No Excuses: Shooters Reminded to Secure Guns in Leading Campaign Backed by Key Ministers

With a record one million-plus licensed firearm owners across Australia, the shooting sports is attracting heightened interest and increased participation rates, particularly among women and youngsters keen to try an all-abilities, equal opportunities recreation.

To educate new shooters, increase awareness surrounding responsible firearms ownership and highlight the importance of security, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) has launched a campaign and comprehensive guide detailing the requirements of firearms storage.

Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport follows years of active engagement by the SSAA with shooting clubs and gun owners about firearms safety. The 2016 campaign also seeks to combat misinformation and educate the general public about the strict realities of owning a firearm.

For the first time, the campaign has been endorsed by New South Wales Deputy Premier and Police Minister Troy Grant and commended by Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

Minister Keenan said: “Initiatives such as the Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport campaign are to be commended for publicising the need for the safe and responsible ownership of firearms.”

Deputy Premier Grant said: “Safe storage of firearms is an important issue nationally and in New South Wales, where there are so many law-abiding sporting shooters and hunters who are committed to doing the right thing. I have always said legal firearm ownership is not the problem we face – illegal guns are the problem – so any education campaign that supports responsible gun ownership has my backing.”

SSAA National Media Officer Kate Fantinel said the campaign aims to promote firearms safety and reiterates just how seriously licensed firearm owners take their chosen recreation. “Theft from licensed firearm owners is thankfully a rare event, with less than three per cent of stolen firearms recorded in criminal use,” she said. “However, the security of a firearm is the sole responsibility of the owner and the SSAA has a proud history of educating our members and the broader community on the importance of safe firearms storage.

“Our Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport campaign is also part of a wider education campaign to address some unfounded concerns regarding the number of registered firearms a licensed shooter may own. These firearms, which have been approved by police and have passed Customs import tests, pose no threat as they are in the right hands of law-abiding owners.

“With the support of Minister Keenan and Deputy Premier Grant, we call on all licensed firearm owners, both new and seasoned shooters, to store their firearms appropriately and encourage other shooters to do the same.”

For more information regarding the storage and transportation of firearms, including on flights and importing or exporting items through Customs, as well as the contact details for each firearms registry, visit View the Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport brochure at


SSAA NSW Awaits Federal Government’s Future Firearms Amnesty

With the Federal Government's announcement by Justice Minister The Hon. Michael Keenan MP confirming a new national firearms amnesty will be introduced by the end of 2016, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc. (SSAA NSW) awaits the comprehensive details and proposed schedule of the amnesty program in order to measure its true effectiveness.

SSAA NSW supports any measures that aid in the combat against illegal firearms and the reduction of gun-related crime in Australia, however a national firearms amnesty will not resolve the issue of illegal firearms.

"In light of the recent surge in gun-related crime being reported in Melbourne, a focus on illegal firearms is what’s required. But will an amnesty really resolve this issue and stop criminals from obtaining illegal firearms? Unfortunately, the answer is too often no," said SSAA NSW Executive Director Diana Melham.

"What this amnesty will possibly achieve, once the details have been finalised, is for a reduction in grey market firearms – for example, somebody who may have their grandfather's old gun in the back shed that hasn't been registered or a rifle that wasn’t previously turned over or registered in the 1996 buyback and is now classified as illegal. These are the kinds of circumstances that an amnesty works well for where law-abiding citizens have the opportunity to surrender unregistered firearms without any penalty."

SSAA NSW represents more than 55,000 members throughout the State including elite athletes who have represented Australia at the highest level of international competition and juniors who hope to one-day reach those same heights – all of whom are subject to some of the strictest firearms laws in the world.

"The reality is that whenever firearms-related issues are raised in the media, often-times our members are left worrying what new laws the Government of the day will come up with to further restrict their sport," continued Melham. "Which is why it’s important to differentiate between people who legally own registered firearms for the purpose of sport, conservation, hunting and pest animal management, as opposed to illegal firearms on the black market and unregistered guns – which are what the amnesty is targeting."

SSAA NSW acknowledges Minister Keenan’s confirmation that there will be no further restrictions on legal gun ownership at this time, and his comment that he thinks "we've got some of the strictest gun ownership laws in the world."

"Purchasing a firearm in NSW is a lengthy process which involves appropriate licensing and the requirement for a permit," said Melham. "What’s required to obtain a firearms license is a genuine reason such as target shooting, hunting or collecting, the completion of theory- and practical-based firearm safety tests as well as an extensive police background check. An individual must also demonstrate to Police that they have the correct facilities to store a firearm safely as well as meet the obligations for transportation and usage of that registered firearm."

It's SSAA NSW's intention to work with Government on sensible and effective firearms laws. "But we must focus on the criminals with illegal firearms," further commented Melham. "We must make it more difficult for them to get their hands on illegal firearms. And when people are caught with illegal guns, we must make sure the punishment fits the crime because no one wants illegal firearms off our streets more than licensed, law-abiding firearm owners."

SSAA NSW is the peak body dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving a sustainable shooting sports industry. With over 55,000 members across NSW, the Association represents the safe, fun and all-inclusive range of shooting sports available today. As the leading authority on the safe handling and use of firearms, SSAA NSW also make important contributions to government policy direction, industry research and development, tailored educational programs and training, legal and ethical hunting and conservation, and the facilitation and promotion of responsible wildlife management for farmers with pest issues to seek the assistance of its network of volunteer hunters throughout the State.

MEDIA RELEASE - Record attendance at SSAA SHOT Expo boosted by 7 News Story

More than 15,000 people attended the 2016 Sydney SSAA SHOT Expo over the weekend making it the largest event in its history.

SSAA SHOT Expo, the only event of its kind in Australia, was held at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June and is Australia’s premier event for the sports shooting industry. Sydney’s Expo included over 160 exhibitors and showcased the latest on offer for shooting, hunting and outdoor activities.

“The record attendance was no doubt boosted by the sensationalised and misleading story aired by Channel 7 News on Saturday evening. The story, and reporter Mike Duffy, attempted to portray law abiding firearms owners in a negative light and incite unnecessary fear within our community. This clearly backfired and we’d like to thank Channel 7 for the valuable free publicity,” Diana Melham, Executive Director of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc, said.

“Attendance on Sunday soared with visitors wanting to find out more about our sport which includes target shooting, recreational hunting and collecting. It also gave us an opportunity to correct the misleading, dishonest and inaccurate commentary too often espoused by the media and anti-gun campaigners.”

Those interviewed participated in good faith and were keen to provide an accurate insight into our sport. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the story uses quotes out of context and distorted video footage of Expo visitors using wooden stocks with scopes in an attempt to portray that it’s easy to obtain a firearm.

“In fact, here in NSW we abide by some of the strictest firearms laws in the world which govern all aspects of our sport including licensing as well as firearm ownership, registration, use, storage and transport; plus requirements for mandatory police background checks and waiting periods,” Ms Melham said.

An event such as SSAA SHOT Expo requires meticulous planning, permits and inspections by NSW Police, strict protocols for the display, inspection and purchase of firearms, along with a significant security presence throughout the event.

“It’s a shame that negative media focus remains on law abiding firearm owners, when it’s been widely acknowledged by politicians and regulators at State and Federal levels that the problem is illegal firearms and the criminals that use them in their commission of crime.”

According to figures from the Australian Institute of Criminology, less than 3% of firearms stolen from licensed firearm owners are subsequently used to commit a crime, yet the myth that all firearms used in illegal activities started off as legal firearms still exists.

Ms Melham, who was interviewed by Mike Duffy for more than 15 minutes believes the Expo will continue to grow as it travels around the country and returns to Sydney in 2018.

“Despite the story, we’re still happy to honour our offer to assist Mike with obtaining his firearms licence given the keenness he expressed for this on the day,” Ms Melham said.

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SSAA NSW and Devil Ark Join Forces to Help Save Tassie Devil

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc. (SSAA NSW) is pleased to announce a three-year partnership worth $135,000 with Devil Ark that will provide support for captive breeding of the Tasmanian Devil, which is currently at risk of extinction within the next 20 years due to a highly-contagious facial tumour disease.

Over the next three years, SSAA NSW will support Devil Ark in creating a healthy and sustainable population that will help revive this iconic species that's unique to Australia. Essential to the survival of the program and the Tasmanian Devil itself are partner organisations such as SSAA NSW that assist in funding costs for the not-for-profit facility and program.

Devil Ark is located at an altitude of 1,350m in the world heritage-listed Barrington Tops of New South Wales, a vast area characterised by rainforest and subalpine woodland which provides the perfect breeding environment for devils who like the Tasmanian-like vegetation and expansive surroundings. The devils are fenced in but the enclosures are so large they're able to maintain their wild behaviour.

SSAA NSW Executive Director Diana Melham said what made this partnership special was the important role both organisations play in conservation. "Responsible wildlife management is all about protecting our environment and that includes the conservation of endangered wildlife, ecosystems and biodiversity which the SSAA NSW is committed to. Any endangered species is really our collective responsibility in Australia. Having already lost the Tasmanian Tiger, we at SSAA NSW don't want to see the Tasmanian Devil face the same fate.

"That's why we're proud to partner with Devil Ark for this important cause and further demonstrate that the shooting sports community across New South Wales is truly committed to conservation management in all its forms, including making a critical difference towards the survival of the Tasmanian Devil from extinction."

SSAA NSW is the peak body dedicated to promoting and protecting the sustainability of shooting sports. With over 53,000 members across New South Wales, the Association represents their passion for the safe, fun and all-inclusive range of shooting sports available today. SSAA NSW also make important contributions to legal and ethical recreational hunting and conservation programs, with the facilitation and promotion of responsible wildlife management for farmers and landowners through the assistance of its network of accredited volunteer hunters throughout the State. 









































Record Attendance at the Sydney 2016 SSAA SHOT Expo

More than 15,000 visitors attended this year’s Sydney SSAA SHOT Expo held over the weekend of 25 and 26 June, making it the largest event in its history.

SSAA SHOT Expo, Australia’s premier event for the Sports Shooting Industry, was held at Rosehill Gardens with over 160 exhibitors showcasing the latest on offer for shooting, hunting and outdoor activities.

"Despite the cold weather, attendance over both days was incredible with visitors from all backgrounds and shooting abilities wanting to find out more about our sport which includes target shooting, recreational hunting and collecting," Diana Melham, Executive Director of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc, said.

"We had almost 100 people complete their Firearms Safety Training Course and almost 300 complete their Restricted licence (R-licence) accreditation, with some classes booked out well before the Expo."

SSAA NSW staff and volunteers were on hand in SSAA NSW precinct and answered a variety of enquires from both members and non-members. Over 3,000 SSAA NSW showbags were handed out.

Devil Ark, a charity organisation dedicated to ensuring the survival of the endangered Tasmanian Devil, were also present in the SSAA NSW stand. Devil Ark, who SSAA NSW partnered with earlier this year, also brought ‘Levi’, a male Tasmanian Devil who was a big hit with kids and adults alike.

There were two main halls for visitors to explore as well as a large outdoor area which included the SSAA NSW Mobile Air Rifle Range and an active display of the SSAA NSW Shotgun Trailer’s clay target throwers.

"There is a great deal of meticulous planning for an event like this with permits and inspections by NSW Police plus strict protocols for the display, inspection and purchase of firearms, along with a significant security presence throughout the event," Ms Melham said.

"There was a fantastic atmosphere with people wandering around Expo with big smiles on their faces, clutching showbags and a purchase or two."

Event sponsors ATN, Swarovski Optik Hunting and Winchester Australia were some of the major exhibitors displaying the latest scopes, firearms and accessories. While in the Outdoor arena, the SSAA Working Gun Dog demonstrations and Yamaha All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Demos drew large crowds.

While the SSAA SHOT Expo in Sydney will be held sometime in 2018, exhibitors and sporting shooters in Western Australia are looking forward to the Perth SSAA SHOT Expo in October later this year.

You can view a full photo gallery of the Sydney 2016 SSAA SHOT Expo visit our Facebook page album.

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here