Wodonga Big Bore 2013

Since being formed in 1997, the Australian Hunting Network website has been the first place many shooters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts check to get the latest news, stay in touch with friends and share their vast knowledge. And in 2008 a group of AHN members decided to organise a get together at the SSAA Wodonga Range.

"The first event was a small affair, but proved very popular, so it was proposed to make it a yearly event," said Karl Houseman, from the popular AHN forums.

"Given the majority of AHN members love big bore rifles it was dubbed the Wodonga Big Bore Bash."

Having seen the excitement build on the AHN forums for months before the actual date, SSAA NSW Senior Vice President Mark Godwin and Board Member Rob Austin made the trip down to Wodonga to see what the event was all about.

"Rob and I both had a fantastic time at the event, and the SSAA Wodonga facility is spectacular. The guys from AHN were very welcoming and it was a pleasure to be invited to shoot with them. I know we both really enjoyed the chance to shoot some of the big guns such as a 505 Gibbs and a couple of 416's. On behalf of SSAA NSW I'd like to thank the guys at AHN - in particular Mick and Karl - and all the organisers of the event.  This was a very well run, well organised and most importantly very safe event and we both had a great time."

While the big guns are the big attraction of the weekend, Karl says that there are also various competitions held which are all conducted in great spirit.

But the shooting is only one part of the weekend.

"When the guns get put away, the good times keep rolling well into the night with a bonfire and several stories to be told," said Karl.

A familiar face was also a guest at this years event with well known shooter and entertainer Steve Lee of I Like Guns in attendance.

"It's the best shoot I've been to in Australia. Great people ... lots of fun ... I'll be back next year."

And if previous years are anything to go by, it won't be long until the AHN forums start to see talk of the next installment - WBB 2014.

My phone call with Triple J

As many of you would have seen, Police Forces across Australia have announced a two week ‘crackdown’ on illegal firearms starting today (you can read SSAA NSW official statement on the crackdown here)

The focus of Operation Unification is to get illegal guns and the criminals who use them off the street.

A worthy goal, and I’m sure one which law abiding firearm owners would support.

But apparently that’s not newsworthy -  at least not according to Triple J.

Earlier today I was called by one of their reporters asking if SSAA NSW would take part in an on-air discussion about the crackdown.

Never one to miss a chance to hear my own voice on the radio I agreed enthusiastically.

“Of course we can do that.”

“Great” our friends at JJJ said before inquiring;

“So, before we do the interview can you tell us why exactly you are against this crackdown?”

Hrmmm … This is awkward.

“Well actually, we support it.” I said.

“Licensed, law abiding firearm owners want these illegal guns and the criminals who use them off the street. In fact, we’ll go one step further – we want to see them locked up in jail when they’re caught rather than handed fines or good behaviour bonds. Whatever happened to do the crime, do the time.”

Silence …

“Wait, you are in favour of it?” was her surprised response.

“Oh definitely,” I replied.

“SSAA NSW supports any genuine attempt to get illegal guns off the street.”

After a few more seconds of silence my interviewer politely asked if she could put me on hold while she spoke with her Producer. Returning to the phone she tells me;

“I’m sorry, it looks like we don’t need to interview you after all.”

Dumped again with all the subtlety of a Year 10 girl telling her boyfriend of two weeks “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Once I could understand. Twice could be a coincidence.

But given this has happened multiple times I’m forced to confront the uncomfortable thought - Maybe it IS me!

What other reason could there be that so many journalists just don’t want to hear about licensed, law abiding firearm owners doing the right thing. I mean there is more than 200,000 of them in NSW alone who use firearms safety and responsibly every day be it for work, or sport, or conservation.

Why is it that this narrative - the one where LAFO are responsible, reasonable and articulate is one they would rather ignore than promote ??

Sadly it seems that when some journalists call asking for comments, they aren't looking for this ...





They're really looking for this

UPDATE - Despite their earlier comments, Triple J did air an interview this evening which contained comments from SSAA National CEO Tim Bannister. We will attempt to get the audio online as quickly as possible.

Media Release - Shooting sports on the increase in Macarthur Region

SSAA NSW have today issued a press release in response to comments from Campbelltown City Councillor Anoulack Chanthivong who has suggested that there is no need for gun stores in Campbelltown because it is "truly metropolitan".

SSAA NSW Executive Director Diana Melham says that licensed, law abiding firearm owners come from all sections of the community and said that the popularity of the safe fun and unique range of shooting sports had never been higher in the Macarthur region.

"In the Macarthur region alone SSAA NSW represents almost 3,000 members."

"I'd encourage Councillor Chanthivong to go out to a Range and meet with some local firearm owners," said Ms Melham.

To read the full press release please click here



SSAA NSW Statement on illegal gun crackdown

Today's Daily Telegraph runs a series of articles concerning a new National crackdown on illegal firearms.

SSAA NSW supports any genuine attempt to get illegal guns - and the criminals who use them - off our streets. But we must ensure that this crackdown focuses squarely on those criminals and not the almost 200,000 licensed and law abiding firearm owners of this State.

And we must ensure that when these criminals are caught that the punishment fits the crime.

To read the full statement from SSAA NSW please click here.

Facebook competition - Win Field to Fork

To celebrate SSAA 2013 Year of the Hunter, SSAA NSW is giving away a copy of the highly acclaimed Australian game cookbook - Field to Fork Select.

Packed with 27 delicious game recipes including Kangaroo and Mushroom Vol-au-Vants, Sweet and Sour Rabbit, and Moroccan Goat, this is definitely one you will want to add to your collection.

To go into the draw all you have to do is visit the SSAA NSW Facebook page and leave a comment with your favourite game recipe. We'll draw the winner on Friday afternoon.

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here