SSAA Victoria members are encouraged to support a petition to allow recreational shooters to protect their hearing with sound suppressors on their firearms.
The petition was created by concerned Victorian citizens who wanted to draw attention to the fact that while sound suppressors are not prohibited, Victoria Police is blocking recreational users from using them.
“The Chief Commissioner of Police refuses to grant permits to acquire or use suppressors to any shooters other than professional shooters,” the petition reads.
“Competition, sports, and recreational shooters should be entitled to access the same ‘best practice’ hearing protection options as all other Australians, which is required by Occupational Health and Safety legislation in work environments.
“This petition will show the Government that shooters want the same protection for their hearing as ordinary citizens undertaking recreational pursuits and that they want permits issued so that licensed shooters can own and use suppressors.”
SSAA Victoria CEO Jack Wegman said the petition was important for drawing attention to the welfare of sporting shooters.
“It’s about time the Government saw sense on the issue of sound suppressors and allowed their use by recreational shooters,” he said.
“This isn’t Hollywood, which has created a myth that sound suppressors are some kind of assassin’s tool. They do exactly the same job as mufflers on cars and are important for the health of all shooters as well as animals such as working dogs.
“Sound suppressors on firearms are widely recognised as an essential protective device in the UK and other advanced countries and we will support this push with our own research which we believe proves their efficacy.
“We encourage people to support this petition to show we want a common-sense approach to the current legislation.”
The petition calls on the Victorian Upper House to support licensed recreational shooters who want to protect their hearing by making them eligible to own firearms sound suppressors.
It is in line with a submission being prepared by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Jeff Bourman pushing for the inclusion of suppressor ownership into the Firearms Act.
He is also putting pressure on the Chief Commissioner of Police to grant permits to acquire for responsible law-abiding recreational firearms owners.
“Our hearing is as precious as that of a professional shooter, veterinarian or anyone else within the limited group permitted suppressors. In fact, for nearly all the reasons suppressors can be obtained by professional shooters, the same applies to licensed recreational shooters. But regular shooters are being denied,” Mr Bourman said.
“Hollywood and those with philosophical objections to anything firearm related are the ones peddling the mistruths which are stopping us from protecting our hearing,” Mr Bourman said.
The petition can be found here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/85