Shot with a chook in its mouth. The hen lived

New committee to protect shooting

The NSW government has formed a Firearms Consultative Committee for the state, following extensive lobbying from the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia’s NSW branch.

Formed at a time when the same government is pushing the pointless ammunition control bill through parliament, the new committee – which mirrors those already formed in other states such as Victoria – may play a role in heading off such ill-informed and poorly constructed legislation in the future.

SSAA NSW executive director Diana Melham said the committee would better enable shooters to “promote and protect” their sport.

She called it a major win for NSW firearm owners that would provide a platform for all stakeholders to work together on sensible firearm laws that are effective in reducing gun crime.

Sporting Shooter understands the committee includes groups such as the SSAA, Shooters and Fishers Party, Game Council of NSW, Firearm Dealers Association, Amateur Pistol Association and NSW Farmers Association. However, we are yet to confirm its make-up.

The level of firearm knowledge and experience on the committee has been applauded by shooters, who have not been adequately represented by such a committee in the state for many years.

However, it has prompted Greens firearms spokesman David Shoebridge to claim the government has “stacked [the committee] with members of the pro-gun and hunting lobbies”.

“At the end of the day SSAA NSW, the NSW government and even anti-firearm groups want to see illegal guns taken out of the hands of criminals and off our streets,” Ms Melham said.

“The new NSW Firearms Consultative Committee will allow SSAA NSW to work with the NSW government and other bodies to review and monitor firearms legislation while offering sensible and effective proposals to target illegal guns and the criminals who use them.

Ms Melham said that despite initially rejecting SSAA NSW’s suggestion to form a consultative committee it was pleasing that the NSW government had now responded favourably to the request.

“NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher is to be commended for establishing this committee and we look forward to working with him.”

Mr Gallacher has been strongly criticised by shooters over the ammunition control bill, which was driven by the police, and it is believed the formation of the committee may be an attempt to smooth the waters.

However, the committee has not been able to sway the government’s determination to have the ammo bill passed.

“We’ve been meeting with Liberal/National MPs from around the state, with all fully supporting a closer working relationship between the NSW government and groups such as SSAA NSW,” Ms Melham said

The aims of the NSW Firearms Consultative Committee will be:

• To monitor and advise the Minister for Police and Emergency Services on the operation of the provisions of the Firearms Act 1996 and other legislation relevant to firearms;

• To provide advice to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services on legislative proposals that affect firearms legislation;

• To facilitate inter-organisational co-ordination, co-operation and information sharing arrangements for key stakeholders within the firearms community; and

• Such other functions as are conferred or imposed on the consultative committee by the Minister, from time to time.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.