LETTING a close friend or relative shoot one of your guns on a rural property under supervision sounds harmless enough, but unfortunately it is highly illegal in NSW and can result in several years in prison.
Section 7A of the Firearms Act 1996 provides a maximum penalty of five years in gaol for unauthorised or unlicensed possession of a rifle or shotgun, and 14 years for handguns.
Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said while it was a fickle law, licensed gun owners still needed to do the right thing.
"It seems unbelievable you could go to gaol for letting someone on your property - even someone you've known for years and be related to - have a few shots of your .22 rifle while you are standing right next to them, unfortunately that's the reality in NSW," he said.
"The law is very clear - no licence, no touching a gun, except in a very few special circumstances such as at an approved range and following the appropriate paperwork.
"We all know it's a stupid law, but unfortunately part of being a law-abiding licensed firearm owner is obeying laws, even when, like this one, they are pointless or needlessly draconian."
Mr Park said that did not mean shooters had to accept the status quo, however.
"Write to your local MP, write to your local media outlets, start pressuring them to change the law to recognise there is no public safety risk in letting an unlicensed person fire a gun on private property under the direct and immediate supervision of the licensed firearms owner," he said.
"The reality is we live in a social media age and while a rural property may be a long way from other people's eyes, the internet is not.
"Think before you post anything gun related on social media.
"You don't know who will see it and unfortunately pictures and video posted online of seemingly innocuous activities like letting a friend shoot a .22 at an empty soft drink could be used to prosecute people for firearms offences.
"Following the law, combined with not posting thoughtlessly on social media, will go a long way to reducing issues not just for yourself, but all law-abiding firearms."