As you know, the NGPSA AGM is scheduled for Wednesday, 13th of April 2005, at 19h00 at Wingate Park Country Club. One of the Agenda items is the NFF levy.
In order to facilitate discussion and reaching a decision, I offer the following. Please distribute this message to as many NGPSA members as possible, so that they can be best prepared for the meeting.
Last year, Alex Holmes attended the AGM and made a short presentation on what the National Firearms Forum (NFF) was doing in the battle against ever-more firearms control. He illustrated some of the really bad parts of the original draft legislation that had been removed, due to the successful lobbying from the NFF, SAGA and others, Following Alex’s short presentation, the meeting unanimously decided to pay over the levy that had been collected at leagues over previous couple of years. This was done by means of a cheque.
I have discussed the functioning on the NFF, SAGA and others with Alex, and he has informed me that effectively the NFF no longer exists. He continued doing whatever lobbying he could, on his own expense, until middle of last year but eventually gave up on most of it since he could no longer afford to carry on. The donation made by NGPSA last year was never cashed because of this and the meeting at the time was adamant that it does not go to SAGA.
The only group still active is SAGA, although it might be debatable how active they are, other than answering media questions etc. Some people have expressed their discontent at the way SAGA is currently run (or not run) and similar sentiments towards the NFF. It is clear from the above that the NFF is history, and no longer a factor. It is also clear that, despite all of its shortcomings, SAGA is currently the only game in town; the only organisation actively engaging with the legislators and the media.
The question remains, what do we do with the legislative levy (a.k.a. NFF levy) collected at all of our leagues?
There is no doubt in my mind that it will be extremely foolish to squander the money on something that we do not believe in. In the same breath it will be extremely foolish to stop collecting money for the fight to protect what remains of our guns, shooting ranges and sport. In fact, we should be doing a lot more and the Vektor Shooting Club has taken the initiative to introduce a voluntary levy on all Club members of R100 per year towards any future legislative action we choose to support.
I propose that NGPSA continue collecting the legislative levy (LegLev) at all NGPSA sanctioned matches, including the Nationals, at a rate of R5 per entry (currently) or preferably R10 per entry (new level TBD). This levy will continue to be clearly separated and traced in the NGPSA financial system and may only be used for action that supports private and sporting firearms ownership – be it legal action (court cases), lobbying, etc. The Exco will decide how best to direct the usage of this levy.
Furthermore, as the premier province within SAPSA, I propose that NGPSA takes the lead in defining a post on the Exco (co-opted at this stage if necessary), specifically to act on these legislative issues on behalf of NGPSA. These issues include things like range standards, discussions and representation to the Central Firearms Control Register (high capacity semi-automatic shotguns is already on the cards) as well as media liaison, where necessary and appropriate. Our LegLev can also be used to support these efforts and cover any direct expenses, if there is not sufficient funding in the rest of the NGPSA budget.
I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and I hereby offer my services for the position.
Hopefully this initiative will also be recognised by SAPSA and I suggest that NGPSA mandates our representatives to the SAPSA Exco to initiate a similar action at that level, with a similar budget allocation. I am willing to take on the challenge of this post too.
In summary, I propose the following motion to be put to the NGPSA AGM on 13 April 2005.
1. 1. That NGPSA continues to collect a Legislative Levy (LegLev) at all NGPSA sanctioned matches, including the Nationals.
2. 2. If motion 1 passes, then I further propose that the value of the levy is set at R10.
Furthermore, irrespective of the outcome of these two motions, I propose
3. 3. That NGPSA defines a Firearms Ownership Lobbyist position on the NGPSA Exco, co-opted if necessary until any required / desired constitutional change is implemented
a. a. to address, act and react to the changing legislative requirements and constraints under which practical shooting must operate
b. b. to liase and interact with the various governmental organisations to help ensure the long-term survival (and growth) of practical shooting.
c. c. to liase and interact with other pro-firearms organisations to help ensure the long-term survival (and growth) of practical shooting.
d. d. to liase and interact with the media where necessary to portray sport shooting in a positive light to the general public.
If motion 3 passes, I then propose
4. 4. That NGPSA allocates a budget to the post
a. a. A value of R5000 per year is recommended
b. b. Actual spending will be subject to Exco approval.
5. 5. Jonathan Fouché (a.k.a. myself) for the position.
Irrespective of the outcome of motions 3, 4 and 5, I propose
6. 6. That NGPSA Chairman urgently petitions and lobbies within SAPSA to define a Firearms Ownership Lobbyist position on the SAPSA Exco
a. a. The position could be co-opted if necessary until any required / desired constitutional change is implemented
b. b. The purpose of the position is to
1. 1. address, act and react to the changing legislative requirements and constraints under which practical shooting must operate
2. 2. liase and interact with the various governmental organisations to help ensure the long-term survival (and growth) of practical shooting.
3. 3. liase and interact with other pro-firearms organisations to help ensure the long-term survival (and growth) of practical shooting.
4. 4. liase and interact with the media where necessary to portray sport shooting in a positive light to the general public.
c. c. The position should be allocated an annual budget of at least R10 000 per year, reviewed and set at the Annual Council Meeting.
d. d. Jonathan Fouché is available to fill the position.
Let’s not lose sight of what is required to maintain the viability of practical shooting, indeed the ownership of our very guns, and implement a constructive step in the right direction.
PS. This message has been compiled on my own initiative, without specific consultation with VSC members or Exco.