GunOwners South Africa (GOSA) is hosting the Festival of Bang! on the weekend of 14 and 15 April at the Cecil Payne Municipal Shooting Range in Roodepoort. The event is envisioned to be a grassroots annual event where families visit to be exposed to various shooting codes and activities. There will be food and refreshments on sale, jumping castles for the very young, and music for the young at heart.
Paul Oxley of GOSA explained the thinking behind the event by saying “it seems to us that South Africa, and specifically Gauteng to start with, needs a place where members of the broader public can come to be exposed to the fun and educational aspects of firearms and shooting sports in a safe and welcoming environment.”
“The Festival of Bang! will be a place where regular (or irregular) existing firearm owners can introduce friends and family to firearms and shooting, and see exciting and interesting new products. Doc Willie Barnard's Ellisras Firearm Festival has always seemed to be an ideal blueprint for this kind of event.”
The Festival of Bang! concept is something that GunOwners South Africa (GOSA) will use to reach out to the South African public. GOSA is committing to roll out, over the next three years a complete set of regional firearms festivals through all nine provinces. The vision is to eventually have one a month for 10 months of the year (excluding December and January).
The purpose of the event is to draw in thousands of (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.
Visitors will be charged an entrance fee which will comprise range fees, and an Ordinary GOSA annual membership. As each person enters the range premises they will sign the range register (located at a Gazebo at the gate, pay, and sign up for GOSA membership). Visitors will then proceed to a second control point at the pedestrian gate accessing the range itself where they will be checked for personal safety equipment (safety glasses and earplugs will be supplied) and given a short range safety briefing (in batches of 10 to 20) before being allowed through the pedestrian gate onto the ranges themselves.
Nine of the ten ranges will feature displays and stalls of importers and major retailers of firearms and ammunition such as Truvelo, Rapala, S&O, DSG, Bernard Agencies, Bellum Arcus, Nicholas Yale and others. These exhibitors will control their own ranges and allow visitors to shoot their demonstration/sample firearms on the ranges.
GOSA will have a stall and will provide consulting services on legal/licencing matters on an ongoing basis. Several firearm-specific legal experts will also conduct panel discussions.
On the Saturday late afternoon GOSA will conduct the draw for the Troy .308 pump action rifle, and there will be a demonstration of night vision and thermal imaging equipment as the shooting draws to a close and evening sets in. Thereafter the braai fires will be lit.
On Sunday the 15th GOSA will begin their next membership raffle, the programme of activities from the previous day will commence, and the day will end with a potjie competition.
The time will be from 08h00 to 17h00 daily and the entrance fee will be R120 for adults and R60 for children under 16. GOSA members will pay R60 for adults and R35 for children under 16.
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