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Firearms Storage
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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 40,000 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

2021 Duck Season Update

SSAA Victoria has today boycotted a GMA meeting considering the results of the Priority Waterbird Count. David Laird (SSAA Victoria - Hunting Development Manager) explains the Association's reasoning behind this boycott. [video width="640" height="480" mp4="https://ssaavic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/20210511_120410_2.mp4"][/video]

Amendment to 2021 Duck Season

David Laird (SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager) comments on the amendments made to the 2021 duck season. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://ssaavic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20210414_121529.mp4"][/video]   Read the statement from GMA here: Helicopter survey provides new data on Victoria’s game ducks - Game Management Authority (gma.vic.gov.au)  

The Firearms Bulletin (Victoria Police - Regulatory Services Department) Volume 1, Tuesday 06 April 2021

  Welcome to our first edition of the Firearms Bulletin for 2021! The Licensing and Regulation Division would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the all stakeholders within the firearms industry for their continued understanding and cooperation during the State of Emergency and navigating the complexities presented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are constantly striving to improve our services. To ensure that we continue to achieve a high level of service delivery, this quarterly newsletter will be used to raise issues with you and assist you in resolution. To stay up-to-date with current information, please refer to the Victoria Police website.  

Firearm Licence Renewals

Please be advised that the Licensing and Regulation Division is currently experiencing a high volume of applications. As such, approval of your renewal application may be delayed and encourage you to check the status of current applications we are processing on the Victorian Police website. This is updated on a weekly basis and will be able to provide you with the most current information about your application. Under Section 41A of the Firearms Act 1996, if a licence holder has applied to renew their licence and that application has not been determined before the licence expiry date, the licence is deemed to continue in force, on and from that date, until the determination of the application. A renewal application package will be posted to you eight weeks before the expiry of your licence. Included with your package will be: • a renewal application form • a list of firearms registered in Victoria to your licence/s. Please consider using Registered or Express Post to lodge your application and supporting documents. High quality PDF copies of your application and supporting documents can be emailed to LRD@police.vic.gov.au If you fail to submit your renewal application prior to the expiry of your licence, you will become unlicensed and be required to dispose of your firearms to a Licensed Firearm Dealer. You will then need to lodge a new licence application to retake possession of your firearms.  

Updating Your Change of Address

A friendly reminder to licence holders, please ensure that you notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of any changes to your residential, postal and/or storage address so that you receive your renewal application in a timely manner. Failure to notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of an address change is the most common cause of firearms licenses inadvertently expiring. Under Section 139 of the Firearms Act 1996, the holder of a licence has 14 days to notify the Chief Commissioner of a change to their residential, postal and/or storage address.  

Operating Under ‘COVIDSafe’ Conditions

As we begin to see restrictions ease around Victoria, the Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) recommend all licensed firearm dealers continue to refer to the Victoria Government website for updated COVIDSafe practices. • Handgun Participation requirements In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LRD waived all handgun participation requirements for the calendar year of 2020. As we move into a new COVIDSafe normal, licence holders will need to return to business as usual and fulfil their shooting requirements at an approved shooting club. We encourage licence holders to spread out their yearly required shoots and adhere to COVIDSafe practices while conducting their shoots. • Fingerprinting We are happy to confirm that fingerprinting services have resumed throughout Victoria, with operations returning to full services on 17 February 2021. However due to demand the first available appointments at VPC for live scan fingerprinting is 6 May, 2021 and ink fingerprinting is 15 June, 2021. All regional sites continue to book two weeks in advance.  

Deceased Estates

In relation to firearms, the Executor or Administrator of a deceased estate has a legal responsibility to ensure that firearms are transferred correctly. Legal obligations of the Executor/Administrator: • Notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of the death of the licence holder as soon as possible. • Ensure the continued safe storage of firearms belonging to the estate of the deceased licence holder. • Dispose of the firearms belonging to the deceased licence holder within six months of the person's date of death. It is vital that that Executors and Administrators are aware of their requirements to notify the Chief Commissioner. Guidelines to transfer firearms from deceased licence holders and other information regarding firearms from deceased estates can be found on the Victoria Police website.  

Expired Licences

Failure to dispose of a firearm with an expired licence will cause you to be in possession of an unregistered firearm. Penalties will apply. On how to safety and appropriately dispose of your firearms please visit the Victoria Police website. Please be advised that under Section 41A of the Firearms Act 1996, if a licence holder has applied to renew their licence and that application has not been determined before the licence expiry date, the licence is deemed to continue in force, on and from that date, until the determination of the application.  

Safe Transportation of Firearms

As information comes to light regarding a stolen pallet containing firearms, which was stored at a logistics facility in Melbourne’s South-East, there are rising concerns about firearm theft. LRD would like to reiterate that community safety is the main priority and the safe handling of guns is vital to this objective. We ask that Dealers and Exporters understand their responsibility when transporting firearms and the care that needs to be taken when leaving firearms with logistics centres. This reminder also extends to all firearm licence holders. LRD wants to reinforce the responsibility that you have as licence holders and emphasise the importance of protecting your firearms against possible thefts during transportation. Guidelines for safekeeping of firearms when being transported: • Firearms should be transported in a padded cover or hard case, unloaded and preferably rendered inoperable • Firearms and ammunition should be kept out of sight and stored separately inside the vehicle or in a lockable component of your vehicle • Exercise common sense and be mindful of legislative requirements The Victorian Firearm Safety Foundation has further information regarding the safe and secure transportation of firearms. If you have any information regarding firearm theft or on the illicit firearms market, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000  

Remember

We are always open to feedback and encourage you to contact lrd@police.vic.gov.au if you have any suggestions.  

Parks Victoria announces public land closures for aerial search and destroy missions

Following on from the slap in the face to Victoria’s licensed duck hunters, with the announcement of a paltry bag limit of two birds per day and a 20-day season, it is now the turn of licensed deer hunters to be on the receiving end of reductions in hunting opportunities through government decision making. In another slight to Victoria’s licensed game hunters, PV has announced large areas of public land in Victoria are going to be closed to hunting (and other activities) while aerial search and destroy missions are run to kill as many deer as possible. Some pest species will also be targeted, but deer are the clear focus. It is one thing to conduct aerial culling operations over areas that are not open to recreational hunting and where deer population densities are unsustainable and causing real damage. It is justifiable to conduct targeted operations to protect high-value ecological assets, such as Alpine Peatlands. It is another thing entirely, and completely inappropriate, to shut huge areas of prime deer hunting country at the start of sambar hunting season and lay waste to a valued recreational resource. Iconic deer hunting areas, such as the Dargo High Plains, the Carey River and Avon Wilderness area are all being targeted. A complete list of the areas closed and the dates are available here:  Deer and feral animal control in response to bushfire (parks.vic.gov.au) Recreational hunters pay for the privilege to hunt deer and took around 180,000 of them in 2019. Hunters are the single most significant tool in managing deer populations, yet hunters have effectively been ignored in the Victorian Government’s Deer Control Strategy. The original Draft Deer Management Strategy recognised recreational use and looked to incorporate recreational hunting into an overall management strategy for the benefit of all stakeholders and the environment. Unfortunately, the control strategy that was delivered acknowledges none of the positives of deer in the Victorian environment and offers virtually nothing for licensed hunters. Concerted efforts have been made in recent years by various non-government groups and elements within some government departments to denigrate and demonise deer. They have been successful in influencing decision making to get to the point we are at, gaining support and funding for a pointless attempt to eradicate deer. What we have also seen is a devaluing of hunters, hunting in general and a magnificent game animal. There is no doubt that deer can and do cause damage in some situations. Deer populations do need to be managed and significant negative impacts mitigated. Hunting organisations recognise that fact and have built up good working relationships with some government departments over many years. Volunteer hunters have been involved in successful control activities to protect valuable assets and mitigate negative impacts where they do occur. The current actions are jeopardising those relationships and the good will that exists between hunters and government departments. The Association recognises that control activities still need to be done in some circumstances and does not shy away from that. It is prepared to be a constructive part of the solution when there are problems. However, widespread, indiscriminate slaughter is not an acceptable way to manage Victoria’s deer populations, especially when hunters paying for a licence are being denied opportunities as a result. At the moment there is plenty of money being thrown at expensive, though what are ultimately likely to be ineffective actions. When that money is gone the deer will still be here and government will be looking for hunters to become a bigger part of the management effort. Will anyone want to be involved? It is the Association’s view that recreational hunting should be the first step in deer management. If impacts are not being mitigated by that, then volunteer programs using accredited hunters should be instigated. Again, if impacts are not being mitigated, they can be followed by contract solutions, whether ground based or aerial. PV’s catch all motherhood statements about “protecting biodiversity” to justify the wholesale slaughter of deer just don’t wash when compared to the impacts of true pest species. The recently released Report of the inquiry into the problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia- Tackling the feral cat pandemic: a plan to save Australian wildlife from the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia clearly shows where the investment of tens of millions of dollars allocated to aerial deer control operations would be better spent.   On average a single feral cat in the bush kills about 370 invertebrates, 44 frogs, 225 reptiles, 130 birds and 390 mammals per year; and the collective toll of Australian animals killed per year by all feral cats (including unowned stray cats, but excluding pet cats) in Australia is ca. 1.1 billion invertebrates, 90 million frogs, 600 million reptiles, 320 million birds and 960 million mammals …[1]   Deer are certainly not causing those types of horrific impacts on native wildlife.   SSAA Victoria works with government departments to encourage ethical and responsible hunting through the Respect – Hunt Responsibly program and other initiatives. In recent years legislation was even amended to mandate that hunters recover a minimum of the breast meat from ducks, though ethical hunters have always utilised as much meat as possible from any harvested animals. Helicopter shooting recovers and utilises nothing, completely wasting a resource and devaluing the deer. This in turn leads to a loss of respect for deer across the entire community. How does government see these actions reconciling with its stated objectives of respect for the animal and the hunt? Additionally, the aerial shooting of deer is creating an enormous food source available to wild dogs. While there is still some conjecture about how much impact this has, it is clear that wild dogs do utilise carcasses. The more food, especially easy food, the more successful breeding will be and the more dogs will be in the environment. Where will those dogs go? How will biodiversity be protected if there is an influx of apex predators into the Victorian environment? How will farmers fare on land adjoining public land where culling is carried out? The Association calls on government to rethink its control strategy, encourage and utilise Victoria’s licensed deer hunters and desist from closing huge areas of iconic deer hunting country so that helicopters can carry out search and destroy missions, unobserved and unaccountable. More areas should be opened to licensed deer hunters – not closed!   [1] National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub, Submission 72, p. 19.  
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