GRUELLING CHALLENGE: Karla Blowers.
GRUELLING CHALLENGE: Karla Blowers. David Nielsen

Ipswich top shot 'worried' about gun law changes

AS a world leader in her sport, Karla Blowers prefers to concentrate on her preparation and competition than getting involved in the current political debate over gun law changes.

However, she concedes it's a difficult time for shooters like her and colleagues at the Ipswich Pistol Club waiting to see how the Queensland Government interprets and enforces the 2017 National Firearm Agreement (NFA).

"We are constantly worried about what politicians are going to do to our sport,'' she said.

In her International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) discipline, competitors can shoot in major events like the world titles she's heading to in France next month. But under the 2017 NFA proposal, only sporting shooters aligned to Olympic or Commonwealth Games bodies are said to be sanctioned in the future.

"Gun laws are aimed at law-abiding citizens not criminals,'' she said, hoping to continue her challenging and rewarding sport when NFA changes are implemented.

The defending world champion said sporting shooters were taught to be safe and follow strict rules.

The IPSC was established "to promote, maintain, improve and advance the sport of IPSC shooting, to safeguard its principles and to regulate its conduct worldwide in order to cultivate the safe, recreational use of firearms by persons of good character.''

That's the sporting challenge shooters like Blowers enjoy most.

The Ipswich Pistol Club at Karrabin has more than 120 members, who enjoy regular competition under the International Practical Shooting Confederation guidelines.

As for the option of changing to an Olympic or Commonwealth Games event, Blowers was happy with her decision to remain with the IPSC.

"It is very, very different,'' she said. "Those disciplines are mainly based on accuracy.

"Different targets, completely different guns, different stance . . . it's like racing go-karts as opposed to V8 Supercars.

"I could transfer if I wanted to but I love what I'm doing.''

And when world title success is achieved, there's little doubt why it provides such a sense of accomplishment.

"Five days of shooting over a six-day match, if you have a bad day you've got to leave it behind and move on,'' she said.

"It's a gruelling match but all worth it in the end.''



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