Communications Officer Sam Talbot
From modest beginnings in 1948 with just a handful of members, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia is now more than 200,000 strong. We’ve grown into a large family which looks after not only the shooting sports but each other and together have developed a loud and powerful voice we use to ensure the longevity and security of the shooting sports. By standing together we will only continue to grow and flourish.
It’s an undeniably impressive number but 200,000 is almost hard to wrap your head around. So, to help understand who we are and what our community looks like, let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers and break down where we are and who we are. Before we do though it’s important to remember the SSAA is a federation, each state and territory having its own association with all members belonging to one of these. Each state is independent and equal when making decisions and, alongside this, SSAA National is the service body for the states and operates independently.
While you’re probably most familiar with your local range or club there are so many things together we offer the 200,000 members including insurance, a multitude of publications, lobbying, SSAA Gun Sales and online shop, training, competitions, conservation, Farmer Assist and much more. But however you use the SSAA, know that we’re working for you and doing our best to promote the shooting sports and protect the interests of legitimate firearms owners.
The most up-to-date figure has us comfortably over 200,000 with a grand total of 200,954 members. Just a year ago we had 195,862 and at this time in 2018 were 191,095 strong, a clear indication the SSAA and shooting sports continue to grow in popularity. This year alone the Northern Territory has increased its membership by seven per cent, while arguably more impressive due to their larger populations, New South Wales and Queensland both added almost four per cent.
Not surprisingly, adults make up the bulk of our membership but we do have almost 6000 junior shooters as well as more than 15,000 holding family memberships, as we work tirelessly to bring new people into our community and offer young people a healthy respect and appreciation of the shooting sports.
At the other end of the scale, pensioners account for more than 20,000 of our number, proving age is no barrier to enjoying the shooting sports. Yet most SSAA members sit right in the middle in the 46-50 age bracket for both men and women, although a healthy amount of our female members are in their thirties.
This is due in part to the work done in recent years to increase female participation rates, including launching Australian Women’s Shooter magazine and holding several popular ladies-only ‘Come and Try’ days. And if you’re a male shooter seeking a like-minded female companion then Queensland’s the place to be, as not only does it have most female members overall but also the most by percentage at 12.5.
One of the questions we’re frequently asked is ‘how many members does each state have’ and we must admit Queensland has a special place in our hearts, being far and away our most populous state with 74,740 members. Making up the big three are NSW on 57,900 and Victoria with 40,611 members, the other states and territories closely following their overall populations, though the ACT deserves a shout for pulling well above its weight.
SSAA Firearms Insurance is held by 69,447 members who are covered for up to $25,000 on their firearms and fixed accessories. Western Australians are leading the charge and keeping themselves safe with more than 57 per cent of members electing to take the coverage, Tasmanians also spotting a good deal when they see one with 53 per cent covered.
Finally, we must give a shout out to five amazing members over the age of 100 – maybe the time has come to introduce a ‘super super veteran’ category in competitions!
Staying safe with the SSAA
Currently, almost 70,000 people hold SSAA Members Firearms Insurance, that’s more than 35 per cent of our membership covered for $25,000 worth of insurance on firearms and fixed firearm accessories. We also offer cover for travel, farming, shooting ranges and much more, so send your insurance premium back into the shooting sports through SSAA General Insurance Brokers. Call (08) 8332 0281 or visit ssaaib.com.au for all your insurance needs.