Home - LATEST UPDATES FROM THE SHOOTERS UNION CAMPAIGNERS (page 24)

LATEST UPDATES FROM THE SHOOTERS UNION CAMPAIGNERS

Canberra gunmaker GC Precision Development’s bid to make Victoria Police guns shut down

A Canberra gunmaker’s bid to make rifles for Victoria Police has been shut down in a situation he has labelled “absurd”.

A specific ACT law, which does not exist in NSW, meant Gareth Crook was allowed to “possess” but not “use” silencers and folding stocks when making the rifles.

It meant the stocks and silencers were “nothing more than paperweights”, and he could not first test the weapons he would sell to Victoria Police.

Mr Crook challenged the decision not to award him permits to use the prohibited items in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

While the decision was concerned with the sensitive subject of gun laws, it highlights a situation, described by Mr Crook as “absurd”, that ACT gun makers cannot make guns for the law enforcement organisations that also call Canberra home.

Mr Crook was approached by the Victoria Police special operations group last year, asking his company GC Precision Development to trial precision bolt action rifles.

If the trial was successful, there would be an ongoing relationship with police with further testing and ongoing support for the weapons when needed.

It was potentially a big win for the gunmaker, only two years into his business.

But police asked for two elements that proved to be problematic: silencers and fully adjustable folding stocks, both of which are prohibited in the ACT.

Mr Crook applied for a permit to use both of them in his testing but was knocked back, instead told he could possess a certain number but not use them, drawing the “paperweight” argument at the tribunal.

He told the tribunal his company was considering making up to 5000 silencers for the Australian law enforcement, defence and pest control industries “… and that it is absurd and unreasonable that he cannot obtain a permit authorising him to test (meaning use) these suppressors in order to ensure their quality and suitability before supplying them to the market.”

This part of the issue has since disappeared, after the ACT government clarified laws around silencers – in part because shooters hired to cull kangaroos in the capital were using silencers.

In fact, one of Mr Crook’s arguments was that why contractors in roo culling programs were allowed to use silencers on their rifles for what he said were legitimate reasons, while he was not allowed for “equally legitimate albeit different” reasons.

The government lawyer acknowledged the inconsistency, the tribunal said use of suppressors by people who culled kangaroos was “probably” not legal.

“No one appreciated at the time suppressors were used to conduct the kangaroo cull that the use may not have been, and was probably not, in accordance with the law,” the tribunal wrote.

Mr Crook appealed the decision to not give him permits for silencers and stocks in the ACT Administrative and Civil Tribunal, but was knocked back.

While the tribunal’s president sympathised with Mr Crook, he said current laws meant the registrar was correct in not giving the gunmaker a permit.

Article written by Alexandra Black 4/7/16. Article first appeared on The Canberra Times website. Click here to read the article. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-gunmaker-gc-precision-developments-bid-for-victoria-police-shut-down-20160608-gpe2r1.html

Number of registered guns not the issue, it’s the guns we don’t know about

There are nearly 200,000 registered gun owners in Queensland sharing 800,000 weapons, figures obtained by Fairfax Media reveal.

But one UQ academic said it is not the number of guns registered that is concerning, but the number of guns police do not know about.

Professor Ross Grantham from UQ law school, who is a registered gun owner himself, said the number of registered weapons was not surprising.

“If you think of golfers for example,” he said.

“When they go out on the course they will take however many clubs in a bag they need to perform different things.

“It’s the same for shooters, you might have a .22 rifle for one thing then a pistol for Olympic style pistol matches and you might have a different weapon for practical shooting matches.

“It’s not unreasonable to think that a person might have four per licence.”

Outside sporting shooters, there are also people who keep weapons for other reasons.

“There’s a lot of heirloom firearms out there, and people tend not to sell firearms,” he said.

“Selling them isn’t entirely straightforward because of the way the deals have to be brokered through police.”

Professor Grantham said firearm licence holders have to be among the most law-abiding citizens in the country, so concerns held about the number of weapons held by registered licence holders were unfounded.

“A licensed firearm owner is one of the safest people in the community,” he said.

“They are subject to rigorous background checks and any infringement can result in their license being revoked.

“A couple of high-range speeding offences or a drink-driving offence and their license will be gone.”

And despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the world, it remains a mystery exactly how many unlicensed firearms are in the community.

“So much of the regulatory impost is on this very safe group (of licensed owners),” Professor Grantham said.

“But there’s so many in the criminal world that nobody knows anything about.

“Police don’t know how many (guns) there are or who has them or how they are getting into the country.”

Even the buy back in 1996 failed to ensure the country was clear of unlicensed weapons.

“There are rumours that circulate that after the 1996 buy back only a fraction of the guns out there were ever identified,” Professor Grantham said.

“There are a lot of guns in the wrong hands but there are also a lot of unregistered firearms out there in backyards and cupboards that nobody knows about.”

Of the 184,000 licencees in Queensland police only found 143 of them to be non-compliant with the requirements to hold a licence in the 2014/15 financial year.

Just 22 charges were laid in the same period.

Article written by Nathanael Cooper. 6/7/16 at 9.390pm. Article first appeared on the Brisbane Times website. Read the full article here: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/number-of-registered-guns-not-the-problem-its-the-guns-we-dont-know-about-20160706-gq035v.html

Qld Government Weapons Consultation Forum Members Announced

Shooters Union Queensland has serious concerns about changes to gun laws that could restrict your rights, and even result in the confiscation of guns you legally own. Changes to Australia’s gun laws, including who may own firearms, what types, and for what reasons, are being considered as part of a review of the National Firearm Agreement.

As president of Shooters Union Queensland, I wanted to let you know of our fears, and let you know what you can do about it.

Why is this important?

Australia’s gun laws are set state-by- state. They’re designed to be consistent, so politicians from each State and Territory meet to discuss changes, usually to make firearm ownership more restricted, and the red tape more challenging.

The State and Federal Governments are discussing and reviewing the National Firearms Agreement, but they have been doing it behind closed doors. After advocating directly to the Minister’s office, and publicly, Shooters Union Queensland has now been invited to sit on the State Government’s Weapons Consultation Forum.

This is a good first step.

What do we know?

  • The State and Federal Governments met in April to discuss legislative changes to the National Firearms Agreement;
  • Lever action shotguns, such as the Adler shotgun, may be reclassified to severely restrict their availability to law abiding firearm owners;
  • Plans to restrict farmers owning handguns, used for the humane destruction of livestock, and pest management, are being considered;
  • Senior police officers and Ministers from different States and Territories have been discussing banning pump action centrefire firearms since 2005;
  • Any restriction in the type of firearm you are allowed to legally own would mean handing in your existing, legally acquired firearm.

As members of the forum, we will be asking for the details about these recommendations, and what other steps are being considered. We will keep you informed, and advocate for sensible legislation governing the licensing, usage and storage of firearms.

How does this review work?

The steps to change gun laws are quite simple.

  1. State Governments submit their proposed changes to the firearms laws to be considered by all states;
  2. The states agree on what changes should be made nationally;
  3. The changes are implemented at a state level.

We encourage you to let your friends, family members and colleagues know about these changes, and let them know how they can have their voice heard. Get them to join Shooters Union Queensland, today.

As law abiding firearm owners, we cannot risk being ignored yet again.

 

Time for serious thought

They came for our gunsFirst they came for the military type semi-autos but that didn’t affect me because I didn’t need them…

Then they came for all semi-auto centrefire and rimfire rifles and even shotguns in 1996, but that didn’t affect me either as I was happy to hunt with my old Winchester 30-30, so I remained silent…

Then they came for the handguns in 2002 and banned magazines over 10 rounds, barrels shorter than 127mm and restricted calibres over .38, but that didn’t bother me either as I wasn’t into pistol shooting…

Then they came for rifles that cosmetically looked like anything that was a semi-auto, even if it was a manually operated straight-pull, so they took all rifles with pistol grips, adjustable stocks and anything else that was black in appearance, but I still felt safe because I knew they couldn’t possibly take my old Winchester 30-30, so I said nothing…

Then they came for bolt-action, pump-action and lever-action rifles that had magazines over 10 or 15 rounds, but I knew I was still alright with my guns…

Then they came for rifles with calibres over 308 because they were regarded as powerful sniper rifles and no-one needed them, but still that didn’t affect me either, so I remained silent…

Then they came for lever-action shotguns and took them away under the catch phrase of “rapid fire weapons” but thankfully I still got to keep my 30-30…

Then they came for all lever and pump-action rifles because they fell into the emotional definition of “rapid fire weapons” so I finally had to say goodbye to my beloved rifle that represented the only last memories I had of my dad when he was alive as we used to go on hunting trips with this rifle. I asked other shooters for help but everyone was running scared, hanging on to their bolt-action rifles, so nothing was said…

Then they came for the remaining pistols, starting with disarming the farmers and occupational shooters, then removing them from sports shooters. I didn’t worry too much because I still had my bolt-action 22 that no-one could ever take from me…

Then they came for the double-barrel and single-barrel shotguns because they were too powerful in the hands of civilians but that didn’t affect me and my bolt-action 22, so I remained silent…

Then they came for the last of them, the bolt-action rimfire and centrefire rifles, saying we have to do this to ensure public safety, there is no other way and justifying their actions because of a criminal who held up a service station using an unregistered, cut down bolt-action rifle.

I tried to speak out but it was too late, we had all been taken apart little by little and our numbers were no more for our voice to be heard. Instead of standing together, when the pistols were being confiscated, the rifle and shotgun shooters all ran into hiding laughing with each other, just happy that it wasn’t them that were being targeted. But then came their turn and the pistol shooters weren’t going to help the shotgun and rifle shooters, so we all eventually lost all firearms little by little, piece by piece as the years went on…

I wish I could share with you my boy, the days that your granddad and I used to go hunting and bring home a freshly butchered deer. The whole family would sit round the dinner table enjoying beautiful cuts of venison back straps with fresh vegetables from the garden. I wish I could share with you the experience of going out with your first 22 and taking a rabbit for the evening meal, but I can’t as we were all disarmed many years ago now…

Don’t make this the story that you’re telling your children in the future, don’t be the last Australian shooter. You can do something to stop this from happening, speak up, get involved and for the sake of your children’s future and all law-abiding gun owners, make your vote count this coming election!!!

Source: Ozzie Reviews

Bill Byrne adopts a no comment policy to weapons licencing issue

This article first appeared on Queensland Country Life Website. 30/5/16 at 11.00am. Written by Sally Cripps. To read and comment on this article on Queensland Country Life Website, please click here.

After recent comments in state Parliament painting primary produces as rednecks – “the lone cowboy with the pistol strapped to the hip” – Police Minister Bill Byrne has gone very quiet.

As reported in a story broken by Queensland Country Life here, Mr Byrne told Parliament the “idea of the lone cowboy, with the pistol strapped to the hip as an effective weapon in an agricultural application, simply doesn’t cut it with me”.

It was a remark that has sparked outrage amongst the state’s grazing and farming fraternities, as documented in our article on the subject last week.

Mr Byrne further claimed he had had “genuine conversations with leaders of the agricultural community” on the issue, but this has been refuted by AgForce and raised a storm of questions from the general public.

Despite repeated requests by Queensland Country Life to speak with Mr Byrne to clarify his comments, he has declined to speak with us.

Chief amongst questions raised is that Mr Byrne has misled Parliament by giving the impression he had the ear of AgForce on such a sensitive issue.

Commentators on the Queensland Country Life Facebook page ask if this is an act of contempt.

AgForce president Grant Maudsley has denied having any prior meaningful conversation with the Minister, telling Queensland Country Life here that “Mr Byrne should come out and consult with the ‘cowboys’ he talks about,” stating that the “humane death of an animal is just as valid a purpose as recreational use, if not more so.”

The anomaly of pistol ownership being sanctioned for sport and forbidden for practical use was one of the inconsistencies that left Mr Maudsley speechless.

Mount Isa MP Rob Katter, whose questioning in Parliament resulted in Mr Byrne’s inflammatory comments, has said they’ve resulted in a perception that primary producers claims won’t be given a fair hearing at any future forum discussion.

Mr Byrne said at the time that “the Queensland Police Service and I have serious reservations about the voracity of the claim and the argument presented,”, which Mr Katter said undermined any sense of impartiality for the new weapons forum, before it had even started.

“The minister clearly does not appreciate the reasons for pistol use or have any concern for landowners on isolated rural properties,” Mr Katter said. “To simply deny licenses because of personal beliefs is shocking, and highly irresponsible.”

Mr Byrne told Parliament that further representations on the subject would be taken when the new weapons forum was convened, and these would be tested “in a credible fashion”, but how these would be tested hasn’t been able to be established.

On the subject of the new weapons consultation forum announced by Mr Byrne, he has only stated that it will be in place by the end of June, not how its representatives will be chosen nor what its terms of reference will be.

Labor’s War on Farmers

Forget a “Fair Go” –  in a seeming total lack of good economic sense the current Queensland Government seems hell bent on attacking and damaging anything agricultural and regional in our state. Despite the fact that regional Queensland generates considerable income and is the primary caretaker of our natural environment.

First our state government introduces a new vegetation management act which will effectively make all Queensland landowners guilty until proven innocent in areas of tree management.  Key agricultural group Agforce estimates the new legislation could potentially cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars over time.

Closer to home for Shooters Union Queensland is the fact that over the past 18 months we have seen a marked rise in rural member complaints relating to firearms licencing issues.

There is a clear pattern of discrimination against primary producers. Our primary producers make up the largest occupational user group of firearms and have been discriminated against in a number of ways including:

  • It has become routine for applicants for any sort (even just for Cat A&B) of primary producer licence to be denied based on them having other income streams.
  • Applications and renewals of Cat H (handgun) licenses for primary producers are being denied almost every time. The reasoning behind the refusal is referring to outdated and ambiguous codes of conduct regarding the destruction of feral animals despite Cat H firearms’ consistent practical application in agriculture over a long period with very few issues.
  • Applications and renewals for Cat C & Cat D (semi-automatic rimfire and shotgun and centrefire semi-automatic) being denied/rejected based on almost any reason available.
  • Primary producers being encouraged over the phone to “voluntarily” surrender licenses and firearms to avoid a “black mark” against them. Some of these calls would seem to be in direct contravention of police rules against offering either inducements or threats and could possibly result in complaints against officers/employees to the ethical standards department of Queensland Police Service.

The current legislation allows for the occupational use of firearms by primary producers. The increase in feral animal populations and damage being done to our environment by feral pests makes it impossible for primary producers to protect their livelihood without the sensible use of a firearm.

It is estimated feral animals cause over $720 million per year in damages Australia wide and yet the very people working to minimize this damage are being harassed and discouraged by the very governments which should be encouraging and supporting them.

Shooters Union supports our friends in agriculture who use firearms every day. We encourage our members to show their support whenever possible as well.

We would like to sincerely thank Rob Katter and the entire Katter Australia Party for their support of agriculture and firearm owners.

CLICK HERE to listen to what our current Police Minister (and former Primary Production Minister) Bill Byrne really thinks about farmers and firearms.

Gun control laws – the biggest con job in our nation’s history

Article written by: Carlo Di Falco Tasmanian Mercury May 6, 2016 12:01am

The Port Arthur tragedy is not now mentioned without referring to banning the Adler lever-action shotgun.

While no one denies what happened at Port Arthur was an unprecedented tragedy, Norway had a massacre in 2011 that claimed 77 lives and yet there was no gun buyback or tightening of their gun laws. There has not been a repeat despite citizens having access to the same types of firearms used by Anders Brievek and Martin Bryant.

Read the full story and comments here: Click here

Alan Jones Interviews LDP federal Senator David Leyonhjelm on Gun Laws

Finally some common sense is being talked on one of the most popular radio programs in Australia. Listen to this 9 minute interview on Radio 2GB with NSW Federal Senator David Leyonhjelm about our gun laws, and why they are not as effective as claimed.
David is the strongest, most rational voice that firearm owners have ever had in the Federal Senate, in fact take a listen to this interview and seriously look at (if you live in NSW) voting for LDP senator Leyonhjelm in the upcoming federal election. This is a guy who richly deserves any and all support all gun owners can give him.
Take a listen and decide for yourself, so refreshing to hear some reality after the delusions and distortions of most of the mainstream media. Thank you Alan Jones for this interview.
Link to interview:
https://www.2gb.com/audioplayer/172961

UPDATE #1 – Exposed! Secret Police Review of Weapons Act!

A Lot Has Happened in the Last Two Weeks!

The graphic above outlines what the AG’s department said about the Adler, despite what they were told by the ACC and the AFP.

Why did they say that?

And yet they still want to ban the 7 shot Adler at the COAG meeting next month (and probably a lot more we don’t yet know about!)

Write to your local Queensland and Federal Senators and ask them why!

UPDATE #1 – Exposed! Secret Police Review of Weapons Act!

Despite our best efforts, and the efforts of others including the KAP MP’s, the Queensland Government has steadfastly refused to reinstate the Firearms Advisory Committee, or to consult with firearms groups who will be directly affected by this secret review of the Weapons Act and Regulations.

Some of the activity Shooters Union has been involved in behind the scenes:

  • We have been meeting with politicians from the Qld Opposition, and the cross benches, seeking assistance to shine a light on this secret review
  • Graham Park has participated in several regional media interviews about the review
  • Queensland Country Life will be doing an article about the current WLB issues affecting farmers, and using some of our input
  • With Rob Pyne resigning from the Labor Party, the balance of power in the Queensland Parliament has well and truly shifted!
  • We have met with the Qld Opposition to promote our “Steal a gun, go to jail” initiative targeting firearms thieves
  • We have written to the Police Minister and the head of Weapons Licensing Branch asking for information about the Weapons Act review, and have been met with stony silence
  • We have been invited to participate in an SBS Insight show later in March – we’ll let you know when it’s going to air

So – there is an enormous amount of activity going on to present a voice of reason in this review

But we still need your help.

Please – email your local Qld MP, and your Local federal MP’s and Senators, and tell them (politely) that you insist on being consulted prior to any changes being made ot the Qld Weapons Act and Regulations, and also the National Firearms Agreement

You can use our easy-to-navigate Politicians contact page on our website here.

Please write to them now – time is short. The COAG meeting happens early next month!

It’s time to close the door on Firearm Theft

Criminals who steal firearms not only break the law, but risk their lives and the lives of law-abiding firearm owners.

We’re putting together real life case studies, to help change the current laws surrounding Firearm Theft. But we NEED your help!

Have you or someone you know been the victim of firearm theft?
What should the penalty be?

Please tell us more…

Please note: We respect your privacy. Your details will not be published without your permission.

Firearm Theft Case Studies