The politically active Shooters Union has incorporated as a national organisation following ever-increasing support from around Australia for the Queensland-based body.
“Now’s the time, as there’s so much disquiet,” union secretary Rob Harrold said, adding that individuals as well as clubs had been making enquiries about joining. “The launch of Shooters Union Australia Inc was long overdue.”
Starting off as the Shooters Union of Queensland (SUQ), the volunteer organisation had already formed a branch in NSW and has flagged the creation of a WA branch, with others expected to follow.
Its membership in Queensland is increasing so rapidly that the union in on track to become the state’s second-largest shooting organisation by the end of this year.
Mr Harrold put the Shooters Union’s rapid growth down to persistent and proactive political activity.
SUQ is on the state’s Ministerial Advisory Panel and has been lobbying on behalf of shooters since its inception.
“The first thing we did when we formed was see government ministers and shadow ministers,” Mr Harrold said.
“Our lobbying with this [Queensland] government when they were recently in opposition was so effective that I had one LNP MP phoning me regularly on a Saturday morning to talk about firearm issues. That MP is now a senior member of this government's cabinet.”
He said the union was now beginning to reach the stage where it would have money to advertise and continue its growth, but he added there was still a long way to go.
The Shooters Union provides the basis on which members may get their firearms licence and it provide public liability and accident insurance.