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Condamine Voters – you need to watch this.

We’re doing the research for you, so you don’t have to.

Meet your Candidate in Condamine. GREG PRIEBE

Shooter’s Union Australia delegate, David Brown interviews Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party candidate Greg Priebe

This is your opportunity to learn more about the concerns in your electorate and how your candidate plans to make improvements.

Tune in and MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!

Gympie Members – watch this!

Meet The Candidate for Gympie – Anthony Perrett

Shooter’s Union Australia President, Graham Park interviews Member for Gympie Anthony Perrett.

This is your opportunity to learn more about the concerns in your electorate and how your candidate plans to make improvements.

Tune in and MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!

Shooters Union NSW appoints State Co-ordinator

SHOOTERS Union is stepping up its presence in New South Wales with the appointment of Craig Golding as our state co-ordinator.

An experienced and passionate shooter with decades of experience in the industry, Craig will be focussing on legislative change and fighting for a fair go for the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding firearms in the First State, while current state president Peter Whelan will focus on managing the successful SUNS shooting club which acts as a Genuine Reason for members to obtain a firearms licence in NSW.

Craig has been involved in the firearms industry for more than three decades, after first going hunting aged 12 with his father – which sparked a life-long passion that continues to this day, with his wife and three children also being avid hunters and shooters.

He has also worked with several shooting, hunting and fishing brands, including being the NSW sales agent for Alcock & Pierce (the country’s longest surviving guns and archery importer), the Australian and New Zealand sales manager for Shakespeare fishing tackle as well as founding the successful Field & Stream Australia store in Bowral, which he ran until June this year.

“I am passionate about hunting & shooting and as a result I spend an enormous amount of personal time introducing others to the sport as a Firearms Safety Awareness Training Officer and NSW DPI Leap Service Provider (hunter education),” he said.

“I am also a strong supporter of the NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.”

Craig is now bringing his experience to Shooters Union NSW and is committed to fighting against unjust firearms regulations and for a fair go for shooters.

Some of his goals include:

  • Working towards an ongoing firearms amnesty;
  • Abolition of the state’s draconian appearance laws;
  • Addressing the delays in firearms license renewals and the delays in the issuing of Permits to Acquire;
  • Working toward a united and cohesive group of NSW shooting organisations;
  • Continuing to introduce more and more people to the shooting sports by education and the development of local hunting/shooting clubs.

We are delighted to welcome Craig aboard as our NSW State Co-ordinator and look forward to being able to enhance our efforts to protect shooter’s interests in the state.

Craig can be reached via e-mail to: craig.golding@shootersunion.com.au

Submission to the Firearms & Weapons Legislation Amendment (Criminal Use)Bill 2020

Submitted by: SUNS Shooting Club Incorporated
PO Box 246
Glenorie, NSW 2157
10th August 2020
Email: nsw@shootersunionnsw.com.au
Phone: 0499 148 814

SUNS Shooting Club Inc. is an approved shooting club, having approvals in rifle, shotgun and handgun disciplines, plus collecting, as issued by NSW Police Firearms Registry.

Having approximately 700 members across NSW, many of our members are very concerned about the intent and implications of these new laws. The following is a list of concerns, submitted to this inquiry on behalf of our members:We have members across A, B, H and G categories, in accordance with our Club Approvals from Firearms Registry. That is, rifles, shotguns, handguns and collectors. Members shoot most disciplines, from air pistol targets, through clay targets to IPSC and metallic silhouette.

Many of our members also participate in hunting and vermin control, as SUNS Shooting Club has been granted Approved Hunting Organisation status, by NSW Department of Primary Industries, Game and Pest Management section.

Replacing a trigger assembly, in a shotgun, a spring in a pistol, or cylinder in a revolver or fitting a ‘scope to a hunting rifle, would be considered general maintenance of firearms and a normal part of enjoying their sport. Each of those tasks would not require the skills of a gunsmith, using readily available workshop or tool kit equipment.

Tools used, such as screwdrivers, pliers, a vice, precision (fine) files, plus oils and grease, would all be caught up in the descriptions of “objects, devices or substances” described in the Firearms and Weapons Legislation (1996) Amendment. All these items could be used to make a firearm, or modify a legal firearm, rendering it “illegal”.

Any SUNS Shooting Club member could be charged by police with having the “precursors to firearms manufacture”, simply for having tool, which any person could buy at their local hardware store.

“Grey areas” would occur, for example, when replacing the mainspring and seals in the process of restoring an old category A air rifle, such as a BSA Meteor Mk 5, as one of our members did during last winter. This involved making up a special slotted tube part, required to release the spring pressure, to remove the main spring retaining pin. That restoration also involved replacing worn trigger pivot pins, piston head and sealing rings with selective application of moly-grease. All items used could be readily obtained from Bunnings and Auto Barn! Even the exploded view of that air rifle, showing all parts, COULD be caught up in this amendment.

Another project planned by another member, is replacing the synthetic stock of a rifle with a wooden one, made with aged timber from a wild cherry tree. That would need woodworking machines, rasps and sanders, surface treatment oils and varnish.

No doubt many of our members could undertake such a project, or even more complex ones. They all have firearms licences and own registered firearms, so what real interest would the police have in such basic maintenance activities?

Our members who have G category (collectors) licences, would have detailed drawings of firearms, such as the Australian designed and built Owen Machine Gun. Collectors may not even have certain firearms in their collection, but may have manufacturing drawings, design notes and other historical records, on their computers, which could also be caught up in breaches of these amendments.

Furthermore, some of our members carry out the re-loading of ammunition, so perhaps gunpowder will be caught up in the “substances” definition.

The amendment contains words and descriptions, which may be so broadly interpreted, or have so many “grey areas” that it is likely to tie up licensed firearms owners for years in the Courts, as they endeavour to prove their innocence.

These amendments could open up a legal minefield and prove to be a goldmine for some in the legal profession, as licensed and law abiding firearms owners attempt to defend any charges.

How would they prove that they were not “knowingly” manufacturing a firearm?

Police are all too prepared to test the “grey areas” in any legislation, as we saw when the 1996 laws came in, relating to safe storage, transport of firearms, approved shooting grounds etc. Proof of that is in the fact that this proposed amendment to the Firearms Act (1996) will be the 46th!

Note also that the Weapons Prohibitions Act (1998) is now in its 127th amendment! More recently (Regina v Towner February 2020) police had already inspected the Armoured Heaven shop in Penrith, after reports of “guns being sold” there. Police took some photographs and told owner Brad Towner “no problems, these are toys”.

Some months later a different group of Police swooped on his shop and seized his stock of Gel Blasters and Cosplay toy guns. It was only some months later that he was served with a long list of “Firearms Charges” which made to appear that he had been supplying illegal weapons and ammunition to bikie gangs.

After two years and many delays, while the Department of Public Prosecutions sought “expert advice” including ballistics testing, a jury found Brad Towner not guilty on ALL charges.

One can clearly predict similar charges being laid against our members, which would see that member have his or her guns seized, firearms licence suspended and face lengthy and expensive court appearances, only to be ultimately found “not guilty”.

It has been well publicised that a majority of police officers have only a general knowledge of the Firearms Act 1996 (now in its 46th amendment!) or of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (amendment no 127!).

Many police officers would not have a detailed knowledge of firearms manufacture, so may be unable to discern whether a drilled piece of metal was destined to be a firearm receiver, or a part for a model car.

Many items and objects initially considered “firearms” or “prohibited weapons”, such as bait throwers and promotional compressed air Tee shirt blowers, were deleted from later revisions of the Acts. It would be expected that in future, we will see further amendments to these Acts, caused by poorly worded laws.

Recommendations.
On behalf of our members, we strongly request that these amendments be voted down. We also suggest that, should such amendments proceed, that a clause be included to exempt Licensed Firearms Owners and Shooting Club members, from prosecution.

We do not wish our members to face having their firearms seized and to pay for lawyers to defend them in Court, after a junior police officer decides that a metal tube or hacksaw, or drills in their range bag, or on their workbench, are “precursors to firearms manufacture”.

Submitted by the Administrative Committee of SUNS Shooting Club Incorporated
PO Box 246
Glenorie
NSW 2157
Email: nsw@shootersunion.com.au
Phone: 0499 148 814

Vote Labor Last 2020

We have a very real chance at voting out the ALP in Queensland’s state election (set for October 31) – and we need every single one of you reading this to help make it happen.

A story in The Australian on July 31st – “Popular Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk but poll party postponed” (paywalled)” – notes a Newspoll survey is putting the LNP on track for a very narrow win at the election.

As per the story: “On Newspoll’s numbers, only six Labor seats would fall to the conservatives, leaving them to stitch together a minority administration with Katter’s Australian Party, independents and possibly One Nation.”

Getting Labor out of Government is the first step to ensuring our rights are respected and that the political assaults on the most law-abiding sector of the community cease.

VOTE LABOR LAST. Put them below The Greens. Put them below the Animal Rights Party. Put them below the independent candidate you’ve never heard of before.

Vote One for a Pro-shooting party like Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) or Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON). If you want to vote for a Major, vote LNP.

Whatever you do: VOTE LABOR LAST.

The ALP government hates you and does not trust you – look at what they have done to us this year alone:

  • Without warning, the ALP closed every gun shop in Queensland because of baseless and unfounded concerns about domestic violence and suicide. They have never acknowledged they were wrong, they have never apologised for the financial devastation they caused, they have utterly refused to engage with anyone on the subject.
  • The ALP used their parliamentary majority to ram through nonsensical amendments to the Weapons Act, banning or restricting Gel Blasters – changes which will take your children’s birthday and Christmas presents away.
  • The changes will decimate the Gel Blaster industry, driving hundreds of small business owners and employees out of business during the worst pandemic in more than a century.
  • The ALP ignored more than 10,000 signatures on a petition calling for them not to do restrict Gel Blasters. They ignored the united voices of Katter’s Australia Party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and the LNP in telling them not to do it AND voting against it.

Time and time again, the ALP has demonstrated nothing but contempt for Queensland’s law-abiding shooters.

We hoped they got the message after the successful Flick’Em campaign at the last election (which resulted in the lowest major party primary vote in Queensland history), but clearly they weren’t listening, or arrogantly assumed we’d forget.

WRONG.

There are 200,000 licensed shooters in Queensland and we all have friends and family. The ALP’s hatred of law-abiding shooters is a matter of public record and every single one of us needs to take a stand.

They won’t listen to us anywhere except at the ballot box.

Make them pay for their arrogance, hatred, discrimination and hoplophobia.

VOTE LABOR LAST IN THE QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTIONS

Authorised by J Linsley, 61 Arthur Street Dalby QLD 4405, for Shooters Union Australia.

Legal Win Proves Firearms Registries are Pointless

The legal victory of a Geelong gun dealer over improper record keeping charges throws the entire point of a firearms registry into question, says Australia’s pre-eminent pro-shooting organisation.

The Outdoor Sportsman owner Rod Haugh fought a six-year legal battle with Victoria’s Firearms Licensing and Registration Division (LRD) after police raided his business over alleged paperwork and record keeping irregularities, seizing a large number of firearms and suspending his firearm dealer’s licence.

As reported in the Geelong Advertiser (paywalled story), Mr Haugh eventually won his case after a multi-year legal battle but estimates his business has lost $9m in revenue and the stress of the saga may have contributed to his suffering a stroke.

Shooters Union Australia president, Graham Park, said firearms registries all around Australia – including Victoria – were proving themselves to be expensive white elephants which had never been shown to have prevented a single crime.

“Mr Haugh has had his business almost completely destroyed over paperwork issues, and the court case fell over because the police admitted their records weren’t up to scratch either,” he said.

“We see this time and time again around Australia – Firearms registries with hopelessly inaccurate or outdated information, and the ones who suffer are the law-abiding firearms owners and gun dealers.”

Mr Park said every gun owner in Australia likely had a story of the firearms registry having incorrect details of a gun they owned or had legally purchased, and it was time to do away with firearms registration.

“It’s quite clear the money being spent on registries is essentially being thrown into a black hole,” he said.

“Every dollar spent on maintaining useless and inefficient firearms registries is a dollar that’s not going to frontline police or social services, where that dollar could do vastly more good than being used to make things more difficult for the most law-abiding sector of the community,” he said.

“You can’t buy a gun without a firearms licence and we are not suggesting that should change. But once you’ve got a licence, requiring a permit for every gun you want to buy is pointless feel-good red tape which makes people in inner-city leafy suburbs feel better but has no public safety benefit.

“Canada got rid of their longarms registry several years ago and even New Zealand, which experienced a terrorist attack not long ago, is not likely to introduce a registry.

“The facts are clear: Firearms registries don’t work. Licence the person and throw the book at anyone without a licence who gets caught with a gun.”

CONTACT DETAILS:
President Graham Park: president@shootersunion.com.au or 0418 700 320
Media director Royce Wilson: media@shootersunion.com.au or 0410 645 035

Hunters lose traction if Quadbike sales cease

FEDERAL Government legislation mandating roll-over safety bars in all new quad bikes from October next year could be the end of a vital piece of hunting and agricultural equipment in Australia, the country’s pre-eminent shooting group says.

From October 2021, all quad bikes imported or sold new in Australia will, among other things, be required to have rollover bars installed, allegedly for safety reasons.

However, the four largest quad bike brands in Australia – Honda, Polaris, Suzuki, and Yamaha – have said they will cease selling their quad bikes in Australia once the regulations come into force from October 2021, severely limiting the range available and potentially spelling the end of quad bikes as rural utility vehicles in Australia.

Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said quad bikes were essential equipment for hunters and farmers alike, and was deeply concerned at the lack of “on the ground” consultation carried out before the new regulations were introduced.

“I don’t think the people making these laws realise just how big the Australian bush is, or how their well-meaning but poorly implemented regulations are going to affect hundreds of thousands of hunters and farmers,” Mr Park said.

“Quad bikes are essential for travelling across rough terrain on large farms, and they also provide a stable and safe way to transport firearms in the field, particularly in areas where there are lots of game or pests and the shooter may need to be retrieving and replacing their gun frequently.

“Essentially removing them from the market is going to make it incredibly difficult for hunters, pest controllers and primary producers to do their jobs – not everyone can ride a motorbike and they’re not always the right choice for the terrain, animals being pursued, or climate.”

Mr Park said quad bikes were not inherently unsafe and Shooters Union had questions over the ACCC statistics justifying the new regulations.

“We do not believe their statistics take into account factors such as reckless behaviour, being driven by people under 16, or having extra passengers,” Mr Park said.

“If people wish to retrofit safety devices like rollbars to their quad bikes, we fully support them in that choice – especially if the Government wants to subsidise the cost of doing so. What we do not support is the Government mandating their inclusion to the point where they’re basically closing down the market for most of the products and hurting our rural sector as a result.

“When four major manufacturers are saying they will leave the Australian market over this, the Federal Government really needs to pay attention.

“We join the calls for the Federal Government to re-evaluate these regulations and listen to the manufacturers, hunters and primary producers who know these machines and the environments they work in best.”

NAB apologises for gun shop closures

In completely non-COVID-19 related matters, we have had an extremely productive and open conversation with senior executives at National Australia Bank (NAB) – particularly their Customer Relations head and Business Banking head – regarding NAB’s closure of accounts at a
number of firearm businesses recently.

They have apologised unreservedly for the situation, and clarified it was a mistake affecting a small number of businesses which were accidentally reclassified from “Business” to a different, non-commercial category.

The bank’s representatives have assured us there is no policy at NAB to deny business services to gun shops and armourers.

In fact, they went as far as to say firearm dealers and armourers are more than welcome at NAB. They have said there is some additional paperwork required for firearms businesses, including copies of some ASIC documentation, due to the regulated nature of licensed firearms businesses,
but they are happy to work with licensed firearms business.

The conversations have all been very productive and NAB now have better understanding of the environment and framework gun dealers and armourers work in, and we have a better understanding of how the situation came about in the first place.

As much as we all love to get angry and hate on anyone not supporting shooters, it’s also important we acknowledge when someone who has made a mistake fixes it – and in this case, NAB have realised they made a mistake, fixed it, and apologised – as well as taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

We are thankful to NAB for taking the time to listen to our concerns and take us seriously, and for offering an unreserved apology for the situation.

If every issue involving shooters could be so constructively and positively resolved, we’d all be a lot better off – not to mention having more time and energy to focus on enjoying shooting, too.

Shooters Demand Government Immediately Lift Gun Shop Trade Restrictions in Qld

THE Queensland Government’s spiteful war on struggling businesses must end today, according to one of the country’s peak lobby groups.

In March, the state’s Chief Health Officer issued an order closing every gun shop and armourer in the state as part of the COVID-19 response. Following intense pressure and from industry, agricultural and rural representatives, that was amended a few days later to allow rural landowners and volunteer pest controllers to buy ammunition and reloading components, but still
prevented target shooters, recreational hunters, and competition pistol shooters from buying ammunition or using police-issued Permits To Acquire for firearms.

Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said with the notoriously anti-gun Western Australia now having lifted their trade restrictions and Victoria – also helmed by a Labor premier – having followed soon after, Queensland had no excuse to keep preventing licensed shooters
from buying ammunition or vital equipment.

“There is no – I repeat: absolutely none whatsoever – public health emergency justification for restricting the trade of licensed gun shops and armourers in Queensland or anywhere else, for that matter. There wasn’t one at the start of this mess and there isn’t one now,” he said.

“It is obviously a political move; only the Labor state governments restricted gun shop trading.

The decision was not an outcome of the formal National Cabinet meetings, from what we understand.

“The home confinement directions have largely been lifted, outdoor shooting ranges are open again while exercising social distancing, and non-essential retail shopping is expressly permitted so why are Queensland’s shooters and associated businesses being punished?”

The toll on affected businesses from the trade restrictions was enormous, Mr Park said, with a number of gun shops facing financial ruin from having their livelihoods yanked out underneath them without any justification.

“These were viable local businesses, an important part of their community, and shut down because someone in Brisbane doesn’t like guns and decided to take advantage of a crisis to further their own agenda,” he said.

“Every hour Queensland’s gun shops and armourers remain restricted in trade just adds to the mountain of proof this decision has been made to hurt law-abiding firearms owners and the businesses supporting them.”

Mr Park blasted the State Government’s refusal to justify themselves on the restrictions and said they needed to be held to account.

“We have not received a single response to any of the numerous letters and e-mails we have sent the Premier, and the only response we have received from the Chief Health Officer’s office was clearly written by a staffer and reiterated the changes allowing rural landowners and volunteer pest controllers to buy ammunition – changes we helped negotiate in the first place.

“The contempt the Palaszczuk Government has shown to Queensland’s law-abiding shooting community is simply incredible.

“They haven’t even given us the courtesy of an obvious and half-baked lie as to why they’ve done it – we’ve heard absolutely nothing.

“We guarantee there will be consequences at the ballot box in October for the way Queensland shooters have been treated by the ALP. We’re going to make sure of it.”

CONTACT DETAILS:
President Graham Park: president@shootersunion.com.au or 0418 700 320
Media director Royce Wilson: media@shootersunion.com.au or 0410 645 035

Letter to Mark Ryan on silencer petition response

The Hon. Mark Ryan MP
Queensland Police Minister
Via e-mail to police@ministerial.qld.gov.au

April 20, 2020

Dear Mr Ryan,
We note your April 16, 2020 dated response to Petition 3282-20, in which you reject the plea of the petitioners to reclassify firearm sound suppressors (“silencers”) from Category R to Category A under the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997.

We are concerned you have not given the matter genuine consideration and have not addressed the issue raised in the petition. Your response mentions the Port Arthur tragedy, yet suppressors were not used in that incident and we remain baffled as to why you would even bring it up in this context.

There is no such thing as “a permanently inoperable silencer”. If a suppressor/silencer is rendered inoperable, it is no longer a device capable of suppressing the sound of a gunshot and is, per the legislation, therefore not a Category R weapon.

Your response states “Queensland remains committed to the spirit of the National Firearms Agreement. Therefore, in the interests of safety, I can advise that there is no intention to remove silencers from Category R weapons at this time.”

Mr Ryan, suppressors are safety equipment. There is a mountain of evidence on the subject – evidence we would be only too happy to direct you towards, had you or one of your staff asked.

Suppressors do not totally silence gunshots. They bring the noise down from 130dB to around 90-100dB, which is still very loud, but will not cause immediate hearing damage to the firer, startle pest animals some distance away, or keep the residents of neighbouring farms awake at night.

The gunshot is still clearly audible, but it is not deafening.

We also note suppressors or silencers are not covered in the National Firearms Agreement (which is not legislation anyway) and that a number of states – including New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria – make suppressors available to licensed firearms users for occupational purposes such as pest control or agricultural reasons.

There is absolutely no valid reason – none whatsoever – that the same could not be true of Queensland. Call of Duty video games and secret agent movies are not a sound basis for making legislative decisions, and frankly we are all tired of having something that happened nearly 25 years ago constantly being used as a mantra-like parroted justification to refuse matters like those raised in the petition.

We appreciate the Labor party apparently does not like guns, especially in the hands of hunters and sporting shooters, but please do not insult our intelligence by dismissing sensible firearm issues being raised by constituents – who can back their requests with facts and evidence – with trite responses that sound like one of your staffers did a quick Google search at 4pm on a Friday and didn’t understand or agree with what they saw.

Dismissive and irrelevant responses like that provided to this petition undermine Queenslanders’ already shaky confidence in parliamentary petitions, which have an extremely short track record of achieving legislative change this century as it is.

To say we are disappointed in your response to this matter is an understatement. There is an election in October and Queensland’s 200,000 licensed firearms users expect better from their elected representatives.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Park
President, Shooters Union Australia
E: president@shootersunion.com.au | Ph: 0418 700 320