Many competitions have resumed and ranges have implemented COVID-19 safety plans so that all may safely attend and participate in their sport.
There is currently a 12-month extension to the attendances reporting period for 2020-2021 (now 2020-2022), allowing for one year’s participation across two years, while the COVID-19 health orders remain in place.
Exemptions/Extensions Confirmed by FAR in May 2020
In early March 2020, SSAA NSW advocated on behalf of all members in anticipation of escalating issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. SSAA NSW responded quickly to ensure that our members were not negatively impacted, as a result of not being able to meet their attendance requirements due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In April 2020, we wrote to members with regards to the Firearms Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2020. This amendment provides for a 12-month extension to the attendances reporting period for longarms.
SSAA NSW continued to work with Firearms Registry to clarify the details regarding the 12-month extension, as the amendment did not extend to the 2019-2020 reporting period:
“The Firearms Registry is aware that clubs define their compliance periods based on the calendar or financial year, from the date the club was approved by the Firearms Registry or by some other means. This means that some clubs may have missed out on the coverage afforded by the Firearms COVID Regulation to protect club members from being non-compliant due to range closures or health orders.”
SSAA NSW advocacy work produced a successful result and we reported in May 2020 that members who were unable to complete their mandatory longarm attendances within the 2019-2020 reporting period, due to COVID-19 restrictions are exempt.
“The Firearms Registry does not propose to revoke licences held by people who find themselves in this situation. This applies to any licence holder whose compliance period ended in March or in April before the 15th  and was unable to fulfil their participation requirements due to self-isolation, quarantine or range closure.Licence holders in this situation do not need to notify the Firearms Registry on this matter.”
We appreciate the assistance of Firearms Registry in their communications and cooperation with SSAA NSW and the NSW shooting community on this issue.
Achieving this result required many meetings with the Firearms Registry, who also sought legal advice.