The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia Inc. today called on the Federal government to rethink its support for a United Nations agreement on small arms control. The Association said that while it backed the principle of more curbs on the illicit trade in military hardware, the definition of small arms being put forward at a UN conference currently underway in New York was far too broad.
SSAA Special Projects Director Mr Gary Fleetwood said that into the future the definition currently being considered, which includes revolvers, self-loading pistols and rifles, could have a significant impact on sporting shooters in Australia. Mr Fleetwood went on to say that "Such a broad definition could have serious implications for legitimate shooters if some form of binding UN treaty was forthcoming in the future. For example, revolvers haven't been standard military equipment for 40 years, so why have they been included in a definition supposedly aimed at military small arms?"
The SSAA is calling on the government to hold off ratifying any UN agreements until the possible ramifications for private firearms ownership in Australia have been discussed and debated. Mr Fleetwood said "Our members don't want to see the powers-that-be signing away their interests at the UN without the chance to discuss the issues. There needs to be more consultation with user groups; the last thing the government should want in an election year is to put shooters off side by setting them up for more restrictions in the future."