

SSAA NSW also notes the closures of some ranges independently before this date and thanks everyone for their co-operation.

Already, large sporting events including the Olympics, NRL, AFL, Soccer and Netball have been cancelled. Last night’s announcement is an additional measure advised by Government and Health about general community sporting activities.

Advocacy Regarding Attendances

Effectively, this temporarily halts shooting at ranges and this may affect attendance requirements of members into the future.

As emailed to members last week, SSAA NSW have been in regular contact with the Firearms Registry regarding the requirement of completing attendances. SSAA NSW have sought exemptions for all SSAA NSW members at this time due to the escalating events regarding COVID-19.

We are expecting a decision to be made shortly in this regard and will communicate with all members once it is received.

SSAA NSW took the proactive step to advocate on your behalf almost three weeks ago as the trajectory of restrictions and social distancing was escalating. Firearms Registry have sought legal advice.

In the meantime, any licence holder who cannot comply with their annual shooting requirements can be assessed on a case by case basis.

As your peak Association, SSAA NSW took the lead on this issue for the benefit of all law abiding firearms owners and we expect a positive result soon.

Thank You

The COVID-19 pandemic will subside and Government and health restrictions will eventually be eased. At that time, SSAA NSW will work with all stakeholders to get our sport and activities up and running as soon as we can.

We thank you for your understanding regarding decisions that are being made in the interests of public safety and are beyond our control. Everyone is in this together and updates will continue to be provided as they come to hand.

Thank you for doing your part in ensuring a healthy Australia and protecting our sport and activities.

Lance Miller - President, SSAA NSW
Jai Rowell - CEO, SSAA NSW

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here

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