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 the SSAA’s Licensing section.