It’s been a busy start to the year for SSAA National, with the launch of our new Gold Membership category already receiving an overwhelmingly positive response.
Available from February 1, the Gold Membership entitles members to $25,000 worth of insurance for their firearms and fixed accessories, all for just an extra $35 per year. This new membership level was thoroughly negotiated by the SSAA in response to feedback from you, the members.
The many calls and inquiries already received is a pleasing indication that we are meeting your needs, and we trust this fantastic insurance benefit will continue to be embraced. The Gold Membership is just one way we are rewarding our members and expanding the number of member benefits available, with more incentives to be announced throughout the year.
The continual growth of our membership is important, especially in the current political climate. We are in tumultuous times at both the federal and state levels. The recent Queensland election demonstrated this, and while there is no official result at time of writing, you can be assured that the SSAA will work productively with whoever forms government and continue to educate our chosen leaders on the issues that affect our Association and members.
With an upcoming election in New South Wales, reviews into firearm legislation in some states and ever-evolving issues around the country, it is now more than ever that we encourage you to talk to your local MP and let them know how important recreational shooting and hunting is to your lifestyle. SSAA National and our SSAA state and territory branches are working hard to bring issues to the attention of our politicians, but we need your help to reinforce the importance of the shooting sports to aid in the development of fairer policy and laws for our industry.
On the international front, SSAA representatives and I visited our counterparts across the Tasman recently to share information and develop our close relationship. The meeting with the Council for Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) in New Zealand was extremely positive and allowed us to discuss the benefits of the mature, working firearms system that exists for our New Zealand friends. The visit incorporated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with COLFO, which cemented our strong relationship. We will continue to learn from each other’s experiences and keep the channels of communication open.
Back home, the SSAA co-hosted a firearms industry reception at Parliament House in Canberra last month in conjunction with the major firearms distributors, known collectively as the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA). The event allowed us to educate and answer questions about our chosen activities with interested politicians in attendance. Members of Parliament and their staffers were extended an invitation to attend, and we will bring you a full report of the evening in the April Australian Shooter.
While we await the release of the report from the Greens-led Senate Inquiry later this month, it is important to acknowledge that there are some challenging times ahead for our recreation, but there are also some exciting times. As we approach nearly 170,000 members, we remember that hunting and shooting are legitimate activities and ever growing.
Update: The report has been granted another extension. It is now due to be released on Thursday April 9.
I trust the new Gold Membership demonstrates our commitment to our members and our passion for ensuring you receive ample benefits. May we all continue to promote our fantastic sport positively and proactively, especially in these tough times.