“In the current context, the Association does not consider the proposed changes to be excessive or onerous”

What SSAA Vic said to its members about new gun laws that will affect them

WE KNOW THIS IS ANOTHER LONG ARTICLE, but we have an important message about who is or is not opposing proposed draconian new gun laws for members of:

  • Australian Deer Association;
  • Field and Game Australia; &
  • Sporting Shooters Association of Australia.

NSC takes on draconian new gun laws

A few days ago, we told you about how the Victorian government was expanding police powers to make it easier to slap 10 year gun bans on anyone caught doing the wrong thing.  

The powers currently allow police to impose the bans based on a person’s ‘behaviour’ or who they ‘associate with‘ which is not defined in the legislation, which means it will come down to an officer’s opinion. 

The legislation does not require that the behaviour is illegal – which means it is possible for the bans to be imposed on engaging in behaviour that is quite legal – or simply something the police don’t like.

The new laws will also place new restrictions on firearm dealers, and require many gun owners to upgrade their safes. They are draconian by any measure.

On 22 September, the Weekly Times published this article below covering the matter.

ADA and FGA side with the government

We wouldn’t normally comment on  other shooting organisations but will speak up when they take positions that are contrary to our interests.

In this instance, officers from the Australian Deer Association and Field and Game Australia chose to pour cold water on what we were saying.

FGA CEO, Dean O’Hara

FGA CEO Dean O’Hara is reported as saying “responsible gun owners had nothing to fear”.

That’s not correct.  As we said earlier, the legislation allows gun bans to be imposed on any one for any form of ‘behaviour’. It also allows them to be imposed for ‘associating‘ with people the police don’t like.

These are dangerous powers that lack any form of protection from misuse.  That’s why we’re surprised to see two organisations siding with the government on this matter.

FGA’s position used to be the exact opposite.

In 2017, FGA’s previous Chair attended a meeting with other shooting organisations and MPs at Victoria’s Parliament House in an attempt to have safeguards put into these laws back then.

SSAA tells shooters to simply cop it

The legislation that is currently before parliament does a few other things.

It will require shooters to have safes with steel walls 1.6mm thick and impose new restrictions on firearm dealers. 

This is a significant size because many smaller safes use 1.2mm steel and the proposal compares with shipping containers which have walls 1.9mm thick.

In early September, the SSAA released advice reporting on the Bill. While its summary is accurate, two things stood out to us.

First, is that the SSAA advice makes NO mention of the 10 year gun bans.  Second, is that the SSAA is not saying what if anything it will do about the changes.

However the SSAA states the legislation is needed:

“… because of the actions of a minority”

and

In the current context, the Association does not consider the proposed changes to be excessive or onerous”

In other words, the need for these draconian measures is our fault, and we should just cop it.

While we have strongly disagreed with the SFFP’s Jeff Bourman in the past, he’s opposing this Bill, making this is one of the few occassions that we’re happy to agree with him. 

NSC won't accept mediocrity

The NSC’s position, since the very beginning of this saga, has been to oppose the Bill in its entirety.   

Not because we aren’t against sensible laws or measures (which these do not appear to be), but because we’re sick and tired of having government impose new bans and restrictions on us without any dialogue or consideration.

Whether any new laws have good or bad parts to it isn’t relevant.  It’s got nothing to do with it.  It’s about refusing to settle for the poor way shooters get treated in the policy making process.  

There’s no reason why we should have to settle for this.

As a result, we’ve written to Police Minister, Lisa Neville, putting our position on the Bill to her.

Other shooting organisations raise concerns

The good news is that there are shooting organisations who oppose the new laws and the positions taken by the ADA, FGA and SSAA.  Some of them have contacted us but aren’t sure how to best voice their opinions.

Our advice to those organisations is to speak to your members – and feel free to speak through us.   The NSC is in the process of briefing politicians as the Bill proceeds through Parliament – so our advice is to speak up now.

Strength in numbers

The NSC seems to be the only organisation that bothered to brief the media and MPs about the proposed changes. 

Shooters nation-wide need an organisation that will stand up to the government and fight bad laws whenever they appear.  Not ones that fall into line with the government because it is an easy thing to do. 

They need an organisation that will take legal actions in every state & territory whenever they are required, help shooters know who to vote for at every election and never stop fighting for better laws.   That’s what we do. Plus, we offer genuine reason in Qld, NSW and Victoria – with other states to follow.

22 thoughts on “VICTORIA: NSC fights alone on draconian new gun laws

  1. Kyle wallace says:

    SSAA should rethink there rubber stamp soft attitude and fight for shooters
    SSAA what are you thinking to say ‘follow along nothing we can do’? What a disgrace

  2. ALAN+BENTHAM says:

    SSAA have not been supporting shooters for a long time. They will happily take shooters money, but do nothing in return. They support bullying and victimisation within their branches. I am speaking from personal experience. A female shooter in Brisbane had to take them to court to be reinstated after being suspended unfairly. She won the case.

  3. Larry says:

    Heavier steel walls are better of course, however any steel can be easily and quickly cut with a battery operated
    side grinder / cutter. The best solution is to install an alarm system with loud sirens and flashing lights visible
    outside the property. Make sure you always activate the alarm when you go out!

  4. Guy says:

    What are members saying to there associations on this matter . If the members don’t ask they won’t receive

  5. Adam says:

    what a ridiculous requirement! my safe only JUST makes these new requirements and i as well as many other shooters could have been screwed over. a change to the law like this has the potential of having many shooters suddenly breaching safe storage requirements over a couple of millimeters.

    • Derek Itzstein says:

      As an ex safe builder I can assure you that the extra half a millimetre of material would only add to the security of the safe if somebody was trying to gnaw through the side wall with their teeth. Safes should be viewed & utilized as the final obstacle to deter thieves.

  6. mark says:

    the ssaa have and are working against the shooter, they think if they throw you in first they will be last to be eaten
    from personal experience l know the police and the ssaa work in together

  7. Dezi+B+Freeman says:

    Lets call this out for what it really is. It’s simply the communist gun ban being done incrementaly and by stealth.

    • John says:

      You are 100% right there mate it’s only a matter of time, but in saying that let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

  8. Noel O'Connor says:

    I am a Life Member of the Benalla Field & Game Australia and have held continuous membership of The Australian Deer Association since 1979 and I will be letting both of these organizations know of my disappoint and disgust of their lack of opposition to this poorly framed legislation. The first question I will ask is what they will be doing for their members who have their Shooters License cancelled because their gun safe is made from steel 1.2 or 1.4 mm thick. It is no wonder these organizations struggle to get new memberships when they won’t stand up for the ones that they have . As mentioned earlier “Locks are only for honest people” and any thief armed with a battery powered angle grinder will cut open a safe whether it is 1.2 mm or 1.6mm thick. These laws are supposed to target the criminal element but will have a greater impact on the law abiding firearm owner.

  9. Geoff Rath says:

    What concerns this Bananabender is how other States have a very strong tendency to adopt changes to existing gun (and other) laws Willy nilly across the board. Whet Victoria does today, others will soon follow. Just look at John Howard’s national gun laws. A specific concern so hold is that Chairman Dsn may declare a state of emergency in the lead-up to the next Victorian election, and defer/cancel it; appointing himself as the administrator, pro tem. Possible? I believe so; feasible? Too damned right.

  10. Brian Bohan says:

    Noel
    All the Field and game will do is take you of their news letter mailing list and wont lower their standards and reply to any criticisms levelled at them

    • Neil Jenkins says:

      Hi Brian
      Yeah, maybe. I do get on well with the Chair and gave him a heads up on this out of courtesy. While I won’t get a Xmas card from them this year, I never have, but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to treat them with respect. The problem here though is not FGA. It’s the CEO. I’m not on their email list . Your point about firing criticism is fair enough but equally their CEO didn’t have to fire his comments back in our direction to the journo (and without telling us) so this was really more in response to that, than intended to be an attack on FGA.

  11. Archie Ballas says:

    Well done NSC for standing up for the firearm hunters and target shooters out there. We should not be divided amongst sporting shooter organizations in this great sport. We should all continue to come together and find support for each other. Thank you NSC for continuing to support us all.

  12. David Alexander says:

    I am a member of the SSAA. I am writing an email asking if they agree to the proposed laws. I am also going to say that I will not renew my membership with them as i can no longer afford it for the next few years as that money will be used to buy a new gun safe. I’d suggest that if everyone agreed with me did the same they may consider doing more. If not ill direct more funds to the NSC.

  13. Jai Normosone says:

    A couple of issues…
    Firstly: Anyone who says that there is nothing to worry about if you’re a law-abiding shooter is a bona-fide clown.
    You don’t obtain security by giving up freedoms and rights.

    The same goes for an organisation that, instead of fighting an encroachment of the limited liberties we have now, they say to suck and it and cop it. Why do people support such weak-willed and slack representation for a group of people (us) that are already vilified by a thoroughly unprofessional media and know-nothing bureaucrats?

    Finally, Police in all states, while going through the process of becoming aware of how things look and acting professionally, are still reporting to senior officers who play politics and regard themselves as being above the law. Removal of a licence should only ever be performed by a minimum of a magistrate and not some game-playing, long-sworn-in jerkoff in a uniform who polishes a chair all day instead of being out in the street serving the community.

  14. Phillip Kolera says:

    If the 10 year bans at a whim are not bad enough. The extra costs put on to shooters for upgraded storage is ridiculous. Queensland can store category A and B in a locked wood box! To me this is just another bit of legislation making it a little bit more expensive to keep firearms. The more expensive you make it the less likely “the common folk” can afford to keep firearms!

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