This year is already looking like another busy time for our Association with various campaigns to be rolled out over the coming months. Kick-starting our targeted campaigning is the SSAA Gold Membership advertising push from February 1. This promotion sees a slick video broadcast across various platforms, including the News Corp websites, with a supporting print drive all aimed at highlighting shooting as a safe, fun and all-abilities sport to the general public.
Another campaign on the horizon is the SSAA Gun Sales website which will enable the firearms community to purchase and sell firearms online. This is another member benefit we hope will grow our Association, making us even stronger at a pivotal time for our sport, while also offering current members the opportunity to buy and put up for sale firearms online. The use of this platform will be offered at a heavily discounted rate for members.
Your SSAA has been hard at work over the holidays with the release of our educational tool, A Journalist’s Guide to Firearms and the Shooting Sports, distributed to more than 1500 media outlets, politicians, universities and libraries across the nation. This guide is our antidote to the poor coverage surrounding firearms and we hope this aids our media and law-makers in accurately speaking about firearms-related stories or issues.
We had a big win before Christmas with changes to Customs regulations relating to firearms coming into force. Positive changes include one permit for travelling to and from Australia with a firearm, along with firearms on import/export only requiring serial numbers to be checked on an at-risk basis. These changes came about after active face-to-face lobbying by the SSAA and industry. The SSAA will continue to work closely with industry, taking a collaborative approach essential in the lead-up to the Federal Election and final stages of the National Firearms Agreement review.
The past few months have also seen our Farmer Assist program expand since its launch in my home state of Queensland and I am pleased to see New South Wales come on board most recently. It is timely to remind those heading out on hunting trips to be aware of their own personal safety, with the hotter temperatures in the summer months making dehydration and heat exhaustion a real possibility, even for the most experienced hunters. The SSAA always wants to ensure our members remain safe, so please be aware of the importance of drinking enough water in the heat.
On that note, I hope our members and their families have enjoyed a great start to 2016. Your SSAA is ready for what will be a challenging year.