A typical scene at shooting ranges and gun clubs across Queensland is the aromatic smell of gunpowder, as shot after shot is fired to create the perfect group or score on the target or break that last pesky clay. A conciliatory word is offered to fellow shooters whose accuracy may be slightly off due to natural forces or because it’s just ‘one of those days’, while the sound of laughter and banter rings clear once ceasefire is called.

It is a ritual that men and women from all walks of life, ranging from the young to the young-at-heart, corporate professional to the blue-collar worker and keen competitor to casual participant, partake in week after week, year after year. This is not an unusual activity. Our sport is not something that should be quietly spoken about, to avoid disapproving stares, nor should the thousands of Australian licensed firearm owners be dragged into debates about unrelated incidents that happen to involve the deliberate misuse of the same tool used in our sport.

This is egalitarianism. It is a pursuit that requires concentration, commitment and practice, practice, practice. It is not based on physical prowess, nor is it age, gender or abilities restrictive. It brings families together, forges bonds between new friends and teaches much-needed discipline. It is a privilege awarded to upstanding and responsible citizens in our society, with the right of holding a firearms licence never taken for granted.

This is shooting.

If there has never been a better time to be an Australian, then there has never been a better time to be a Sporting shooter. The number of licensed firearm owners continues to grow in Queensland, just as the number of registered firearms continues to grow. Positive interest in the shooting sports and hunting is increasing, which is reflected in the size and strength of SSAA Queensland.

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