Range/Branch Matters – January 2023

Volunteering to help run a shooting range is no small thing. Every week in communities across New South Wales, SSAA NSW members give their time to sit on branch committees and perform safety roles to ensure that their club is a well organised and safe environment for all members to enjoy their sport.

An important part of my role as the Firearms Regulatory and Compliance Manager for SSAA NSW is to provide direct support to those volunteers in your branch.

Many branch committee members would know me from my time as the Manager of Firearms Industry and Regulation at the NSW Firearms Registry where I worked with Peak Associations to assist with range, club, dealers, and permit compliance.

Prior to that, I worked in policing, mostly in rural and regional settings across the state. One of my many roles was to train other police and I have extensive experience and expertise in weapons instruction and procedures.

On a personal note, I grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Bathurst and learnt to value firearms as a fundamental tool for primary producers. I have also been a keen recreational shooter for the better part of 37 years.

Wherever your branch is in its development, whatever firearm disciplines are your focus, my job is to draw upon my experience and support branch committees to lead well organised, compliant, and safe clubs.

I’ve already had the opportunity to visit several branches and talk with members about their clubs and the kind of support they need. While there are some issues that are specific to single branches, there are also common issues across all branches. In this context, I will be consulting with committees and working to establish a set of resources that are safety and compliance focussed which will save committees time whilst also maintaining a level of consistency across SSAA NSW.

As an example, I am currently engaged with several branches, at their request, to develop a template for Range Standing Orders which would support branches to comply with their operational and legal responsibilities more effectively.

Watch this space.

On that note, this is the first “Range / Branch Matters” column which will become a regular feature of the SSAA NSW ‘WHATS ON’ newsletter. The intention is to address current and emerging issues and provide an additional resource for branch committees and members.

I would like to thank President Lance Miller, the entire SSAA NSW Board, and CEO Jai Rowell for their leadership in creating this important role within the organisation, adding additional services to branches and members.

As always, if you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at peter@nsw.ssaa.org.au

See you on the range.

Pete Szaak JP
Firearms Regulatory and Compliance Manager