How to vote pro gun in the 2022 Australian Federal election.
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE SHOOTERS UNION CAMPAIGNERS
Shooters Union South Australia president Peter Heggie had a tilt at a House of Assembly Seat in the state’s election on March 19.
Peter ran as a One Nation candidate in the seat of Kaurna and although unsuccessful in unseating the incumbent Labor MP, has definitely sent a message that shooters are tired of being disrespected and aren’t afraid to make their unhappiness known at the ballot box.
Indeed, the ABC election analysis indicates that, at time of writing, there was a 9.3% swing away from the LNP candidate and an 8.3% swing towards Peter, and the Labor candidate’s margin was reduced from 16% to 5.9%.
While it didn’t get a shooter into the House of Assembly, Peter has certainly sent a message to political parties that we’ve collectively had enough of either being abused or ignored, and it’s time to start paying real attention to our needs.
Western Australia is set to criminalise the possession of firearms schematics/diagrams for guns the person does not have registered to their licence, and also make it illegal for shooters to perform any repairs on their guns, including changing stocks or installing drop-in trigger assemblies.
A small number of Opposition MPs, notably North-West Central MP Vincent Catania, objected to provisions of the Bill, to which the WA Police Minister, Paul Papalia, stated that anyone who stood against the legislation was “standing with terrorists, outlaw motorcycle gangs and family and domestic [violence] perpetrators”.
Given this attitude from the WA Government, it’s pretty clear little can be done to improve things for shooters in WA until the next election.
Despite that, we have written to Mr Catania to thank him for his efforts standing up on behalf of the 81,000 licensed shooters in Western Australia, even in the face of an ignorant government which has already decided it hates shooters and doesn’t care how badly they will be affected by these laws – which, in their currently written form, also appear to make it illegal for WA shooters to reload their own ammunition too.
Shooters Union NSW representative Craig Golding attended a hearing at Parliament House in late March to present our views and concerns regarding planned reforms to Animal Welfare legislation in NSW, which could have a detrimental impact on hunting there.
The invitation came off the back of a written submission from Shooters Union NSW on the proposed laws, and in particular our concerns that common recreational hunting activities would be captured under the expanded “Animal Cruelty” definitions.
One of the issues which received productive discussion at the hearing was a concern that the RSPCA shouldn’t have an authority or enforcement role in anything to do with hunting.
Our position is the RSPCA is unable to separate its animal rights/liberation stance from its Authorised Officer/Enforcement duties, and we provided the Committee a copy of RSPCA’s official policy opposing recreational hunting as proof of this to back up our concerns.
Craig strongly supported the Australian Pig Dog Hunting Association representative on their concerns about the impact of the proposed laws on hunting pigs with dogs. The APDHA were strongly supportive of us in the hearing as well, and fortunately there was no talk of any ban on pig hunting with dogs either.
We know that we’ve given the Committee a lot to think about and certainly feel we were given a fair hearing and taken seriously (as were the other pro-hunting representatives) so we’ll keep you posted with any updates.
With licence application/renewal and PTA processing times blowing out spectacularly in some places (notably Queensland), and firearms licensing branches in other states being increasingly hard to contact or opaque in their responses, we have found that escalating issues to the state Police Minister can be an effective way of getting a resolution.
We are pleased to now roll out our Ministerial Email Generator nation-wide. It allows you to compose an email to your State/Territory police minister – and you can find it here!
Please complete the form as if you were writing the letter to the minister yourself (especially the comments field) as this will be mail merged into the ministerial template for your convenience.
Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email with the templated Ministerial, please proofread and make any amendments necessary. Then send your email to:
- Queensland: email@example.com
- NSW: nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/nsw-deputy-premier
- Victoria: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tasmania: email@example.com
- South Australia: Unavailable pending announcement of new government makeup
- Western Australia: Minister.Papalia@dpc.wa.gov.au
- Northern Territory: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ACT: email@example.com
We’d love a copy for our records, so please CC firstname.lastname@example.org too!
After some extremely productive and supportive conversations with South Australia Police, Shooters Union South Australia can confirm that handgun participation requirements for the 2022 year have been waived until June, with a further review taking place then to see if it needs to be extended.
We’d like to thank SAPOL for their willingness to work with us on this issue in a cooperative and collaborative way – it’s further proof there can be positive outcomes all round when both parties approach the issue in good faith and understanding.
Our vocal opposition to the WA Firearms Amendment Bill 2021, which will (among other things) effectively make it illegal for shooters in Western Australia to reload their own ammunition, repair their own guns, or own manuals or schematics for guns has attracted the attention of WA’s Shadow Police Minister, the Hon. Peter Collier MLC.
Shooters Union’s WA representative, Peter Heggie, has provided Mr Collier with a copy of our myriad of concerns over the bill as well as a briefing on its implications. He is reportedly taking the matter seriously and we anticipate further discussions on the issue soon.
Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch have decided that, effective from1st March 2022, handgun shooters will not be able to sign their own participation records. Participation records will need to be signed by another Range Officer at the range.
However, thanks to our representations on behalf of shooters, Weapons Licensing have agreed that participation records signed by the shooter themselves prior to March 1st will be grandfathered in and still counted as valid.
This means you will not have to redo previous shoots where you have signed your participation record as the RO.
While we agree the new rules may cause some issues for clubs, particularly those with rolling competitions, we would point out that until we (with the support of other members of the wider shooting industry) represented shooters on this matter, Weapons Licensing were planning to apply to ban retroactively – meaning a lot of pistol shooters stood to lose their handgun licences when WLB rejected their participation records because the shooter had signed them.
The NSW Firearms Registry has recently been interpreting appearance laws so strictly that it has led to a de facto ban on Category D firearms in the state. NSW FAR appear to be of the view that nearly all Cat D firearms are derived from military weapons such as the SKS or M-16 somewhere along the line and therefore fall afoul of the legislation.
There is a glimmer of hope for primary producers in the state though, with the NSW Government confirming they were aware of the issue and open to reviewing the situation. A spokesperson for the Police Minister was quoted in The Land saying firearms were a “necessary tool of trade on many farms” and that “NSW Police would support a review of recent changes to the category D firearms regulations and welcomes further consultation with stakeholders, including NSW Farmers”.
We publicly stated out support for this stance and state president Craig Golding was interviewed by radio 2SER as well as appearing in a story in The Land as a result – proving there are plenty of people out there willing to listen on the issue, who understand firearms are necessities for primary producers no matter what those guns look like.
Shooters Union has formally rejected proposed changes to the state’s gun laws reportedly under consideration by Cabinet and called for the resignation of relevant public servants over the matter.
The details, which were revealed late last month by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP), involve a range of recommendations including removing the system allowing unlicensed shooters to realistically try shooting at ranges under supervision, restricting the number of firearms licensed shooters can own, and fingerprinting firearms licence holders.
Shooters Union NSW prepared a formal rejection of the Cabinet proposals, and has sent it to The Premier, Police Minister, Police Commissioner, and all MPs in NSW, ensuring our views of the matter are firmly on the public record.
As NSW state president Craig Golding said in our media release:
“We are absolutely revolted the Police & Firearms Registry response to a tragedy they are responsible for is to blame the state’s nearly 300,000 licensed shooters and increase restrictions on them, and we are disgusted that the NSW Government entertained these suggestions,” he said.
“How dare the NSW Government, NSW Police, and NSW Firearms Registry seek to punish hundreds of thousands of this state’s citizens with nonsensical additional restrictions in an effort to divert focus and blame from their own tragic failings?”
You can read our official rejection of the proposals here.