Outdoor ranges may reopen at their discretion

Outdoor ranges may now reopen at the discretion of their range management. SSAA NSW owned ranges must follow the previously distributed SSAA NSW Shooting Range Reopening Procedures document.

Ranges not owned by SSAA NSW may use the procedures document as a guideline should they choose to but, are only required to comply with NSW Government health advice.

Stage 1 SSAA NSW Shooting Range Reopening Procedures

On Tuesday, 12 May, SSAA NSW released a framework document providing procedures for the reopening of SSAA NSW owned ranges (and suggested procedures for other ranges).

This document was based on the Premier’s announcement of the Stage 1 ease in restrictions for NSW, as well as consultation with government agencies. Stage 1 allows outdoor gatherings of 10 people, use of outdoor equipment and the reopening of community centres.

Inquiries Regarding Reopening Procedures

We received overwhelming support from branches and members across NSW with regards to the framework. However, we received a handful of inquiries with regards to the ability to reopen ranges. We took steps to address those inquiries in further discussions with various government departments, which resulted in a one week delay, whilst we sought clarification in the interest of all members.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this process and we are pleased that the original advice provided was correct.

There was no significant impact on ranges from this short delay, as there are many physical distancing and logistical preparations to be implemented in order to reopen to meet Stage 1 guidelines.

The short notice from NSW Government did not provide much time for some ranges to prepare and we appreciate that for some ranges, preparations are ongoing.

Confirmation of Previously Published Information

SSAA NSW can now confirm that the Stage 1 SSAA NSW Shooting Range Reopening Procedures are correct and follow all restrictions and requirements from Government.

Outdoor Ranges May Reopen at their own Discretion

SSAA NSW reiterates its previous communication that having the ability to open a range does not mean that it must open. The decision to open will be at the discretion of your local range management. Please be guided by your local range as to recommencement dates.

We ask for patience, as some ranges require more preparations than others for various reasons including size, required material availability, infrastructure, layout of range, volunteer availability and their own risk assessments.

Range Reopening Information

SSAA NSW has been in contact with some branches/ranges who have advised of the position of individual ranges. This is not a definitive list, as committees are finalising their positions. We will share updates on the SSAA NSW Website and Facebook page, as more ranges reopen.

Sydney Branch:

  • Will be opening SOME ranges for shooting from Saturday 30 May 2020.
  • SSAA Sydney Branch will provide further announcements in the coming days outlining booking processes and updated range operational procedures, to meet the prescribed social distancing and crowd gathering guidelines.

Albury Branch

  • SSAA (NSW) Albury Branch range will reopen as of Saturday 23 May 2020.
  • All sessions are strictly by appointment only. If you do turn up without a prior booking you will be turned away.

Goulburn Branch

  • The Goulburn range will reopen on Sunday 24 May 2020 for its first calendar meet.
  • A maximum of five shooters will be permitted to shoot at any one time.

SSAA ACT

  • The SSAA ACT JMK Range will reopen on Monday 25 May 2020.
  • You will need to book a time slot to use the Range.
  • SSAA ACT Disciplines/Clubs/Sections will resume their scheduled shoot from Saturday 23 May 2020.

 

This advice is not for indoor ranges and further announcements will be made in the future regarding this. We are working towards a position where more than 10 people can shoot, subject to compliance with Government guidelines and physical distancing measures.

We continue to advocate on behalf of our 56,000 members and look forward to the further easing of restrictions and the full resumption of our sport.

Thank you,

Lance Miller - President, SSAA NSW
Jai Rowell - CEO/Executive Director, SSAA NSW

Short Delay in Reopening of Ranges

Stage 1 SSAA NSW Shooting Range Reopening Procedures

On Tuesday, 12 May, SSAA NSW released a framework document providing procedures for the reopening of SSAA NSW owned ranges (and suggested procedures for other ranges).

This document was based on the Premier’s announcement of the Stage 1 ease in restrictions for NSW, as well as consultation with government agencies. Stage 1 allows outdoor gatherings of 10 people, use of outdoor equipment and the reopening of community centres.

Inquiries Regarding Reopening Procedures

We appreciate the overwhelming support from branches and members across NSW with regards to the framework. Like you, we are keen to return to our sport.

We have, however, received a handful of inquiries with regards to the reopening of ranges. We have taken steps to address those inquiries in further discussions with various government departments, which will result in a small delay in receiving their response.

As a result of discussions as late as today, SSAA NSW remains confident that the Stage 1 SSAA NSW Shooting Range Reopening Proceduresare correct and follow all restrictions and requirements from Government announcements.

As a service to members and in the interest of being prudent, we have asked the various government agencies to respond to the issues raised. We believe we will receive a response shortly, potentially as early as next week.

We do, however, understand that there are processes that agencies have to follow to provide a response. Again, we are encouraged by our discussions and the positive feedback received from those agencies, in relation to our engagement on behalf of members.

Short Delay in Reopening of Ranges

While we await feedback, we have decided to err on the side of caution and delay the reopening of ranges. This delay is only until such time as a response is received. We have been advised that a response will be quick but will not be provided on the spot.

We ask that in the meantime, those ranges wishing to reopen continue to prepare for reopening, based on the pandemic safety recommendations in the procedures document.

We expect that by the time that work is undertaken, ranges will likely be able to reopen at their discretion (and in accordance with the procedures document) without any significant delay.

SSAA NSW reiterates its previous communication that having the ability to open a range does not mean that it must open. The decision to open will be at the discretion of your local range management, once this short delay is lifted. Please be guided by your local range as to recommencement dates.

We do not believe that this short delay will affect the return to our sport in any significant way. We thank you for your patience, support and understanding during this time.

We continue to advocate on behalf of our 56,000 members and are working towards the further easing of restrictions.

Thank you,

Lance Miller - President, SSAA NSW
Jai Rowell - CEO/Executive Director SSAA NSW

Further Exemptions Secured for 2019-2020 Mandatory Attendance Reporting Period

In early March, SSAA NSW advocated on behalf of all members in anticipation of escalating issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. SSAA NSW responded quickly to ensure that our members were not negatively impacted, as a result of not being able to meet their attendance requirements due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Recently, we wrote to members with regards to the Firearms Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 . This amendment provides for a 12-month extension to the attendances reporting period for longarms.

SSAA NSW has continued to work with Firearms Registry to clarify the details regarding the 12-month extension, as the amendment did not extend to the 2019-2020 reporting period:

“The Firearms Registry is aware that clubs define their compliance periods based on the calendar or financial year, from the date the club was approved by the Firearms Registry or by some other means. This means that some clubs may have missed out on the coverage afforded by the Firearms COVID Regulation to protect club members from being non-compliant due to range closures or health orders.”

SSAA NSW is pleased to announce that our advocacy work has produced a successful result.

We can now report that members who were unable to complete their mandatory longarm attendances within the 2019-2020 reporting period, due to COVID-19 restrictions are now exempt.

Firearms Registry have also clarified the following:

“The Firearms Registry does not propose to revoke licences held by people who find themselves in this situation. This applies to any licence holder whose compliance period ended in March or in April before the 15th and was unable to fulfil their participation requirements due to self-isolation, quarantine or range closure.

Licence holders in this situation do not need to notify the Firearms Registry on this matter.”

We appreciate the assistance of Firearms Registry in their communications and cooperation with SSAA NSW and the NSW shooting community on this issue.

Achieving this result required many meetings with the Firearms Registry, who also sought legal advice.

As your Peak Association, we will continue to advocate for our members and provide an effective and credible voice on behalf of all law-abiding firearms owners.

Thank you,

Lance Miller - President, SSAA NSW
Jai Rowell - CEO/Executive Director, SSAA NSW

SSAA NSW Stage 1 Shooting Range Reopening Procedures

Last week, the Prime Minister outlined the Government’s three-step plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions.  The Australian Government intends to achieve a "COVID-safe economy by July this year" with a progress review of the plan every three weeks.

The NSW Premier has announced that “Stage 1” of the ease in restrictions will commence this Friday, 15 May 2020. Stage 1 allows for the reopening of outdoor ranges, in accordance with strict pandemic safety guidelines. Some changes to range operational procedures must be made to ensure compliance within the scope of pandemic safety.

Click here to read the SSAA NSW Stage 1 Shooting Range Reopening Procedures.

Public Land Hunting Reopens

SSAA NSW has been working with the Department of Primary Industries and various industry groups to advocate for hunting to recommence in NSW. We have been and continue to be part of the DPI’s working forum, advocating for the return of hunting.

We can now report that this advocacy has produced a positive result and State Forests will reopen for hunting purposes.
 
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced that from Friday 8 May 2020, NSW Restricted Game Hunting Licence (R-Licence) holders with a valid written permission issued by DPI will be allowed back into State Forests.
 
Access to written permission bookings and hunting maps has been reinstated for R-Licence holders. Current R-Licences will also be extended for four weeks to compensate hunters for the period State forest hunting was suspended.

DPI advise that social distancing and gathering guidelines, as well as guidelines around facilities use, must still be maintained. We advise all members to stay up to date on travel guidelines from the Government.

SSAA NSW is proud to have helped secure this outcome for law-abiding firearms owners and hunters.
 
 
Thank you,
 
Lance Miller - President, SSAA NSW
Jai Rowell - CEO/Executive Director SSAA NSW

Download SSAA NSW Standard Branch Constitution here

NSW Shooter now online