These are heady days for the SSAA on two exciting fronts. Firstly, a milestone mark edges ever closer for the numbers joining our organisation’s ranks and secondly the hugely popular SHOT Expo is about to make a welcome return.
The great news is we are relentlessly surging towards the magical 200,000 membership count and during the past four weeks alone have added 1100 new recruits to our ever-expanding ranks. And those new faces can be certain we’ll stand up for their best interests as shooters.
As the largest recreational shooting organisation in Australia, the SSAA will always make our voice heard and refuse to be silenced, despite the efforts of our critics - we as an organisation are here to protect the rights of you, the shooter.
One pleasing aspect in the membership increase is how the percentage of women joining us has gained momentum and we believe our quarterly Australian Women’s Shooter, inside this month’s magazine, has done wonders to promote this aspect of shooting. Like our junior members, women are a valuable part of this organisation and their input and influence is greatly appreciated.
Part of our overall responsibility is to promote the sports aspect to the general firearms community, and next month’s SSAA SHOT Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds from October 19 to 20 is the ideal opportunity to showcase our passion to both the initiated and interested newcomers.
We thank our major sponsorship partners - Winchester Australia, Swarovski Optik, Polaris Off-Road Vehicles and Outdoor Sporting Agencies - for their invaluable backing in making this family-friendly event one of the biggest attractions on the calendar for recreational shooters and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s reassuring to know our Expos are back in full swing with the Sydney showpiece already in the planning stages for next year.
The Melbourne event, which is almost upon us, is proudly hosted by SSAA Victoria and has been coordinated by Michael Allendorf, director of Level Up Events. There will be numerous highlights over an action-packed weekend, among them the popular working gundogs demonstration which always draws a crowd.
There will be something for everyone among a huge array of attractions including the Night-Vision tunnel, air rifle and pistol shooting, an archery range as well as educational and expert talks and demonstrations. There will be thousands of brands on display and, with around 150 exhibitors filling the venue, this is one not to be missed.
In signing off I want to offer my sincere thanks on behalf of the Association to Ian Thompson, our resident ballistics expert of the past three decades. His Basic Ballistics columns for Australian Shooter and in its former guise as Australian Shooters’ Journal has been one of the most popular inclusions since the late 1980s and Ian’s expertise and general knowledge on the subject is unparalleled in Australia. His contributions will be sorely missed. See page 68 of the magazine for a profile of the man himself.