Canning’s only gun club enjoying membership spurt

The Canning Club has experienced a welcome increase in members in the past few months.
The Canning Club has experienced a welcome increase in members in the past few months.

WHILE guns may not have the most positive image, the negative connotations have done nothing to hinder membership at Canning’s only gun club.

The Canning Club has experienced a steady increase in membership over the last five years, including a sharp increase in the last eight months.

Currently, the club has 282 members, which has increased by 53 since the beginning of July 2018, with another 15 membership applications currently waiting approval.

Club president Peter Watson said their membership increase included people of all ages and backgrounds, including young girls.

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“We’re seeing more people, more women down and more children getting involved; we get whole families wandering in,” he said.

“It’s good discipline for the children – they learn what they’ve got to do, and do as they’re told. It flows on to other things.

“There’s quite a few older members, but we do get some younger ones in, and my aim is to try and get more younger ones.”

However, Mr Watson was quick to stress the club regarded safety as paramount and all new members had to pass a six-week training course before they were accepted.

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“Safety is our first aim. Members go through training, they practice for weeks on an air pistol, so we can see what they’re like and then they’ll do a handgun orientation and a shoot.”

Mr Watson admitted it was annoying when gun clubs received negative press in the wake of a gun-related crime and said the club stressed responsible gun ownership and use.

“We’ve got certain groups that try and run us down all the time when it’s just unrelated crimes and it’s nothing to do with people that legally have guns,” he said.

“We definitely need to crack down on those illegal guns around the place.”

Mr Watson said the club’s growth had forced the club to build new ranges, and a $34,984 grant from the Department of Sport and Recreation will be used to construct shelters for the ranges to ensure members can shoot hail, rain or shine.