New shop aims to hit the target
AFTER operating Casino Outdoor and Disposal for 17 years, Sharon and David Greber opened their new store, North Coast Firearms, in Walker St, Casino, yesterday.
"We just thought it was time for a change after 17 years," Ms Greber said.
"Shooting is one of the biggest sports in the country.
"The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia has more than 900 members registered here in the Northern Rivers branch which covers the Lismore, Ballina and Casino region.
"It is a year-round sport that can be taken up from the age of 12 and the shooting range is open most weekends."
It has been a long haul for the Grebers, getting the appropriate approvals in place to open their new store.
"We have been going through the process for five months," Ms Greber said.
"There are a lot of police checks to set up a firearms store and the security has to be good as well.
"We had to brick in a couple of windows and put bars on front and back doors and windows as well as installing an alarm system in the roof. It has cost us thousands."
Ms Greber said they sell four to five guns a week, with a typical HOWA or a Remington with a scope selling for about $500.
New shooters have to wait up to eight weeks to complete all the paperwork and go through the necessary checks to obtain a gun licence.
She said many city dwellers have a poor understanding of rural life and don't understand that a gun is part of a farmer's tools of trade.
"Some city people don't even understand that milk comes from cows," she said.
"The majority of guns are used by farmers to put down sick or injured animals and to control feral animals such as pigs, dogs and rabbits. Feral dogs and pigs are a massive problem out here. These dog packs are just let go and breed up in the Hogarth Ranges."
The Grebers sold the camping, outdoor gear and home brew part of the business to Joy and Craig Urquart, who will continue to operate in the old Centre St location.