Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor has applauded the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) for promoting responsible firearms ownership to its 130,000-strong membership.
The Association, together with leaders of the firearms industry, has allocated up to $13 million in gun safe discounts through this year’s SSAA Gun Safe Voucher Program. Members receive vouchers worth $25, $50 or $100, depending on the type of police-approved firearms safe they invest in.
Minister O’Connor wrote to SSAA National and said that “It is encouraging that your organisation is taking a proactive approach to firearms security and working with the firearms industry to make this opportunity available to your members.”
“Initiatives that promote safe and responsible firearms ownership should be applauded. The SSAA Gun Safe Voucher Program continues the strong history of the SSAA in educating its membership about responsible firearms practices.”
SSAA National spokesperson Tim Bannister said the program assists members in updating their firearm security, as well as providing the opportunity for new members to buy a safe and comply with their state or territory law. He said, however, that police resources must always be spent on the criminal element of society and not be wasted on those who go to great lengths to comply with firearm regulations and the law.
“Licensed firearm owners have undergone police clearance and spend their time and money to abide by the law in their chosen recreation. They use their firearms for shooting competitions and hunting and treat them with respect. As an Association, we have made the decision to be proactive in firearm security and in turn would like to see police resources allocated wisely, that is, in clamping down on the criminal element of society that have no respect for the law or community safety.”
“The Australian Institute of Criminology has reported that almost all homicide by firearm is committed by an unlicensed person with an unregistered firearm. More often than not, drugs or organised crime is involved.”
“Clearly, this is where police resources should be spent,” said Mr Bannister.
SSAA National would like to thank industry partners Nioa, Foxsafe, Raytrade, Winchester (Olin Australia) and Beretta Australia in making the SSAA National Gun Safe Voucher Program possible.