Police hold onto Hume Pistol Club’s firearms

The Hume Pistol Club. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
The Hume Pistol Club. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

DOZENS of firearms seized from the Hume Pistol Club are no closer to being returned as the club tries to sort out the mess.

The club held a meeting on Sunday where it was expected it would try to resolve the issues leading to the confiscation.

But police have not been told whether that meeting actually achieved that aim.

And the club was yesterday tight-lipped on progress.

Secretary Maurice Cevaal-Hewitt refused to comment, saying that to do so he would need to get approval from the club’s executive — something that he did not expect to happen.

Nevertheless, Mr Cevaal-Hewitt said he personally was willing to relay information to the community about any progress as soon as it was possible to do so.

Albury police last week confiscated 44 firearms — most of them pistols — in the care of a Hume Pistol Club member who holds five licences and permits.

It was acting on instructions from the NSW Firearms Registry.

This came in the wake of a dispute that has been simmering in recent months between factions in the club.

Added to the mix was a warning letter to club members from NSW Amateur Pistol Association president Brian Cheers.

In the letter, Mr Cheers — who has failed to respond to several requests from The Border Mail for comment — raised concerns about various aspects of the club’s operation and governance.

The association said the committee had failed to address the ongoing abusive and unsafe behaviour of one member, even after a request from the registry.

Registry concerns included people shooting by themselves without sup-ervison from a range officer, as well as violations of the club’s constitution.

The latter related to the expulsion of the president and vice-president by committee of management members.

Albury police licensing supervisor Sgt Steve McCaig said yesterday his understanding was that Sunday’s meeting intended “to sort out some of the issues” the club was facing.

“I haven’t heard anything back,” he said.

“As far as we’re aware, I’d imagine they’ve probably tried to address some of the divisions in the club.”

Sgt McCaig said the firearms could not be returned until he received instructions to do so from the registry, which is part of NSW Police.

“We haven’t had any correspondence from them at this stage,” he said.

Sgt McCaig said police also had not heard back from the pistol association.

In his letter to members, Mr Cheers said he hoped those who saw his involvement as unwarranted intervention would be 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”.