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  1. #1

    Default The current state of SAGA

    This is my first contribution to Gunsite under the guise of Hood’s Corner. Many thanks to FrankH for giving me the opportunity.

    It is unfortunate that my first topic of discussion is SAGA, but it appears to be necessary to put certain things on record and to open the debate and put perspective on the debate.

    Firstly, I have sent a copy of this to John Welch because it involves him and secondly I would like to stress that it is polite and appropriate if you are going to talk about somebody to rather talk to them and not about them. There is, both in terms of our Constitution and in terms of basic fairness a right of response available to everybody.

    My reasons for leaving SAGA are well documented. Briefly, I believe SAGA had stagnated, I believed that the Trustees were not acting in the best interests of firearm owners because of inter alia conflicts of interest and an unwillingness to change and adapt to a modern environment.

    John Welch and Ron Anger had been Trustees since the inception of SAGA in 1985 and the rotation of Trustees has been, shall we say, sluggish.

    When Chas Lotter was made a Trustee it was with the intent to rejuvenate SAGA, and Chas quite simply found that all of his attempts to rejuvenate SAGA, to introduce proper corporate governance in the form of accountability and regular meetings, policies and procedures were frustrated by primarily Ron Anger but also by the Trustees and their action or rather the lack thereof.

    The conflicts of interest were primarily that Ron Anger’s conduct, (in as much as he did not disclose his involvement with SA Hunters through Media 24 whilst we were engaged in litigation involving SA Hunters, and whilst he participated in certain decisions in that regard) left a lot to be desired and left me with a very unpleasant taste in my mouth, particularly with regard to the manner in which I was treated by the Trustees of SAGA.

    I have difficulties with John because he is now Chairman of NAAACSA, (the National Association of Collectors), and he cannot distinguish in his own mind (in my view at least) issues of a collecting nature and issues that involve firearm owners in general.

    You cannot wear two hats and effectively separate who you think you are representing.

    I have formed the view that John is safeguarding the collectors at the expense of gun owners in general.

    John’s background is that he worked for most of his adult life, as far as I am aware, for the National Prosecuting Authority, i.e. he was a civil servant.

    This created some discomfort in the minds of a number of people (myself included) concerning his position as a Trustee of SAGA whilst being accountable to his employer, the Government.

    Some people feel (and I am one of them) that perhaps this discomfort in confronting government, has extended beyond his retirement from government service.

    John’s comment about Section 13 licences is not the only comment that has been brought to my attention where he appears to be more on the side of what government wants as opposed to what the law says and or what firearm owners want.

    I have received numerous complaints about some of John’s public statements although I wish to stress that I have no personal knowledge of such statements, therefore cannot comment on the accuracy of such statements and have not repeated them here because of that reason.

    Thank you to Peter Wells for correctly pointing out what the Act says, i.e. you can use a firearm not licensed for self-defence for the purposes of self-defence or for any other purpose where it is safe and lawful to do so. Peter was quite correct in pointing out that the qualification of “safe and lawful to do so” was added into the Act because of the possibility that people would have to be granted licences for more than one firearm for more than one purpose if they were to be limited in simply using a Section 13 firearm for self-defence and for example not being allowed to use it for sport shooting.

    I might add that I on behalf of SAGA and other organisations raised this very issue at the time as well.

    I have been a member of SAGA for many years, most certainly prior to 1997 when I became involved in SAGA on a formal basis with the Firearms Control Act.

    From approximately 2009 the cracks began to appear within SAGA in terms of corporate governance, dictating by the Trustees, lack of national councils etc.

    By the middle of last year I had enough and I posted my response to the Trustees’ circular on Gunsite.

    The response of SAGA was that they have never communicated with me formally again and they didn’t have the courtesy to tell me that I was no longer their spokesperson, although that, to be quite honest, was of no consequence to me.

    I remain a member of SAGA because I want to have a say in what SAGA does, when the Trustees realise that in their position as Trustees of the Trust, because they actually are accountable to the Trust and are subject to the rules of corporate governance.

    I have watched from the side lines the stated intent to rejuvenate SAGA and I too have received the communications about the appointment of the interim national council.

    I would like to know on what basis these persons were appointed and I would particularly like it to be publically known whether any of these persons are collectors? It would, in my view, be a strange coincidence if any are indeed collectors.

    My current view point is that SAGA does not represent the interests of firearm owners, but that it is becoming a front for collectors and certain interests of hunters only, by virtue of the fact that two of the Trustees are employees of a company in which a certain hunting association has a 50% share and because of the conduct in particular of Ron Anger vis a vis SA Hunters during the time that I was the legal representative of SAGA. John is a collector, as is Bruce Shaw and Doug Kirton is a firearm dealer. Who represents the average firearm owners’ interests, the group that SAGA publically purports to represent?

    There was a time when Paul Oxley on behalf of GOSA indicated to me that GOSA would follow SAGA’s lead for the sake of presenting a unified voice for firearm owners.

    I am now inclined to agree that SAGA cannot be that unifying force and those existing organisations particularly those such as GOSA should take up the reigns and run from where SAGA stopped effectively representing firearm owners.
    Last edited by SSP; 24-03-2014 at 18:35. Reason: Correction

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thanks Martin. Glad to have a well-known and respected voice such as yourself on this forum on a more regular basis (I hope). I hope you are not averse to becoming involved in GOSA's effort as your voice in the public sphere will mean a lot.

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thanks for sharing this Martin.
    "Learning only occurs after repetitive ,demoralizing failures!"

    Pat Rogers (RIP)

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thank you Martin, its greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thank you Martin


    Martin and others , there is clearly a need for an organization representing the gun owners, there are many competent people who are gun owners and who are prepared to assist and help.


    Are the people currently nominated by SAGA prepared to accept that change must happen and new blood be introduced or are they to stubborn to accept this ?

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thanks for keeping us informed Martin.

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thanks Martin and welcome to GunSite.

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Thank you Martin.

    This ties in with my statement/s on Gunsite some while back to the effect that I will not pay SAGA subscription due to the fact that I perceive SAGA to be mostly dysfunctional in respect of representing gun owners in general and totally lacking in pro-active actions and even post-active handling of GFSA's public statements on behalf of gun owners in general.
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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Great to have Martin in our Hood.

    Over the last year I have had discussions with SAAACA about that exact same issue: Using a collectable licensed firearm for a sport.
    Recent studies show that 1 out of every 3 liberals are just as dumb as the other 2

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    Default Re: The current state of SAGA

    Hi Martin

    Welcome, I have taken the time to engage with SAGA and have either been brushed off or ignored. Please let us know if you are graced with a response.

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