Saturday, August 26, 2017

Australian Gun Culture Part 17: SSAA Shot Show in Brisbane, Queensland

The SSAA (Sporting Shooters Association of Australia) has a Shot Show in Brisbane, Queensland on 26-27 August, 2017.  Australia is a day ahead of the United States, because of the international date line.

Media are required to wear the florescent vest pictured.  In the United States, Media are vetted before either the NSSF Shot Show or the NRA Annual Meeting. At the Australia Show, there is vetting, but the vest is also required.

The Australian Shot show differs in a number of ways from its American cousins. As you might expect, it is smaller.  Australia only has 7 percent of the number of people that America does, for a continent the same size as the lower 48 states. In the United States, the Shot Show is for industry people, at least people that can show a relationship to the industry. Before I started writing full time, I attended the show as a firearms trainer and Federal Firearms License holder.

The SSAA Shot Show is not small. The SSAA is similar to the American NRA, without the Second Amendment.  Last year, the SSAA Shot Show had over 12,000 attendees. For comparison, the American Shot Show had about 65,000 attendees in Las Vegas, and the NRA Annual Meeting had a bit over 81,000 members show up in Atlanta in 2017.

The SSAA Shot Show is a bit closer in flavor to the American Shot Show. As a percentage of the population, the SSAA show has a higher percentage of attendees than either the American Shot Show or the NRA Annual Meeting.

At this years show in Brisbane there were over 130 exhibitors, many with multiple tables and displays, spread over two floors of the RNA Brisbane Showgrounds.

The SSAA SHOT Expo is Australia’s premier event for the Sports Shooting Industry and showcases shooting, hunting and outdoor trades to enthusiasts, those wishing to participate in the sport and the general public with the view of improving public awareness, professionalism and safety.

The Sporting Shooter’s Association of Australia is the nation’s biggest organisation for sporting shooters and is proud to bring such an exciting event to members and those interested in the sport to your city.
There was a long line to get into the show this morning, and the event was crowded. The air rifle gallery sponsored by the SSAA was very popular, as were the other exhibits. The Queensland Police Weapons and Licensing booth was busy as well.

Unlike the U.S., which has a single, annual event, the SSAA Shot Shows are held in multiple cities around the Country. Sydney will host the next Shot Show in 301 days, on June 23-24. Then Perth will have another show 401 days from now in October of 2018, followed by a show in Melbourne in May of 2019.

At the Brisbane show, attendees may handle firearms if they are directly supervised by a person with a proper firearms license. At the show, a staff member at one of the displays told me that all their staff are properly licensed, so as to allow people to handle a firearm under their supervision.

The Barn is a popular firearms and outdoor shop in Oakley, Queensland, Australia. At the Shot Show in Brisbane, the counter was crowded with attendees.

As with the United States show, no live ammunition is available at the firearms displays.

A major difference is that no handguns may be handled. They require a much different license.

The Australian gun culture is alive and well, and learning to live with some of the most restrictive gun laws in Western civilization.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dean -

Thank you for taking the time/energy, spending the money, and, especially, dealing with the headaches of travel, to make these treks, and report on your findings and experiences.

"Travel's a curse" - The Thenardier, 'Master In The House', "Les Miserables".
"To travel is to be born and to die at every instant" - Victor Hugo.