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Springvale Range
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Eagle Park Range
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Hunting and Pest Control
Firearms training
Training

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

Firearms safety course goes live

Newcomers to firearms now have the opportunity to learn fundamental skills and safety practices thanks to a new practical course developed by SSAA Victoria. The Basic Firearms Safety Course is a comprehensive one-day program designed to instil best practice and basic knowledge into new or intermediate firearms users. To be held at the SSAA Victoria gun range at Springvale on June 2, the course includes practical firearms use including handling and shooting. “This course is designed for people wanting to get their firearms licence or those who already have one but want to improve their skills,” SSAA Victoria Assistant Manager Training and Education, Fady Khalife said. “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 BFSC include:
  • Risk control and basic firearms safety practices.
  • Safe storage, transportation and handling.
  • Types of firearms, major parts and actions.
  • Ammunition anatomy/cartridge construction.
  • Firing techniques and procedures.
  • Firearms maintenance.
  • Sighting-in procedures.
  • Range shooting practice.
The fee for the course is $120 which will cover ammunition and targets and class has been kept small so more time is given for individual needs. To book, fill out this application form and email it training@ssaavic.com.au or contact the state office on (03) 8892 2777.

Get feral cats back in our sights

SSAA Victoria members are being called on to add their voice to a decision on feral cat control and the Authority to Control Wildlife. DELWP has published two surveys inviting public comment on the issues and we have until May 20 to add some common-sense balance to the feral cat issue and June 29 on ATCW. Hunting Development Manager for SSAA Victoria, David Laird, has responded on both issues on behalf of the State Office, but is calling on members to respond to the surveys as individuals. “The first survey is to gauge public reaction to the declaration of feral cats as an established pest animal on public land,” he said. “The Association fully supports the declaration as it understands only too well the damage that feral cats can do to native wildlife populations. “The indications to the Association during the lead-up to the declaration were that feral cats would be able to be hunted by recreational hunters on public land under the same conditions as other feral species. “There has been a significant back-flip on this position in the announced declaration, with only DELWP and PV staff authorised to control them. “Recreational hunters will not allowed to shoot feral cats on public land under the declaration. “In a totally misguided and illogical decision the Government is failing to utilise the enormous (and free) resource that is available to it in recreational hunters. “In what appears to be the result of a cave in to pressure from inner-city cat lovers, this government is squandering the opportunity to save millions of native animals from the ravages of feral cats.” He said the Association recognises the necessity for the strategic management of cats, but the opportunistic harvesting of feral cats by hunters could directly save countless native animals. “SSAA Victoria is calling on Government to extend the declaration so that recreational hunters can contribute to the positive environmental outcomes that occur through the control of feral cats,” Mr Laird said. You can find the survey here. The second survey is in relation to the Authority To Control Wildlife (ATCW) system. Mr Laird said the “community interest” referred to in the overview of this review seems to be input from animal rights groups seeking to make ATCWs more difficult to get. “Farmers and land managers face enough challenges dealing with pest and problem animals on their land without facing additional red-tape and bureaucracy,” he said. “Many SSAA Victoria members act as agents for landowners and control animals on their behalf.” He said the Association supports the ATCW system but would like to see it more streamlined. “Permits should be able to be issued in advance of damage actually occurring in situations where that damage is known to be likely,” Mr Laird said. “Orchards and grape growers face annual challenges with bird damage to fruit and farmers sowing crops or new pasture regularly suffer infestations of kangaroos. “In these cases, it should not be necessary to wait until damage is occurring, then wait for the four to six weeks it takes to issue a permit, before control can commence.” Find the ATCW survey here. Members are encouraged to respond to both surveys to provide some common-sense balance to the animal rights brigade who tend to dominate the responses on these types of surveys. Consultation will close at midnight on Sunday 20 May 2018 for the feral cat declaration and on 29 June 2018 for the ATCWs.

Shotgunning Education Program workshop coming up

Duck hunters using steel shot have the chance to learn how to become better game bird hunters with the continuation of the Shotgunning Education Program practical workshops. The next workshop will be held on May 19-20 weekend at the Eagle Park’s Sporting Clays range, Little River, with an introductory course on the Saturday and an advanced course on the Sunday. Developed by SSAA Victoria, Field and Game Australia and the Victorian Government (Game Management Authority), the program is conducted by expert shooters. They provide practical and theoretical training to build hunter understanding of equipment, shooting skill level and hunting methods. “It’s all about improving hunting outcomes, so even people with plenty of experience will get something out of it,” said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager, David Laird. The outcomes are to reduce wounding losses in game bird hunting by explaining the importance of pattern testing, chokes and loads. The GMA said poor shooting skill, the use of inappropriate load and choke combinations for non-toxic shot and poor distance estimation are the three contributing factors that increase the wounding rate of hunted birds. The workshop addresses these aspects of wounding by providing information and instruction to trainees on: the use of appropriate choke and load for different hunting scenarios, best practice for pattern testing choke and load combinations to determine lethal shooting distance and pattern density, testing equipment limitations and personal shooting skills limitations; and providing scenarios for distance estimation. Cost is $150 for adults and $100 for juniors, which pays for up to 150 rounds of ammo, targets, a Tom Roster DVD and the improvement in hunting skills. Bookings are now open for the May 19-20 workshops via Evenbrite. For a spot in the INTRODUCTORY course, held Saturday May 19, click here. For the ADVANCED course, on Sunday May 20, click here. For more course information including booklet, visit www.gma.vic.gov.au/education/shotgunning-education

At last, a fair go for shooters in the media

Rubbery figures in gun theft statistics have been called into question by SSAA Victoria prompting an investigation by Victorian agriculture newspaper, The Weekly Times, which has provided some long overdue balance to the issue. In its story published on April 18, The Weekly Times reported Crime Statistics Australia statistics showing 739 firearm thefts in Victoria in 2016-17, which was dramatically up from 343 in 2009-10. Many news outlets gave Gun Control Australia chairman Samantha Lee a free kick to use the statistics to call for tighter gun storage laws. As usual, the facts were twisted to suit her anti-gun agenda with 43 air rifles, five imitation guns and 145 “other firearms” that are neither pistols, revolvers, shotguns nor rifles included in the figures. However, rather than take Lee’s word for it, The Weekly Times checked with SSAA Victoria CEO, Jack Wegman, who pointed out that the basis for the CSA figures was questionable and suspected the dramatic increase in the figures was due to the “other firearms” which could include any type of “gun” such as glue, grease and nail guns. “How can firearm thefts just double from one year to the next and stay that way?” Mr Wegman said. “Obviously we want to know if the definition of a firearm was changed back then.” CSA and Victoria Police were unable to provide a breakdown of the figures, which would explain the massive jump, prompting an editorial by the story’s author, Peter Hunt, in the same edition. “There’s something rotten in the state of Victorian and NSW police crime statistics,” Mr Hunt wrote. “We all want to see strong, constructive gun regulations in place to protect our community. But let’s make sure our decisions are based on solid data, so we give responsible firearm owners a fair go,” he concluded, echoing SSAA Victoria’s motto. Mr Wegman said he was keen to see a follow-up after Mr Hunt reported he had been promised clarification of the anomaly. “The reporting of this issue has lacked balance or reason until The Weekly Times story and we’re hoping they get to the bottom of it,” he said. “More importantly we’re glad that at least one publication is seeking both sides of the argument rather than just going after sensational headlines. “For too long, mainstream media has given voice to the hysterical anti-gun lobby without seeking balance or facts and this is influencing government policy. “Australia has some of the tightest regulation on firearms in the world and law-abiding firearms owners are tired of being made the scapegoat and having their rights eroded away. “There needs to be a common-sense review of the current laws to see what is still relevant or effective, but the anti-gun lobby is doing its best to make that impossible and most of the media is falling for it. “Groups such as GCA are duping the media into whipping up a frenzy of anti-gun sentiment by feeding it lies and exaggeration which go reported without investigation. How can we hope to have reasoned and sensible discussion on this issue amid this falsely manufactured public sentiment which then dictates government policy? “This is why we congratulate The Weekly Times for giving responsible people a fair go and setting a standard in balanced reporting that we hope will filter through to other Australian media outlets.”
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