Political point-scoring comes down to individuals

When the opportunities to enjoy our sport, hobby, recreation and way of life are placed under threat, it’s the state and territory SSAA members interacting online, in casual conversations and with our elected state, territory and federal members who make the most telling difference.

We’ve seen SSAA South Australia and Victorian branches being supported by members to put forward their viewpoint when the future of duck and quail hunting was in question. Both those state governments have conducted formal enquiries into the practice and there was a very real threat the harvesting of these birds for food, by law-abiding shooters, could be banned entirely.

While representatives from these branches have been knocking on doors in parliament and representing our cause, it’s the sheer number of members behind them which has driven the point home. The individuals who’ve been submitting statements to community consultation, writing letters and emails and making phone calls hold a great deal of weight when it comes to exerting pressure on the powers that be.

These actions may seem small but when there are numerous people doing the same thing, the volume of our community has significant influence. In both cases duck and quail seasons are here to stay, thanks in large part to SSAA branches and their members presenting their case.

In Western Australia where a new Firearms Act was being tabled in parliament as Australian Shooter went to print, now’s the time for the firearm-using community to mobilise. Complementing the work of SSAA (WA) through the WA Firearms Community Alliance (WAFCA) group by using individual voices or the written word is an important leverage tool for our community.

Firearm ownership and regulation is on the radar in Australia’s political landscape in 2024, more than it has been in recent years, and ensuring we’re proactive as an Association and as individual members to respond appropriately is imperative. The concept of strength is in our numbers and with SSAA membership of all states and territories now stretching beyond 217,000, this is something we can be rightly proud of and use to ensure our voices are collectively heard where it matters.

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