Timely reminder to keep firearms security on the agenda

In the wake of our updated Secure your gun, secure your sport pamphlet relating to safe gun storage, now seems a good time to remind SSAA members of the responsibilities we have to ensure we lock up our firearms properly. This applies to us all. There’s no point in being blasé and saying: “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” That’s not good enough. Sometimes firearms owners – rightly or wrongly – are accused of letting their guns fall into criminal hands, so making things secure is a matter of keeping our members on the right side of the law.

I realise that for farmers, firearms are tools of the trade as far as they’re concerned – much like pliers, hammers or any mechanical instruments – but firearms can’t be left lying around the back of a ute or in a shed because they’re going to be used again the next day. The law is the law and it states that firearms should be securely stored at the legal owner’s house or property all the time. This is part of the process to ensure legal firearms don’t fall into criminal hands.

Disreputable elements can find ways to get hold of what they want via illegal imports and stolen items so our members should be constantly reminding themselves the way to prevent any malpractice is to have permanent, secure storage facilities for their firearms. We have to avoid our firearms finding their way into criminal circles and guard against legal firearms being misdirected and used for criminal activities.

Figures obtained from police sources suggest incidences of this are miniscule, indeed this factor tends to be overstated in my opinion, but that’s no reason to drop our guard. We should never lessen our awareness as any lack of gun security is an offence. That’s a fact. You can easily be charged and we can’t afford to be casual. If the legislation is seen to be not working this could have long-term ramifications but I have total faith in our members to do the right thing so let’s stress that you can never be too diligent.

On a more upbeat note, members have the 2019 SSAA SHOT Expo to look forward to this month. On the weekend of October 19-20 all roads lead to Melbourne Showgrounds for the revamped and expanded edition of our showcase event which is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.

The much anticipated attraction has become one of the star turns on the SSAA calendar, and with thousands of brands filling hundreds of stalls and more than 150 exhibitors displaying their wares, there should be something for everyone. The SSAA emphasises the family-friendly nature of the occasion so why not grab some tickets and take the kids along.

One of my personal favourites is the Working Gun Dogs show and I know our Victorian contingent puts in lots of effort to make sure this is a crowd-pleaser. And with the new backroom planning of Level Up Events on board, this year’s Expo will be a real treat for everyone.

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