Hume Pistol Club 'a hair's breadth' from being shut down

The Hume Pistol Club range is on Urana Road. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
The Hume Pistol Club range is on Urana Road. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

ALBURY police, acting on instructions from the NSW Firearms Registry, have this week confiscated more than 40 weapons in the care of a Hume Pistol Club member who holds five licences and permits.

Two of them are armorer’s licences, enabling the storage of club pistols.

Albury police’s licensing supervisor Sgt Steve McCaig said yesterday 44 firearms had been seized in the previous four days and most of them were pistols.

Sgt McCaig said the action was taken following advice from the Firearms Registry and a further inquiry was under way.

The confiscation comes after a dispute in recent months between factions in the club and a warning letter to club members from NSW Amateur Pistol Association president Brian Cheers.

The issues could come to a head at the club’s annual meeting tomorrow at 10am.

It is expected scrutineers from the association will monitor the meeting and an election of office bearers.

In his letter sent on Monday, Mr Cheers said the club was “but a hair’s breadth” away from being shut down by the Firearms Registry.

He said a letter from the registry to his association requested its intervention to investigate and take appropriate action to address the apparent dysfunction in the club.

The registry letter said: “This letter is written in the hope that the club recognises the importance of functioning in a manner that ensures public safety and that the newly elected committee of management will adopt these principles”.

Mr Cheers said the registry had concerns about several aspects of the club’s operation and governance.

It said the committee had failed to address the ongoing abusive and unsafe behaviour of one member even after a request by the registry.

The registry was concerned about the apparent operation of matches contrary to notifications from it particularly involving range safety.

There was concern from the registry about people shooting on their own without supervision from a range officer and violations of the club’s constitution, particularly the expulsion of the president and vice-president by committee of management members.

Mr Cheers said some members would see his letter as unwarranted intervention.

“I hope this is limited to those members who are responsible for bringing the Hume Pistol Club, the Amateur Pistol Association and the sport of pistol shooting into disrepute,” he said.

Mr Cheers did not respond to The Border Mail yesterday.