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Channel 9 Code of Practice Complaint

We refer to a Nine News broadcast on May 24, 2019, as seen from 6pm on Channel Nine in Brisbane and elsewhere in Australia, regarding a dispute over the legality of a (presently legal, pending QCAT proceedings) self-loading firearm in Queensland known as the Wedgetail WFA- 15-01.

Multiple promotions for this segment on Nine News, both online and during the broadcast itself, described these legally obtained self-loading firearms, owned by licensed and vetted people, as “looking like a machine-gun”, “firing like a machine-gun”, and “killing like a machine-gun” and
referred to it as a “murder weapon”.

The promotions further said they were “Available to Queenslanders”, with a clear implication they could be purchased over the counter in the same way one might purchase a cricket bat or a tennis racquet, when this is not true – the firearm in the story, as indeed all guns, are heavily restricted.

The promotions for the segment were an appalling insult to the approximately 200,000 licensed gun owners in Queensland and we contend it breached sections 3.3 and 3.4 of Commercial TV Code of Practice 2018, relating to accuracy and fairness in news reporting.

The promotions were inaccurate on numerous counts, including the outright lie that the gun in question looks and fires like a machine-gun; they guns mentioned in the story are incapable of full automatic fire, being self-loading and restricted to 10 shots in the magazine.

The footage promoting the news segment was misleading, using clips of fully automatic weapons (which are illegal to own in Australia), and also not in any way representative of the gun in the story. Some of these clips appeared in the story as well, in reference to the AR-15 rifle (which is
also not capable of full automatic fire and is so heavily restricted as to be effectively banned in Australia).

It is extraordinarily offensive to describe legitimately owned firearms – NONE of which have ever been used in a crime of any kind in Queensland – as “Murder weapons”, and as Nine News is not a current affairs show, we do not consider the exemptions for these types of programmes, as described in section 3.4.3 of the Code, to apply.

The promotions for this story have not only caused further damage to the constantly assaulted image of law-abiding firearms users across Australia, they have lowered the esteem in which the profession of journalism is held by many members of the public – there were more than 1,100 comments on this Facebook piece promoting the story at time of writing, all of which appear to be slamming Channel Nine.

We would like to see multiple retractions of these promotions, prominently declaring the guns in the story are NOT machine-guns, do NOT work like machine-guns, and that lawfully held firearms are NOT murder weapons.
Please feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Park
President, Shooters Union Australia

WA joins the ranks of ineffective firearm registries

ANOTHER damning state auditor-general’s report regarding the huge problems facing a state firearms registry has been handed down, with Western Australia in the firing line this time – and one of the country’s pre-eminent peak bodies says it’s further proof firearm registration doesn’t work.

The Firearms Controls Audit, issued by WA auditor-general Caroline Spencer earlier this week, took aim at “control and functionality weaknesses” in the state’s licensing and registration (L&R) system, finding it “does not effectively support the entity to carry out its licensing and compliance activities” and “does not currently provide the functionality required to help police effectively regulate firearms”.

“The L&R system has a number of control and functionality weaknesses around data input, logging and monitoring of data access, authorisation for approving licences, system access and reporting,” the report said.

“These create a risk to the integrity, reliability and completeness of information in the system, and limit Police’s ability to measure, report and evaluate its regulatory performance.”

The audit uncovered examples of staff using their own spreadsheets to manage data including licence applications and deceased estate firearms, and that the system had a “limited ability to extract reliable information” including on basic information like the total number of firearms in WA.
Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said once again, Australians were being presented with clear and unequivocal evidence that firearms registries were not fit for purpose and had no community safety benefit.

“First it was NSW, now WA – two states with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, found this year alone to have firearms registries which are not fit for purpose,” he said.

“Registries make people feel safer, but they achieve nothing in the real world. The police know who has a gun licence, therefore they know who has a gun. In fact, I gather police response protocols are generally to assume a firearm is present at an incident, which makes the specifics of what guns someone has irrelevant anyway.

“Make no mistake, we fully support the licensing and background checks of firearms owners – but maintaining an expensive, inaccurate and essentially useless firearms registry is an irresponsible waste of taxpayer’s money with no proven public safety benefit.

“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: The money and resources being used to fund and maintain firearms registries should immediately be diverted to frontline police to help them focus on keeping our streets safe and dealing with serious crimes against people.”

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

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

Is your vote funding Anti-Gunners?

Don’t let your vote pour $$ into the election fund of anti-gun political parties. Discover the hidden agenda’s of the major parties to take our guns – and take an unbiased look at who you could vote for instead. Remember if you care about your rights as a law abiding firearm owner, always put the Greens & the majors last

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.

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:


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:

Remember: Your vote matters. Use it wisely!

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.”

NSW Government intends to destroy irreplaceable ANZAC legacy

THE NSW State Government is openly disrespecting Australia’s heritage, military history and sacrifices, requiring one of Australia’s world-renowned museums to essentially destroy about 70 per cent of its collection.

An amendment to the state’s already draconian firearms legislation was quietly signed off on in 2017, requiring museums to weld up all handguns, pump-action shotguns and self-loading and automatic firearms held in their collections.

The Lithgow Small Arms Museum houses a vast array of firearms manufactured at the iconic factory, covering the entire history of Australian military and sporting arms production from 1912 to the present day. It also has an extensive collection of other military and civilian firearms, including the acclaimed Ron Hayes handgun collection.

Lithgow-manufactured rifles and machine-guns have equipped Australian soldiers in every conflict from WWI to the current situation in the Middle East, and examples of these guns – including numerous irreplaceable prototypes – are on display at the museum.

The amendment to the legislation, which previously allowed museums to have temporarily inoperable restricted guns (such as by removing firing mechanisms, making them unable to be used), was signed off with no fanfare and the first that museums found out it about was when a
museum in the state’s north recently had its guns seized for not complying with the new regulations.

The Lithgow Small Arms Museum is widely regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent firearms museums and about 70 per cent of its substantial collection falls under the requirements of the new regulation.

Rendering guns permanently inoperable requires their barrels and moving parts to be thoroughly welded up, essentially destroying the gun and turning it into a paperweight.

Pre-eminent peak body Shooters Union Australia has slammed the new rules, with president Graham Park calling them “a bloody disgrace” that spits on the legacy and sacrifices of Australia’s diggers.

“I am beyond appalled that the NSW government would think it’s even remotely reasonable to require world-famous museums to effectively destroy nearly three-quarters of their collection because of political correctness,” he said.

“Lithgow-made arms have equipped Australian soldiers since WWI and the government decision to effectively destroy these pieces of history spits on the Anzac legacy and disrespects everyone who has ever donned an Australian military uniform.”

“No-one wants to visit a museum full of welded-up metal that’s lost its historical value, so this regulation could spell the end of not just Australian icons like the Lithgow Small Arms Museum, but smaller arms museums throughout the state too.

“The flow-on effects for local communities could be disastrous.” Shooters Union is encouraging anyone with an interest in Australian or military history to e-mail the NSW Department of Justice firearms@justice.nsw.gov.au) to express their concern about the regulations and their impact on Australia’s heritage.

This continued disrespect and outright hatred of shooters from the current NSW Government is no surprise to us, of course – premier Gladys Berejeklian has openly made a number of anti-gun and anti-shooter comments of late – but the fact a state government apparently cannot
differentiate between priceless artefacts of Australia’s story and scary things that hurt lefty feelings is extraordinarily concerning indeed.

Politics, Lies & Dubious Connections

Shooters Union President, Graham Park talks about the NSW election, the newly-announced federal election, the false Gun Control Australia report into Guns in Australia and the dubious connections of the “independent” Australia Institute.

Weapons Licencing Verification System online now

WEAPONS Licensing Branch have launched a helpful new online tool which instantly provides a validity report on a Queensland firearms licence.

You can access the tool here

The online licence verification tool allows a user to enter a firearms licence number and expiry date, and will confirm if it is still valid or has been suspended.

While the new tool does not take the place of sighting a physical licence card, but should still prove useful for licensed gun dealers as well as regular shooters wanting to ensure a licensed friend is still properly authorised before lending them a firearm.

This is a step forward for Queensland and it is good to see WLB continuing to implement 21 st century technology in its firearms reporting systems.