AUSTRALIA’s leading pro-shooting organisation, Shooters Union, is officially announcing an industry-first appointment of Nathan Ravenscroft as its Occupational Shooters representative.
Based in North Queensland, Mr Ravenscroft is an ADF veteran who runs a successful conservation and land management business and has decades of practical experience in the field, as well as a passion for hunting and the environment.
Shooters Union president Graham Park said Mr Ravenscroft’s appointment as Occupational Shooters representative was understood to be an Australian first for pro-shooting groups.
“We’ve always said we are about fighting for all shooters, and that includes people who use firearms as part of their job,” Mr Park said.
“Whether they’re farmers, primary producers, pest controllers, pilots, vets, fishers or otherwise need a firearm for work, they’re still a critical part of not only the shooting community, but Australia generally - and we want to ensure their particular needs get the attention they deserve from someone who understands the environment they work in.
“We’re not aware of any other major shooting group with a representative explicitly focussed on the needs of occupational users, and we’re really glad to have found someone as qualified as Nathan to fill that role.”
Mr Ravenscroft said he was proud to be taking on the role, with his first two priorities being pushing back against anti-occupational licence policies by the state’s Weapons Licensing Branch, and advocating for suppressors to be made available for occupational users.
“Quite a few of the several hundred firearms licensing cases before QCAT involve primary producers who have had their renewals refused or rejected for reasons that are not based on logic and are unclear in terms of their relationship with relevant legislation, given that those primary producers circumstances have not changed,” he said.
“There seems to be a direct agenda to negatively impact primary producers in terms of occupational firearms usage, particularly in relation to the renewal of handgun licensing and the incorrect categorisation of Cat A and B (manually operated rifles and non pump-action/semi-automatic shotguns) firearms licences against recreational/sporting licence codes for primary producers.
“The continued failure of QLD in particular to recognise the significant benefits of suppressors for occupational usage is a genuine workplace health and safety issue. These are legitimate tools of the trade that reduce noise pollution, promote best standard workplace health and safety outcomes and significantly enhance animal welfare during the conduct of feral animal control.
“It is high time that QLD gets on board given the precedent set in most other states and territories in Australia. This is a key policy issue that will be focussed on over the coming months.
“Shooters Union wants to make sure that fit and proper people who require firearms to conduct their work have access to the tools they need without arbitrary and irrelevant processes or decisions being made based on ill-informed political agendas and I look forward to helping them accomplish that.”