Rifle group seeks $450,000 from shooting association for ammo 'damaged' by floods

9mm semi-automatic firearms on display.
9mm semi-automatic firearms on display. PHOTO: TNP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Rifle Association (SRA) is seeking more than $450,000 from its parent body Singapore Shooting Association for alleged losses arising from two flooding incidents it blames on the latter.

The case, which opened in the High Court on Tuesday (Feb 14), is the first of four court battles involving SRA and SSA and the latter's president.

SSA, the national authority for shooting in Singapore, was the lessee and occupier of the National Shooting Centre in Old Choa Chu Kang road.

 

The SRA, which operates an armoury in the basement of the centre, alleged that as a result of the two floods - on Dec 24, 2014 and May 3, 2015 - the 185,000 rounds of ammunition stored there were submerged under water for more than 24 hours.

 

The affected rounds are unsafe for use and will have to be disposed of at significant cost, said SRA's lawyer Wendell Wong in his opening statement.

 

Mr Wong argued that SSA breached the duty of care it owed SRA to properly maintain and supervise works carried out at the centre.

He said the backflow of water from a "poorly designed" unlined drain on the premises caused the armoury to be flooded.

Expert witnesses will testify for SRA that a collapsed slope at the bank of the unlined drain led to the blockage of the drainage channel, causing a backflow of water to the armoury. In the first incident, the armoury was flooded to a depth of more than 1m.

The second flood was due to blockage of the pipe connecting the two sections of the drain which was choked by debris.

But SSA, represented by Mr Anthony Lee, says it does not owe SRA a duty of care.

Mr Lee argued that it was Sport Singapore (SportSG), the lessor of the premises, which brought earth fill material to the sight for refurbishment works in preparation for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

Mr Lee argued that SSA had no control over the works carried out on the premises, which was handed over to the statutory board between October 2013 and December 2014.

The current lawsuit was initially started by SSA in 2015 to compel SRA to hand over the armoury so that it can carry out upgrading works to meet security requirements. SRA countersued.

Last year, the centre was closed by SportSG after the police found serious licensing irregularities there. SSA then withdrew its claim as it no longer had the legal standing to sue.