Building on international ties in increasingly busy times

By the time members receive this magazine, the results of the Federal Election will have started to flow through. At time of writing, the race is tight and predicting an outcome is near impossible. To stay on top of the results and what it means for our recreation, make sure you visit our website, Facebook page and subscribe to our email updates. As always, we will bring you comprehensive coverage of the outcome and path forward in the next magazine.

While our SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA) department has been busy working on Federal Election issues, the SSAA has been full of activity generally with numerous projects on the go at the same time. I was privileged to receive an invitation to represent the SSAA at the 20th anniversary meeting of our New Zealand counterparts, the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO). I took the opportunity to strengthen our ties with our neighbours as we continue to share our research and ideas, while working together on similar issues both we and our fellow New Zealand sporting shooters and hunters face. This partnership was reinforced in recent times with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which has since seen our working relationship increase for the benefit of both parties.

Also on the international front, I am pleased to announce we have formalised our affiliation with the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA), a discipline that many of our pistol members enjoy participating in. We are currently waiting to hear about the successes of our team who have travelled to the United States to represent us in an international Handgun Metallic Silhouette competition.

Back home, the launch of a SSAA initiative attracted significant media attention last month. The new SSAA Gun Sales website is a member service that gives licensed firearm owners the ability to buy and sell new and used guns online and has already been well received by users. We have made sure SSAA members receive heavily discounted listing prices compared to non-members in order to serve our members first. I encourage you to jump online and have a look at the new website.

It has also been refreshing to see some positive national media coverage surrounding the rise of female shooters, which has shone a light on the fact that our unique sport is one that all people can participate in, regardless of gender, age or ability. I am proud to say that the SSAA female membership rate has doubled in recent years and it is fantastic to see so many talented and enthusiastic women taking up our sport.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the completion of the western quoll reintroduction project in South Australia, which SSAA National donated $60,000 towards. Our latest story captures the final release ceremony in the picturesque Flinders Ranges. The whole project would not have been possible without 20-plus years of our members’ involvement in feral goat and other pest control activities as part of the SA Government’s Bounceback project.

Finally, it is worth reflecting on the fact that our recreation boasts huge participation rates from our members because it is non-discriminatory. The fact that younger people and women are taking up the sport in droves proves that it is indeed a safe and fun activity for all abilities. The SSAA will continue to welcome new shooters who would otherwise be excluded from other recreations due to age or skill and it is something that we as an association should be proud of.

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