The purpose of our events is to draw a large amount of people, (primarily) non-shooters, to experience a fun and safe sport-shooting environment, and to play with ‘toys’ they are otherwise unlikely to see or experience.
Our previous festivals saw various importers and major retailers of firearms and ammunition as exhibitors and/or sponsors. These included: Truvelo, Bellum Arcus, Nicholas Yale and multiple others. Each exhibitor or club allowed visitors to shoot their demonstration/sample firearms on their respective ranges. Certified RO’s/SO’s were recruited by both GOSA and the exhibitors, ensuring a safe environment for all.
The most recent festivals have included a unique event for ladies to receive training on the legalities and safe use of firearms as part of our Girls on Fire cause. Smouldering Girls, Shooting Guns is an initiative run by ladies, for ladies of all ages. Our youngest participant was 11 years old! The ladies are able to shoot and learn about various firearms that are provided by one of our loyal exhibitors, and the course is run by an expert trainer. It introduces ladies to sport shooting as well as suitable self-defence, and it has proven to be a huge benefit to all that attend.
As with our prior festivals, various static displays/stalls are located behind the ranges to showcase non-shooting specific items. A number of food and beverage vendors are also in attendance and arranged by GOSA. We aim to keep the average visitor entertained for 4 or 5 hours.
GOSA is constantly in need of Donor Funding for three main causes:
- We engage in litigation on principle (apart from the litigation that our legal team engages in on behalf of specific members). Last year we spent more than a million rands gaining an interdict on behalf of 400 000 firearm owners who had not been able to renew their licences for various reasons. Our litigation seeks to enforce the rule of law to the benefit of all South African society. This year we will have to spend more than that to defend our interdict and to force SAPS, in our main action, to repair the IT system which they sabotaged, or have firearm licences deemed to be permanent.
- We engage in public outreach programmes like our provincial Firearms festivals, and our special interest group events. Our Ladies Top Shot competition in January caught the imagination of the local press in an extremely positive way. Our smaller, provincial ladies introductory events are kicking off in Cape Town in March 2019. None of these are money-making events. They all run on donations and sponsorships or run at a small loss. This is inevitable, and acceptable as the words spreads and more and more people join our cause.
-Our political activism (representation in Parliament and in various encounters with government and other role players) costs money. Flights, car rental, accommodation, etc, etc. This fight will not be won in court, but in the public space where we can influence politicians and law-makers.