TO PISTOL SHOOTING
The State Premiers
Conference met on 6 December 2002 and agreed to a new raft of amendments
relating to handguns and the discipline of pistol shooting.
It will be some
time before we are able to assess the full ramifications of the
decisions but it is clear that both the Federal and State governmerits
have had a virtual freeride in reaching their policy decisions.
Whilst it will
be some time before we can comment on the detail of the decisions
taken, it would appear, in unanimous agreement between the States
and the Commonwealth we believe it is appropriate to comment on
the process undertaken to reach that agreement. You may be surprised
by some of the issues revealed below:
- The Australian
Shooting Association (ASA) declined to enter into the negotiations
even though it was clearly a national issue.
were left to a single representative each from Pistol Australia
and SSAA who were self-appointed to the task.
- Despite formal
approaches both representatives refused to divulge their stance
on the matter or to consult widely for a balanced opinion. Both
representatives should therefore shoulder responsibility for the
- To the best
of our knowledge no Association within NSW was consulted on the
- To the best
of our knowledge there was only one public statement from an elected
official prior to the Premiers Conference that recommended no
change to the existing rules and this was from the NSW Police
Minister who "agreed to examine a number of measures modelled
largely on existing NSW law". Some of you would have been
lulled into an expectation that nothing much would change as least
as far as NSW was concerned.
- The only
Association to have made a public statement on the matter in support
of shooting was the NSW Shooting Association Ltd.
now is that the discipline of pistol shooting may find it difficult
if not impossible to chart a longterm course. This is not so much
for the reason that up to 500 models of handguns are now prohibited
items but for the reason that the regulatory framework for pistol
shooting is likely to become so enormously rigid that many will
drift from the sport and it will be difficult to replace them.
If one makes
a comparison with the discipline in the UK where handguns are completely
banned one only has to look at the Commonwealth Games results from
Manchester in pistol shooting where only ONE medal was won by a
British competitor. At the same time murders through shooting have
Of course we
all wish to live in a crime free society but one has to ask whether
we have the correct formula to achieve such an end.
When there are
definite changes to report on we will let you know. We are reluctant
to publish any of the material being circulated at present because
it could be seen to be misleading.
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