To members of the SINGAPORE GUN CLUB (SGC)

Fellow Members,

It’s been a month since the National Shooting Centre (NSC) was closed by Sport Singapore. The SGC management and your representatives in the Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) are doing all they can to assist SportSG in its efforts to re-open the NSC. A Police investigation is ongoing so information is limited. I will present only what is known to us as they relate to SGC and SSA.

It is important to note thatwhen the NSC was closed on February 6th;

  1. The SGC armoury was fully compliant with Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD)‘s latest security requirements.
  2. All firearms in SGC’s armoury were fully accounted for.
  3. The Singapore Rifle Association (SRA)‘s armoury was NOT compliant. SRA had not installed a new vault door meeting new PLRD requirements nor had it installed an issuing window as PLRD had mandated.

 

The events surrounding the closure of the National Shooting Centre are as follows:

Tuesday February 2nd     PLRD conducted an inspection/audit of SRA and SGC Armouries. After the inspection, PLRD sealed both armouries.

Thursday February 4th    PLRD returned with a large force and confiscated 75 firearms from SRA armoury and 2 firearms from SGC armoury.

In SGC’s case, one shotgun belonged to an ex-SAFRA member who had not paid the license fee and the gun was deemed  ‘unlicensed’. The other belonged to an SGC member whose license fee was unpaid and was also deemed unlicensed. PLRD  was aware of the SAFRA member’s shotgun and we have email correspondences from PLRD to SAFRA and SGC instructing  SGC to hang on to the firearms.  PLRD chose to confiscate both firearms.

Saturday February 6th     An emergency meeting was called by the CEO of Sport Singapore in SportSG office at 10.00am. I rushed back from Australia  when I learned of the confiscation and attended the meeting with SGC Hon Secretary, Mr Tang Kee Kong.
Attendees were SportSG , SSA, SGC and PLRD. SRA was invited but did not attend.

At the meeting, CEO informed SSA that Sport Singapore was revoking the SSA-SportSG Lease and taking control of the NSC at 1.00pm on Saturday, the NSC was closed indefinitely. The range would be open to the National Team the following week.

Only National Team members would be allowed to enter the NSC. SGC was allowed to operate the upstairs armoury for the National Team.

Wednesday Feb. 10th      The Police investigation/audit continued and SGC was cleared in the late afternoon.

Friday February 12th       PLRD cancelled SRA and SGC Armoury Licenses.  The armoury license for all three armouries in the NSC was issued to SSA.

SSA is now the sole license holder of all armouries in the NSC. SportSG appointed SSA as the manager of the NSC. Sport Singapore has been working with SSA to get the NSC re-opened.

NOTE: In Mid 2015, SSA Council voted to upgrade the NSC security system to meet the increasing security threats facing Singapore and the world. The plan required a central armoury system whereby all arms would be stored in the upstairs armoury whilst all ammunition would be stored in the basement armouries. SGC agreed to comply but SRA refused and a legal battle to stop SSA from implementing the Central Armoury system is ensuing in the courts. Singapore Law Watch – Shooting groups in legal dispute over armoury

I have reason to believe that this special audit was prompted by the circulation of photograph(s) showing SRA members brandishing assault rifles over social media (possibly SRA’s Facebook).

SportSG, MCCY and certain Minister(s) have directed that such weapons must not be permitted in The National Shooting Centre. SportSG will be issuing a policy ruling that will prohibit the use or storage of assault rifles(or lookalikes) in the NSC.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE STATEMENT (ST March 8th 2016)

“On Feb 2, the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD) conducted an arms audit at the Armouries of the SGC and SRA. Due to serious licensing irregularities, the police took possession of a number of arms. Police investigations are ongoing.”

The sheer magnitude of“licensing Irregularities” which previous annual audits by the PLRD did not detect, has prompted the Police to require the construction of new security fences, installation of metal detectors, and a gamut of security equipment which must be operational before the NSC will be allowed to re-open.

When the NSC re-opens, it will not be ‘business as usual’. Through no fault of our own, SGC members will to have to live with new policies, rules and procedures.

We will update you as soon as we have more information to share with you.

Michael Vaz
President
Singapore Gun Club