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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

SSAA Victoria wins fight against lazy, biased Herald Sun

Australia’s highest-circulating daily paper, the Herald Sun, has been brought to heel for lazy and biased journalism after SSAA Victoria took a stand against the paper’s attack on reputable firearms organisations in a story last year. The Australian Press Council found the Herald Sun had published misleading material without reasonable fairness or balance and had not taken steps to provide adequate remedial action, contravening three of the General Principles in its Standards of Practice. https://ssaavic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Australian-Press-Council-adjudication.pdf The action relates to a story published by the Herald Sun in June last year, which painted the firearms organisations and the firearms industry as social media “trolls” and sinister recruiters of “disaffected young men” in print and online. https://ssaavic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Herald-Sun-article.pdf https://ssaavic.com.au/herald-sun-targets-shooters-again/ “The story was an outright attack on all firearms users and the organisations and industry that support them,” said SSAA Victoria CEO Jack Wegman. “Sadly, this level of bias against gun owners is all too regular, but we have now shown that we don’t have to stand for it and that the Australian Press Council and other media regulators are there to protect us from this level of bias.” In what was a prime example of lazy and biased journalism, the story was built on parts of a broader interview for a profile piece on Alannah and Madeline Foundation CEO and anti-gun advocate Lesley Podesta. In that interview Podesta complained that the AMF had been targeted by “gun-lobby bullies” and that her staff had to receive counselling after “aggressive trolling from the firearms lobby” resulting from its opposition to the importation of the Adler 110 shotgun. This was turned into a news story written by experienced writer Wendy Touhy who on several occasions used the phrase “the gun lobby” to describe people who had abused AMF staff. This phrase clearly implied any organisation which advocates on firearms issues. SSAA Victoria, as the State’s biggest firearm-owner organisation which advocates on firearms issues, took exception to the fact that it had been implicated in this story, that no balancing comments were sought nor was there any attempt to investigate the veracity of Podesta’s statements. Instead the Herald Sun took Podesta’s word for it and gave her a platform to malign our organisation and other reputable shooting bodies, as well as the industry. SSAA Victoria immediately filed an official complaint with the Australian Press Council, which held an Adjudication Panel hearing in February this year. It was chaired by the Council’s Vice-Chair the Hon John Doyle AC and was attended by other members of the council and APC executive. News Corp Australia business manager Tom Salom represented the Herald Sun. We argued in the hearing that the sweeping statements about “the gun lobby” in the article could easily be construed as SSAA Victoria or any other reputable organisation representing the interests of firearms users. We said that the comments of a few individuals should not be presented as the views of the broader firearms community nor the reputable organisations which represent them. The APC Adjudication Panel agreed and after some weeks of deliberation, handed down its final ruling that the Herald Sun had breached General Principle 1. "As the misleading aspects of the article were not addressed by a correction or other adequate remedial action, the publication breached General Principle 2. "The council also considered that the failure to seek a response or comment from any organisation or body in the gun lobby, firearms lobby or the gun industry amounted to a failure to take reasonable steps to ensure the article was presented with reasonable fairness and balance. Accordingly, the publication breached General Principle 3." “This is a great result,” Mr Wegman said. “Nearly every week we see in the media biased, hysterical and irrational attacks on firearms, firearms users and the industry that supports them. “It has gotten to the point where common sense no longer informs conversation around firearms, as demonstrated by the situation in Tasmania where very reasonable and sensible adjustments to firearms regulations have been attacked by hysterical and irrational anti-gun groups. “What’s more, these people rely on media bias such as that displayed by the Herald Sun to scare people into donating money to them. “Hopefully this ruling will send a clear message that we are watching and will continue to jump on these types of attacks on the shooting sports.”

Aagren picks up gold in WA

SSAA Victoria’s Nick Aagren (pictured) brought some glory back across the Nullarbor after winning the three-gun aggregate at the National Fly Shoot held at Wanneroo Shooting Complex, Perth, WA on June 2-4. Three categories were shot, one on each day, including Light Gun Centrefire (7.71kg or less) at 500m, Heavy Gun Centrefire (greater than 7.71kg) at 500m and Rimfire at 200yd. The Melbourne Benchrest Club shooter Nick finished 2nd in Light Gun, 4th in Heavy Gun and 2nd in Rimfire to make him the most consistent shooter at the event. He also won the gold medal for the Highest Score Target for the Light Gun match, which was a personal best and a new WA state record. Nick, who was the only Victorian to go up against 25 WA shooters and eight others from the eastern states, has been shooting Fly since 2012. Fly Shoot is a shooting discipline that caters exclusively to rifles. The discipline includes Rimfire and Centrefire matches shot at 200 yards and 500m respectively. Each match comprises five targets, with the target having a ‘fly’ 30mm in size as the X-ring and scoring rings around it. Fly Shoot is a unique discipline as both the size of the groups and scores count towards a shooter’s final result. It is best to try to keep the five-shot group as close to the fly as possible for a maximum score. Find more details about Fly Shoot and benchrest shooting here and the Melbourne Benchrest Club here.
  • Competing at State or National level? Let us know comms@ssaavic.com.au

More firearms course dates added

Due to popular demand, more dates have been added to the Practical Firearms Training Program with the next a two-evening introductory course scheduled at the Springvale Range for July 3-4. The course is aimed at new firearms users and has proven popular with the first course, held on June 2, completely booked out. Four more dates were added to the course schedule with one each month including a course at Eagle Park. “We are pleased with the overwhelming response to our first course,” said SSAA Victoria Assistant Manager Training and Education, Fady Khalife. “It shows that people respect firearms and are keen to improve their knowledge and skills at a practical level. "We will look at adding more dates depending on demand as we continue to develop programs for shooters at all levels and disciplines. “Participants do not require a licence because it will be supervised by experienced range officers and instructors who will teach the fundamentals of safety and marksmanship. “For those who have recently obtained a licence, this is an extension of the compulsory police course and includes actual firearms use.” Topics covered in the PFTP include:
  • Risk control and basic firearms safety practices.
  • Safe storage, transportation and handling.
  • Types of firearms, major parts and actions.
  • Ammunition anatomy including cartidges and shells.
  • Firing techniques and procedures.
  • Firearms maintenance.
  • Sighting-in procedures.
  • Range shooting practice.
Juniors (aged between 12 and 18) are also welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by an adult so it’s a great opportunity for parents to help their kids get involved with the shooting sports. SSAA members receive a discount on the course fee and range fees, ammunition and targets are covered in the cost. Cost Adults: $120 SSAA member, $150 non member Juniors (accompanied by a participating adult): $80 SSAA member, $100 non member Dates The six-hour course is run on either weeknights (6pm to 9pm on two consecutive nights) or weekends (one full day 9am to 4pm) and classes are kept small so more time is given for individual needs. To book, fill out this application form and email it to training@ssaavic.com.au or contact the state office on (03) 8892 2777.

Wodonga biathlon range officially opened

An upgraded biathlon range at the Wodonga SSAA’s range facility was officially opened on Saturday, June 2. The range development was enabled through a collaborative partnership between Telemark Nordic Ski Club, Wodonga Branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and the Australian Biathlon Association. This partnership was further strengthened through the financial support from the Victorian Government shooting sports facilities program and Wodonga City Council. “This is a clear acknowledgment and sponsorship of the significant contribution this new sporting facility will make,” said Telemark Nordic Ski Club’s Paul Cullen. “It will provide greater accessibility in a regional area for children, lower socio-economic community groups and disabled and abled members of the community to be active and develop skills in an Olympic winter sport.” The official opening was held at Wodonga Sporting Shooters Association Australia on Klinges Road Wodonga. Among those attending from SSAA Victoria were President Denis Moroney, Facilities Manager Shaun Doyle, Director Marion Barnes and SSAA Wodonga Branch President Josh Knight.
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