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Shooters Say funding complaints are off-target and un-Australian

Misleading reports from Gun Control Australia regarding government funding to the shooting sports are proof the fringe organisation has not only lost the plot but actually crossed over into extremist and un-Australian behaviour, according to one of the country’s leading peak shooting bodies.

According to a widely-reported on statement from the uninformed anti-gun organisation Gun Control Australia, Australian governments have provided $77m in grants since 2014 to shooting organisations, notably in Queensland and Victoria.

Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said most of the money was spent upgrading the Belmont Shooting Complex in Brisbane for last year’s Commonwealth Games and it was disgusting for anyone to suggest there was something wrong with that.

“Insinuating there’s something sinister about upgrading sporting facilities to hold international- level events like the Commonwealth Games which put us in the global spotlight is not only deluded but un-Australian,” Mr Park said. “The reality is that without the upgrade to the Belmont Shooting Complex, the Commonwealth Games might not have been held in Queensland – or even in Australia.

“Imagine hating something so irrationally you don’t want any of the more than one million law- abiding Australians involved in that pursuit to succeed on the world stage?”

Mr Park said $77m over five years across all of Australia was about $15.4m annually and was pocket change compared to the vast amount of money made available to other sports in Australia.

“Sport Australia received a $358.4m funding allocation in this year’s Federal budget alone,” Mr Park said.

“I don’t hear anyone complaining about our athletes, cyclists, swimmers or tennis players getting government funding for their facilities – and nor should they; all athletes and sports clubs, regardless of code, have a right to apply for grants and funding.”

Mr Park said for many smaller shooting clubs, especially in rural areas, government grants were the only way to upgrade their facilities.

“Even something as straightforward as replenishing or making new target mounds still requires getting earthmoving equipment out to the range, and refurbishing ageing clubhouses or firing range bays isn’t free either,” he said.

“Most of these clubs are run or managed by volunteers. They don’t have thousands of dollars lying about to spend on infrastructure.”

Mr Park accused Gun Control Australia of not only having an undignified sook, but undermining community safety and inclusion in the process.

“When Gun Control Australia complain about shooting clubs getting grant funding, what I hear is that Gun Control Australia don’t want shooting ranges to be safe and inviting places,” he said.

“This is really about Sam Lee and whoever else fits into the figurative minibus that is Gun Control Australia complaining people they don’t like are getting some of the legitimate grant money which exists to support sports and recreation – including the shooting sports – in Australia.

“Considering Gun Control Australia have repeatedly refused to disclose their membership numbers or funding sources, it’s completely inappropriate for them to be complaining about legitimate sports clubs receiving grant funding and support – especially when those sports clubs
are open and transparent about their membership numbers and financial situation.”

Shooters Union Australia is a leading peak body representing the more than one million lawful firearms users in Australia.

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

Ammo safety just as important as guns

Law-abiding shooters all know the importance of securely storing firearms to prevent unauthorised people getting access to them.

It is not legal to leave a shotgun lying around a shed unattended, or leave a rifle leaning against the porch back home while you have a cuppa at the neighbours – but do you give the same thought to how to store your ammunition?

NSW has specific laws and regulations covering ammunition storage and not following them could have drastic consequences, including criminal charges.

Under NSW law, ammunition must be stored in a locked container, separate from firearms. This can be a separate locked compartment or container in a gun safe, or a separate container entirely.

The state Police Commissioner has also declared the container must be sturdy and ‘not easily penetrated’ – such as a cash box or purpose-designed ammunition box – and have either an internal key, combination or pin operated lock, or be locked with a padlock.

NSW police further advise the key to the ammunition container cannot be kept with, or in the immediate vicinity of, firearms storage – so it can’t be locked in your gunsafe.

Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said as well as being a legal requirement, secure ammunition storage was just good safety practice.

“Ammunition needs to be treated with care and absolutely shouldn’t be accessible to anyone without the appropriate licences,” he said.

“It might be convenient to leave a box of shotgun shells on top of the fridge, but it’s not legal, so don’t do it.

“Most gun safes have a separate ammunition storage compartment in them, and there’s plenty of affordable ammunition boxes and cash boxes available at gun stores or hardware stores.”

Mr Park said reloading components such as propellant and primers also needed to be stored securely and safely.

“As well as making sure unlicensed people can’t get at it, it’s important to make sure your propellant is stored away from heat sources or flames, for obvious reasons,” he said.

Ultimately, Mr Park said being responsible with ammunition was quite easy and straightforward.

“Treat your ammo the same as your guns – keep it locked up and away from people who shouldn’t have it,” he said.

  • Visit: www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/firearms/safe_storage

Article written by The Land Magazine:
https://www.theland.com.au/story/6107664/keep-ammo-safely/ 6/5/19

Your Vote Matters. Use it Wisely

With a Federal election called for May 18 we’ve had a lot of questions here at Shooters Union HQ about how firearms users can best vote to ensure their interests are represented in Commonwealth Parliament.

Unlike a state election, where there are maybe a dozen parties running, there are considerably more at Federal level, ranging from the majors through to independents and even pranksters.

Because of the sheer number of candidates and parties – there are more than 1000 candidates running for the House of Representatives and nearly 500 running for a spot in the Senate, we basically can’t tell you who specifically to vote for.

What we can tell you is this, however:

PUT THE GREENS AND THE MAJORS LAST.

Give your first preference to a pro-shooting party or candidate in your electorate. Even if they don’t win, they will receive funding from the Electoral Commission for every vote they receive, provided they get a certain number of votes.

Voting for pro-gun candidates literally puts money into the pockets of parties who want to represent you and stops that money going to the majors, who already have quite enough as it is.

Putting the majors last also sends a strong message that you, as a shooter and a voter, are sick of being treated like a second-class citizen by politicians. Hit them where it hurts – at the ballot box AND their back pocket!

You can find out who your local House of Representative and Senate candidates are on the Australian Electoral Commission website here:
https://www.aec.gov.au/election/voting.htm#candidates

Remember: Your vote matters. Use it wisely!

SPECIAL NOTE FOR QUEENSLAND SHOOTERS
While Queensland has a large number of candidates contesting the election, a number of them are known to us at Shooters Union as being pro-gun and potentially worth your vote.

  • Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) have a long and proven track record of being friends to gun owners, so if you have a KAP candidate running for a House of Representatives seat in your electorate, you may wish to vote for them, and should also consider voting for them in the Senate as well.
  • The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party are also supporters of the shooting sports and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party have a very pro-gun policy at Federal level, so voting for these parties’ candidates may also be worth your consideration.
  • Otherwise, our advice remains the same: Put the Greens and the other majors last, and vote for a
  • pro-gun independent or minor party candidate instead.

Congratulations to Shooters Fishers & Farmers Party

SHOOTERS Union would like to extend our congratulations to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP) on their outstanding results in the recent NSW elections.

The party has won three seats – Barwon, Murry and Orange – in the Lower House, while in the Upper House Mark Banasiak joins sitting member Rob Borsak, giving the party two seats in the Legislative Council.

The geographic region covered by the SFFP seats represents more than half of the land area of NSW, predominantly rural, and goes to show just how out of touch the major parties are with the needs of the regions.

Shooters Union NSW led an active campaign during the election – including taking out paid newspaper advertisements alongside active social media content and engagement – supporting pro-gun parties including SFFP, encouraging shooters to Vote 1 for the party’s candidates in seats across the state. 

“It’s a brilliant result and I’m absolutely delighted to see the hard-working team at SFFP not only kept their existing seats but even manage to wrestle two more away from the majors,” Shooters Union NSW president Peter Whelan said.

“It’s clear SFFP is listening to people in those electorates and has their finger on the pulse of what matters to rural communities and gun owners across the state, and that’s been reflected at the ballot box.

“I’m glad Shooters Union was able to help bring about this incredible result and we look forward to working with all the SFFP MPs over the course of this parliament to produce positive outcomes for not only our members, but all law-abiding firearms users in NSW.”

Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said the result should send a clear message to the NSW government, and the major parties in other states should consider themselves on notice too.

“Law-abiding shooters and hunters have had enough of being treated as second-class citizens. There are millions of us throughout Australia and we’re sick of being ignored or used as a political punching bag by the major parties,” he said.

“You’ll be seeing more of people who represent and respect our interests in parliaments across the country, mark my words.”

The good, the bad and the ugly – Queensland Election Wrap Up!

The good, the bad and the ugly – Queensland Election Wrap Up video transcript.

Hi, Graham Park here from Shooters Union, Queensland. Just wanted to give you the world’s most delayed election update from Queensland state election; the good, the bad, the ugly of the election campaign. The reason it’s delayed is, they couldn’t get a result for nearly three weeks.
Speaker 1
You had something to do with that actually, by the way you all voted. Anyway, there’s a lot to cover. I just want to cover it in a few minutes so you get some ideas. I guess in one sense let’s talk about the good.
Speaker 1
The good; Tim Nicholls is now no longer the leader of the Liberal National Party in Queensland and we say goodbye to Tim. After having had a year and a half or so of working with him and his office, and others in the LNP and then having him turn around and stab us in the back on legislation and betray Shooters and just people in general in regional areas right across the state and right just before the election, I guess was a good thing they did because it showed us where they are really at.
Speaker 1
Now we have a new leader of the LNP, Deb Frecklington, a regional member. I have no dealings with her, so I can’t give you a bit of insight there really on it, other than we hope to have a productive working relationship with them going forward and we would hope that the LNP would’ve perhaps had a rethink on their positioning on this issue and on some of the ridiculous things that they decided to support Labour on against the interest of regional Queensland.
Speaker 1
That’s the good side. I think they’ve got enough of a blow that they woke up, because up until a couple of weeks before the election, we were getting ready in our first real foray into aggressively being political. We were getting ready to run a campaign that essentially would’ve said, “Could Labour last?”
Speaker 1
Then when that betrayal happened, when they stabbed us in then back and voted with Labour twice against firearms common sense in legislation, when they did that, we naturally had a rethink and at the last minute said, “Well, instead of that, they’re just as bad or worse.” At least we knew where Labour stood on it. We were getting rolled over we felt, so we said, “Well, instead of saying Labour last, let’s change the campaigning.”
Speaker 1
Not just Shooters Union, but a lot of groups. You saw that whole Flick’Em campaign change their thinking and went, “Let’s put the Majors last.” That’s had a major effect, and let me tell you that effect. Some people will say to you, “Oh, it’s bad. Labour got back in.” Is it? Is it really? Was the LNP going to be that much better based on their behaviour on this issue and on other issues regarding regional Queensland?
Speaker 1
I don’t believe so. I think it was Tweedledee, Tweedledum. In that case, what we had is an amazing outcome and I’ll tell you why. One, you’ve now got a Labour premier who’s essentially there with a hair’s breadth of a margin, so all she has to have is one or two people in her party go independent like they did last time, and she no longer will have a majority.
Speaker 1
Or a by-election, and suddenly there’s the majority gone. It’s very, very tight, which usually gives better government because they’re more thoughtful, they can’t push things through to heavily. We’ve got a great increase in the crossbench. Katter’s Australian Party, Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth and the team, they’ve now increased to three members in the Queensland parliament. Congratulations to Katter’s.
Speaker 1
The reason they’ve done that, and I think Robbie got something like 65 to 67% of the first preference vote in his electorate, and Shane Knuth got nearly 50% of the first preference vote in a brand new electorate for Shane in a different area that he had to go to because of the electoral changes. This is where the whole thing with the sneaky trick that Labour pulled, it was legal, but of changing to compulsory preferential voting.
Speaker 1
With all that, Katter’s did a great job. They’ve increased from two to three. They’re representatives in parliament, that’s fantastic. One Nation got a lot of votes around the state. The media will tell you they got 13% or 12% of they vote, that’s actually not accurate because they didn’t run. That is accurate state wide, but they didn’t run in every state, in every seat. The seats they ran in, they actually got closer to 20%, because they didn’t run in all the seats.
Speaker 1
That’s a pretty good result. Did they get a lot of people elected? No, because both the LNP and Labour would sort of in some seats were ganging up and making sure they were last. In fact, if you look at the one Green representative that’s now in Queensland parliament, for the first time there’s a Green. They didn’t win it from a Labour person, they won it from a high profile LNP candidate. How did they do that?
Speaker 1
Well, the LNP helped them. Why? Because they wanted in the city, they didn’t want to be seen to be standing near One Nation, so preference them ahead of One Nation and guess what happened? We’ve now got a Green member in Parliament, thank you so much for that. Queensland really needed that, perhaps not. Note sarcasm.
Speaker 1
That happened, One Nation got one member. It got it, and the one member they won, won it in a strong Labour seat up near Mackay area, the seat of Mirani. Congratulations to Stephen Andrew up there. I think he’ll be a great local member. He’s a local business person, feral pest controller, been in the area for ever. His family has a lot of businesses, he’s had business there. Do a great job.
Speaker 1
From that sense … and we’ve got a great new Independent from the Noosa area. From what people tell me, she’s really interested in representing that region strongly in parliament. What we’re seeing is more emphasis on regional representation despite Labour totally ignoring the regions, what’s happened is an improvement in those areas in many, many way.
Speaker 1
Then we go back to the LNP and their election of Frecklington as leader and Tim Mander as deputy leader, they’ve actually put a person from a regional area, because she’s from the Nanango area. Any of you who are out that area, you may want to chat to her about their policies around firearms and other related regional issues. With her there at least it’s a demonstration I guess by the LNP that maybe they’ve got to focus a bit more on regional Queensland.
Speaker 1
We hope to have a better relationship going forward. We’re not really for or against any political party, we know what policies we want, we want common sense policies that address criminal behaviour with firearms, which I think everyone agrees on, and don’t harass law abiding users such as farmers and hobbyist who shoot at target ranges and things like that, who aren’t the problem.
Speaker 1
Everyone agrees they’re not the problem, but continually every time we got to have a law about something, let’s pick on them. Let’s, for goodness sake, don’t pick on the criminals. With all that, there’s some really good things in there, but here’s a big one. You’ve got a premier that’s elected with about one third of the vote, 34 or 35% of the primary vote you’ve got a Labour government in. They don’t have any imperative to claim some big avalanche of support. None. 34 Or 35% is no mandate.
Speaker 1
Then on the other hand in the election where normally you’ll get just a few people not vote for the two major parties, what happened is more than a third of Queenslanders did exactly what we talked about and what other groups talked about, and put the Majors last. By doing that you’ve now got a situation where one third of Queensland says, “We’re fed up. We want some real representation, even if it’s not perfect. We want it away from you guys, being the Majors.”
Speaker 1
That’s had an incredibly good effect. This is the greatest thing that’s come out of this election. What most people don’t realise is the government actually pays money back to political parties based on how many first preference votes they get at each election. I think it’s up to $3 and some cents for each party, and then a dollar something as well for each individual candidate.
Speaker 1
It’s quite enormous. Now, let’s look at the numbers. 2015 Queensland election versus 2017 Queensland election. 175,000 Less Queensland voted for one of the two major parties as a first preference. All that money, probably somewhere over a million, 1.2, 1.3 million, has now been removed from the Majors. They don’t get that money back from the government. Maybe that’ll get them to wake up.
Speaker 1
Here it gets better, there’s actually a 150,000 more people on the Queensland voting roles in 2017 than there was in 2015, so it wasn’t just a 175,000 less. Yes, it was than last time, but it’s a bigger pool. It’s actually a much bigger drop than it looks at first glance. It could be anywhere up to a couple of million dollars of less funding, not to go to these guys to help you, this is party funding that they use to run their offices in Brisbane, have parties, go on boat tours up and down the river.
Speaker 1
Not stuff that will help in the electorates, and so that money is now going to smaller parties, independents and everything else, which makes Queensland a more democratic place. We are a more democratic place after this election than we were before because of that, because the two Majors aren’t just controlling all the funding so they get to run everything.
Speaker 1
And you know what we’d have to say to them? We hope that you’re going to start developing some common sense policies that address criminal behaviour, but look after the freedoms of decent people around the state. But if you don’t, we know how much money it can deprive them of by pushing people away from their first preference. Not only will we continue, we’ll increase. We learned a lot from it. We, just as our little effort, apart from what other groups did … and you saw that Flick’Em campaign around the state, had a big impact, a lot of things there.
Speaker 1
With our little effort, we produced about 30 videos, targeted them into different electorates. Of that some 670 odd thousand people had them exposed to them on their social media pages, and over 240,000 people watched those videos in Queensland and they were in targeted electorates, that’s a lot of people. We’re able to do that plus the radio advertising and the print advertising we did. Basically we were just standing up for regional Queensland, and that’s what we’re going to do.
Speaker 1
We are going to stand up also for the people in the cities and urban areas, but it’s the regions that tend to get forgotten even more than the cities, as far as issues like this shooting and so forth, because it’s so much more common in the regions. We’re sick of being made to be the villains. We’re going to stand up for some common sense. We want stuff that works and that punishes criminals, not honest citizens.
Speaker 1
What does Shooters Union want from the next term of parliament? We’ve got two years and 10 months till the next state election. Yes, I know it’s a four year fixed term, but for some convoluted reason it’s two years, 10 months this time. What are we going to want in this time? Well, we’re going to be working together with both the Labour government and the LNP opposition and the crossbences, Katter’s, One Nation and Independents, to look for common sense solutions.
Speaker 1
Answers that makes people’s lives, that address and punish criminal behaviour with firearms and just criminal behaviour in general. We want them jumped on. Then on the other hand, we want decent honest people who are licenced, go about their business and go through more background checks than a politician’s ever done in his life, more safety training than most of them have ever done, we’ve all done, we want to be left alone after that.
Speaker 1
We don’t mind doing all that. We don’t mind the background checks, we don’t mind all that, we want to keep guns out of criminals hands, but you know what? Once that’s done, we don’t want to be micromanaged to death and treated like the villains every time politicians think they want a law and order headline, let’s pass a gun law and pick on … make some meaningless garbage, that they’ve done, I don’t want to bore you with details, and let’s get back some common sense. Let’s finally get around to punishing people that steal firearms.
Speaker 1
Most of the magistrates in this state don’t even bother recording a conviction of someone that steals a firearm at the moment. That’s how ridiculous it is. Let’s get some legislation in place, I don’t care which party passes it, but punishes people. Let’s see them go to jail when they steal a firearm. Why is it that they want to punish a gun owner who doesn’t lock his guns in the proper safe like he’s a major criminal because firearms are so dangerous, and yet a criminal who steals them, who really is dangerous, they go, “Well, we won’t bother recording a convictions, ’cause he had a poor childhood.”
Speaker 1
Give me a break. We’ll be working with all the parties and the Independents over this term of parliament to try and work on those things and bring some common sense back to this debate. Any of the parties that won’t engage with us, we can’t force that, but I tell you what, come the next state election or the first by-election we can come across, we will be having such a highly focused campaign on them. We’re just not taking it anymore. We’re going to have a very highly focused campaign.
Speaker 1
On the positive side, we will work closely, we will do whatever we can to have a productive, positive working relationship. On the other hand, if they want to keep attacking legitimate firearm owners and users in this state, picking on the farmers, we’ll pick back. We’re hoping for a positive relationship going forward with both the parties, but I can tell you, if we have a repeat of the dishonesty and deception we had last time around, we will work to change another leader ’cause we’re very happy to say bye bye Tim, and we’re very happy to claim some small responsibility for helping him find other employment.
Speaker 1
We will happily do that in the future. A special note to our members and to other legitimate firearm owners around the state, take heart, your political activity in this past election has caused a massive shift in the way people voted and everything else. Was it the prefect outcome? No. But it was a massive shift that’s taking … a lot of people all around the country are talking about this, and what you want to do now is build on that.
Speaker 1
You’ve built a base, it’s not time to go back in our shell and go, “Well, we didn’t get the perfect outcome after the first time.” No, this is a fantastic base. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is a perfect base. You can go on from this, get active with your local member now who’s reelected for the next two years and 10 months. They’re going to be there, get in their office, talk common sense to them. We’ve got this great little leaflet called, “10 Firearm myths.”
Speaker 1
If you call our office, they’ll send you some out. You can take it into your local member. Just go to shootersunion.com and then look for our number or send us an email or whatever, and we’ll send you out some brochures happily. Take them into your local members and talk to them about it. This will help give you talking points, but don’t back down. You’re at this point now where, trust me, they’re nervous. We can work on that. We’ll work with them, but we can also work on changing things. We want to change things for the better.
Speaker 1
If you’re a Shooters Union member, congratulations. Get out there, we appreciate what you do. Get out there, be more active, support, but also tell all your friends, your neighbours, so they can get supportive. If you’re not a Shooters Union member, it’s 35 bucks a year, you’re going to get $5 million worth of liability insurance, so if you ever have an accident whilst out shooting and things, you’ve got all sorts of liability coverage, but much more importantly really, is this; you’re going to get the support.
Speaker 1
You’re going to get the lobbying support in parliament where we can talk with the politicians, work with them to get better outcomes and also where we can help you as an individual member in circumstances out there and give you support with licencing or what other areas you need support with. If you’re already members of other shooting clubs, fantastic, but consider Shooters Union as well.
Speaker 1
It’s juts shootersunion.com, you can go to it for membership. 35 Bucks a year, it’s less than the cost of a box of ammo, because it helps our lobbying efforts and it’ll help you coming back. We have a more political focus and a general focus.

SMH: Teddy bear hides firearms and ammunition

Teddy bear hides firearms and ammunition

Police inspect the teddy bear.

To view the original SMH article and video, click here.

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

For this teddy bear is not having a picnic but, rather, concealing two illegal handguns, a 32-round magazine and some ammunition.

Police raided a unit in Turella, in Sydney’s south, on Thursday and discovered two Glock pistols hidden inside a large teddy bear.

The alleged owner, 23 year-old Imad Warwar, was charged with eight firearm offences including two counts of unauthorised possession of a pistol and two counts of not keeping firearms safe.

Detectives from the Firearms Squad raided Mr Warwar’s unit at 7am, also seizing cash and paperwork.
Footage shows an officer sizing up the large, fluffy brown bear in the corner, conspicuously seated beside a television in the sparse room.

The firearms were stuffed inside the bear through a small hole in its backside.

Police believe the two guns were originally part of a huge cache of Glock pistols illegally funnelled to Australia from Germany several years ago.

Strike Force Maxworthy detectives smashed the firearms racket in 2012, yet most of the 220 imported Glocks remain missing.

Teddy bear hides firearms and ammunition

One of two illegal Glock pistols seized by police after searching the teddy bear. Photo: NSW Police

Some have turned up in various crimes, including a bungled cash-in-transit van robbery outside Broadway Shopping Centre, the shooting of notorious criminal Bassam Hamzy’s aunt and a raid on a box trailer at Edensor Park.

One was found in a backyard in Wagga Wagga and others have been found during raids in Bankstown, Greystanes and Westmead.

​Mr Warwar was refused bail in Sutherland Local Court on Friday.

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