The Goulburn Post recently spent some time with members of the Goulburn Branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) to learn more about them and their passion for firearms.
It was in a response to a recent story in the Goulburn Post about how the city ranked fifth in the state for the number of guns owned by one person.
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President of the Goulburn Branch of the SSAA Bill Irvine said members of the branch were responsible shooters.
"We are mostly target shooters, but at times we are also ethical hunters involved in pest control on farms, under the Farmer Assist Program," Mr Irvine said.
Under this voluntary program, they cull rabbits and foxes, as well as feral pigs and goats for farmers, free of charge.
"These pests can cost farmers thousands of dollars, so it is an invaluable service for them," he said.
The Farmer Assist program enables landholders to find licensed, accredited and insured volunteer shooters to assist with pest control.
The SSAA has thousands of qualified members across the country ready to help landholders and managers with pest control.
He said the local branch had 528 members.
"Most of the members are from in town. They are keen shooters and they depend on the rifle range to keep their licences current," he said.
"To keep their firearms licences, members must attend the rifle range up to four times per year."
His words about SSAA members being responsible gun owners were backed up by fellow branch member, Ken Kenchington.
"Shooters are very responsible members of the community," Mr Kenchington said.
"During gun amnesties, firearms are handed in by honest law-abiding citizens, not criminals. We are not hoons out shooting at road signs.
"We have to jump through hoops to get and maintain a shooting licence. We comply with the laws."
Mr Irvine showed the Goulburn Post various types of rifles and explained there are many types of guns for different uses.
"You wouldn't use a putter to tee off in golf and the same rule applies with firearms," Mr Irvine said.
He showed a range of guns, including a Walther 0.22, Feinworkbau and Anschutz rifles, as well as a boy's rifle from 1907, a Joseph Stepes single shot 0.22. Also displayed was a double-barrelled shotgun, circa 1910, from Belgium.
The Goulburn SSAA holds regular Try Shooting Days at the Goulburn Rifle Range. Keep an eye out for when then next one is being held by checking their website or Facebook page.
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