SSAA NSW CONDEMNS UNBALANCED, FACTUALLY INACCURATE ABC ARTICLE ON NAROOMA HUNTFEST

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc. “SSAA NSW” has slammed the Australian Broadcasting Corporation “ABC” for a biased and deceptive article on its’ online platforms.

SSAA NSW Executive Director Diana Melham has called for the ABC to correct the record in the article, “Gun sales at controversial HuntFest festival raise ire as photographers take aim at event”, after misleading statements were published.

“The article references comments made by known anti-firearm social justice warrior David Shoebridge, who states the holding of HuntFest on public land contravenes the National Firearms Agreement “NFA”,” Mrs Melham said.

“Nowhere in the NFA is any reference made to the holding of fairs, festivals or events, nor does it refer anywhere to firearm sales in relation to public lands.

“This is just another unreasonable, emotional attack on law abiding firearms owners by activists whose only interest lies in their own power and not in community safety.”

Mrs Melham said the ABC presented a distorted view of firearm owners and recreational hunting in the article.

“Hunting is no different to fishing, where people go out into the natural environment and harvest the best of organic free-range food,” Mrs Melham said.

“In an age where medical professionals are urging us to engage with nature, this condemnation by the public broadcaster of those who would enjoy the outdoors is unbecoming of an organisation which has a legislative duty to operate in the public interest.”

Mrs Melham said law abiding firearm owners should not be condemned for the actions of unlicensed criminals who obtain and use illegal guns to commit their crimes.

“If the ABC and social justice warriors like David Shoebridge want to make our community a safer place, they should support the efforts of SSAA NSW to work with the Government and regulators to achieve fair and workable firearms laws that are not onerous on licensed law-abiding firearms owners, but that are truly effective in addressing the real problem of illegal firearms and gun crime,” Mrs Melham said.

“We know that the existing firearms 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, both of which play a significant role in supplying illegal guns to criminals.”

SSAA NSW ON SBS VICELAND

Last night, SBS Viceland program The Feed aired a segment on the increased female participation in shooting sports.

You can view the program by clicking here.

The story was filmed during our SBS Viceland Ladies Competition.  The competition, held on 5 May, attracted participants from as close as St Clair, as far afield as Cobar and everywhere in between.

Importantly, we feel the program showcased the diversity of our sport, not just in gender but in age and backgrounds, with our participants including a married mum who works in accounts, a high school student and an Australian national biathlete.

It is this kind of positive media coverage which can only grow our sport and we are looking forward to holding monthly ladies events and regular regional events as well.”

Thank you to all of the ladies that participated in the competition and contributed to the positive promotion of our sport.

SSAA NSW WELCOMES FIREARM AMNESTY

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc. “SSAA NSW” has welcomed the NSW Police Minister’s announcement of another firearm amnesty which will run from 1 July to 30 September.

SSAA NSW Executive Director Diana Melham said this amnesty is the result of extensive lobbying by SSAA NSW and other shooting bodies and a fitting response following last year’s amnesty.

“We have been calling on the NSW Government to implement a permanent amnesty for some time now and it is pleasing to see the Minister and NSW Police take action to again provide a mechanism for people within the community to legally register or surrender firearms that have come into their possession through innocuous circumstances, such as a death in the family.” Mrs Melham said.

“From our discussions with the Government it seems reasonable to expect that periodic amnesties will continue to be announced in the future and the prohibitive costs involved with a continuous amnesty is the only reason this initiative is not permanent.”

Mrs Melham said the amnesty was the result of a collaborative effort by the firearms community working together to achieve a common goal. SSAA NSW continues to publicly declare its commitment to working with all-pro-shooting organisations to achieve a united voice for the shooting sports.

“There are a number of shooting bodies that have played an important role in securing this amnesty.” Mrs Melham said.

Mrs Melham said SSAA NSW supports any measures that aid in the combat against illegal firearms and the reduction of gun-related crime in Australia, however a firearms amnesty will not resolve the real issue of career criminals and their use of illegal guns.

“We must focus on the criminals with illegal firearms as criminals by their very nature do not abide by the law, so it is unlikely that they will front up to their local dealership or Police station to hand in their ill-gotten firearms." Mrs Melham said.

"We must make it more difficult for them to get their hands on illegal firearms by dedicating more funding to frontline policing and border protection, and when criminals are caught with illegal guns we must make sure the punishment fits the crime.”

“No one wants illegal guns off the streets and out of our community more than licensed, law-abiding firearm owners."

SSAA NSW HOSTS POLLIE TRY SHOOTING

Last week we were thrilled to host a group of NSW State MPs for our first Pollie Try Shooting event!

Stephen Bromhead (Myall Lakes – Nationals), Steph Cooke (Cootamundra – Nationals), Phil Donato (Orange – SFFP), Austin Evans (Murray - Nationals), Andrew Fraser (Coffs Harbour – Nationals), Michael Johnsen (Upper Hunter – Nationals) and Bronnie Taylor (MLC – Nationals) visited the St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre.  To kick off our visitors were given a tour of the Centre, then over lunch we provided a run down on SSAA NSW; who we are and what we do as well as some interesting facts about the shooting sports, recreational hunting and firearms owners before trying a variety of different firearms and competing in a couple of good natured challenges.

Feedback was very positive with all MPs enjoying themselves, and most indicating they were keen to return again.  We will be hosting more MPs at the Centre in the not too distant future, especially those who had hoped to attend but were called away at the last moment.

This event provided an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our sport, SSAA NSW and the Centre first-hand to decision makers that can impact upon our recreation, and given its success this is an initiative that SSAA NSW will continue.

SSAA NSW RESPONSE TO WA TRAGEDY

We write in response to various comments that have been made regarding the tragic incident in Western Australia that involved the shooting deaths of several members of a family in the Margaret River area.
 
Like the rest of the Australian community, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragic event. We note that family members of those involved in the tragedy have respectfully asked that people don’t speculate on the circumstances surrounding the event, and we intend to respect their privacy.
 
We further note the Premier in Western Australia has stated that “We have some of the strongest firearm laws in the world ... It’s hard to work out what we could do differently,”
 
A suggestion has been aired in editorial comments in recent days that all firearms owners are responsible until they aren’t, or until they become depressed or angry. Unfortunately, you could apply the same argument to pilots, truck or bus drivers, car owners, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, chefs or just any occupation or hobby that involves the use of machinery, tools or medication.
 
Everyone has a right to participate in the policy discussion around responsible firearms ownership and storage laws, and we welcome all constructive views.
However, this is generally best done on a clear day when all of the facts surrounding tragedies like those that occurred last week in Western Australia are better understood.

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here