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Leading Sports Shooting Body
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) was incorporated as a public company on October 1, 1973. We exist to promote the shooting sports and protect firearm owners' interests.
With more than 36,000 members, SSAA Victoria is a leading body representing licensed firearm owners in Victoria. SSAA Victoria has more than a dozen branches and more than 30 sub-clubs and disciplines within the organisation.
SSAA Victoria News
Laurie Levy let off lightly
Serial pest Laurie Levy avoided conviction in a Swan Hill court after pleading guilty to breaching the Wildlife Act.
The Coalition Against Duck Hunting leader was charged by police after entering water at Koorangie Marshes near Kerang early on duck season opening last year.
Under section 58c of the Wildlife Act, it is an offence for a person to enter or remain in wetlands without a permit during duck hunting season.
The Weekly Times this week reported that Mr Levy said after the hearing that he had intended to plead not guilty to the charge due to issues over the RSPCA being allowed access to the wetlands but was told there would be no fine or conviction if he admitted to the offence.
Mr Levy was placed on a good behaviour bond which expires on March 13, five days before the commencement of Duck Season this year. He was also ordered to pay $193 in costs.
“It’s a really good result,” he said in the report. “I’ll be back again (for duck opening) this year.”
SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said it was a slap in the face for hunters who strictly adhere to regulations.
“This is a rule designed to maintain public safety and protect hunters from harassment. Once again Levy has flaunted this rule to seek media attention,” he said.
“That the court has disregarded his previous incidents shows there is a clear bias in favour of these serial pests who continue to disrupt our legal sport.
“If a hunter is caught in breach of regulation, there is hell to pay.”
SSAA Victoria applauds new online gun sales law
While the new Firearms Amendment Bill, passed in the Victorian Government this week, raises serious concerns about civil liberty and new police powers, there is one small consolation for the State’s firearms owners.
Advertising of legally owned firearms for sale is now allowed on the internet thanks to an amendment to the Firearms Act 1996 pushed through by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
The amendment was moved by SFFP MP Jeff Bourman who said “an online advertisement will have the same requirements as a printed advertisement with details as specified in the Firearms Act listed.
“A Permit to Acquire must be obtained from the police by someone with a valid shooters licence and that the purchase must go through a licensed dealer.”
He said the amendment aligns the advertising for the sale of legally held firearms in Victoria with the rest of Australia, maintaining a consistent approach and makes it easier for legitimate firearms owners to legally sell their firearms.
“This is merely bringing a part of the legislation into the 21st century,” Mr Bourman said.
“When the laws were originally drafted, the internet was not a household service like it is today and the amendment merely fixes that.”
SSAA Victoria CEO Jack Wegman applauded the change and described it as common sense.
“We are pleased to see this common-sense change in the Act,” he said.
“It’s good news for our members and we thank Mr Bourman and the SFFP for making it happen.”
Victorian 5-Stand Titles
Some of the state’s best clay shooters will be gathering at Shepparton on March 24 for the Victorian 5-Stand Titles.
The event will be used to select a state representative team to compete in the Nationals to be held in Western Australia in April.
The state titles will start at 9am at the SSAA Victoria Shepparton Range. Categories include AA, A, B, Vets, Ladies, Juniors and Sub Juniors.
A hundred targets will be set up over four grounds in compact configuration, so targets will be a maximum distance of 40 metres. Shoot offs will be a full round of 25 targets.
Entry cost is $50 for Open and $35 for women, pensioners and juniors. Meals and refreshments will be available and there’s free camping at the range.
Competitors are reminded there will be no consumption of alcohol until they have finished shooting.
SSAA, Field & Game and Australian Clay Target Association members should present their card for grading.
For details, email email@example.com
Remington bankrupt but continues to trade
US firearm maker Remington Outdoor Company has filed for bankruptcy but will continue to trade, according to a number of reports by worldwide news agencies.
The Guardian reports the company’s woes come after firearms sales tumbled in the US under President Donald Trump following “a golden era of sales under Barack Obama”.
It said that firearms companies have too much stock and revenues are falling with Remington the first major company to hit major financial trouble.
However, Remington is expected to survive as it invokes the US’s chapter 11 bankruptcy law which will allow it to offload $700million of its $950million debt and continue to trade.
News agency Reuters reported the company had reached a restructuring support agreement with creditors for a comprehensive financial restructuring and $145 million of new capital.
It said the business operations would continue to operate normally and would not be disrupted by the restructuring process.
Remington’s sales have declined in part because of receding fears that guns will become more heavily regulated by the US government, according to credit ratings agencies. President Donald Trump has said he will “never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Remington’s sales plunged 27 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, resulting in a $28 million operating loss.
The Guardian said that in December, American Outdoor Brands, the owner of Smith & Wesson, reported that its profits had fallen 90 per cent year over year, from $32m to just $3.2m.
Last October, Sturm Ruger, the US’s largest firearm manufacturer, announced its quarterly revenues had fallen 35 per cent. Both companies will report their latest results shortly but neither is expected to announce a dramatic increase in sales.
“They call it the Trump slump,” said Robert Spitzer, a professor at the State University of New York at Cortland and the author of five books on guns.
“Gun sales have become politicised to a great degree,” he said. “Gun purchases recently have been made not just because someone wants a new product but to make a statement; not just because of fears that there might be tighter regulation but also to make a statement against Obama.”
With Trump in the White House, said Spitzer, gun sales had sharply defaulted to their long-term trend of declining ownership rates.
“Gun ownership has been declining since the 1970s and there are now fewer gun owners than ever,” said Spitzer.
Fewer people are hunting, younger people are less interested in gun ownership and the gun industry has had little success in its attempts to appeal to women and minorities.
The US has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world with 88 guns for every 100 people. But just 3 per cent of the population owns an average of 17 guns each, with an estimated 7.7 million super-owners in possession of between eight and 140 guns apiece.
The surge of gun purchases under Obama was largely driven by sales to existing gun owners. Sales spiked on Obama’s re-election and after his calls for new laws in the wake of tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
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