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What they say about Gun Registries….

Firearm registration systems are commonly introduced more for political reasons than for practical purpose and it seems inevitable that they are doomed to fail. Here are a few observations on the worth of firearm registration systems. We have been unable to find a researched quote in favour.

“It seems just to be an elaborate system of arithmetic with no tangible aim. Probably, and with the best of intentions, it may have been thought, that if it were known what firearms each individual in Victoria (Canada) owned, some form of control may be exercised, and those who were guilty of criminal misuse could be readily identified. This is a fallacy, and has been proven to be the case.” Research Branch of the Canadian Library of Parliament P.5.

“There is no evidence to suggest there is any relationship between the registration of firearms and their control.”
NZ Police Support Services Directorate 1982 P.4.

“After considering the huge costs and inconveniences of gun-registration systems when used as a form of gun control, as well as the total absence of any corresponding evidence of social benefits resulting from the systems – for example, in reducing gun crime, improving crime resolution, or identifying and convicting criminals. On the contrary, we have seen how gun registration – in every single country studied – consistently generates the same consequences. Derek Bernard, The folly of gun registration.

“There is little evidence that a registration system would be instrumental either in solving serious crimes involving firearms or in preventing them.” NZ Police Operations Support Group 1996 P.8.

“I would therefore recommend that Firearms Registration be forthwith abolished, and together with the Firearms Consultative Committee a far reaching, effective and proper system of education be introduced as a pre-requisite to the obtaining of a shooter’s licence.” Report on the Firearms Registration System in Victoria (Australia) by Chief Inspector A. Newgreen (Registrar of Firearms) P.8, para 28.

“While registration will not aid the tracing of stolen or illegal guns as those in possession, e.g. criminals/gangs, will remove the identification. It will create a black market for stolen and unregistered firearms thus placing far greater numbers of untraceable guns into the hands of criminals.” Mr Michael Reeves, Chairman, New Zealand Council of Licensed Firearm Owners. (Incoming, Oct 1998 P.9)

“Three things are necessary for a firearms registration system to be effective.

  •  All guns must be registered
  •  Criminals must use registered guns
  •  Registration must be kept in order and up to date

None of these three criteria appear to be the case in Australia, or elsewhere.” Ted Drane, past National President of the SSAA, 1994

International Recognition for Shooters Union

Shooters Union is an international affiliate of the United States NRA (National Rifle Association). This affiliation fits well with the Union’s main role to defend the rights of law abiding firearm owners within Queensland and the Nation.

So what does that do for us here in Australia?

Well, it gives us affiliation with the largest, most effective and most recognised shooting organisation in the world. It gives us access to information, training events and competition shoot formats, as well as alignment with many other international pro-firearms rights groups which are also affiliated to the NRA.

This is an important step for your Shooters Union’s growth and ability to develop effective strategies to improve firearms legislation in Qld and across Australia in the future.

Congratulations to our Treasurer Jan Linsley who has worked tirelessly to make this affiliation happen.

We realise that sometimes it does not look like much is happening on the SU front, but be assured that the growing management committee are hard at work behind the scenes developing and improving our services as well as developing relationships with firearms friendly politicians across the country.

Let’s all work together to make Qld and Australia a better place for legal firearms owners. As one of the safest and most law abiding groups in the country, you deserve respect from our political representatives and police forces everywhere and we are working to make sure you get it.

What’s more important, Guns or People?

We are continually subjected to inflated newspaper claims that Howard’s ill-considered gun registration has done so much to reduce gun crime that we forget the other aspects to the 1996 gun laws, such as formalised gun safety courses which are a prerequisite to getting a gun licence, the police checks and built in restrictions on violent offenders obtaining a registered firearm.

Dr. Samara McPhedran PhD, in one of her meticulously researched papers considers which part of the gun laws has had the most positive impact, the laws affecting guns, or the laws affecting people.

Click through to Samara’s paper in The ‘Conversation’

The world’s largest army…

A blogger in the US added up the deer license sales in just a handful of American states and arrived at a striking conclusion:

In 2010 there were over 600,000 hunters that hunting season in the state of Wisconsin. Put another way, over the season’s several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world with more people under arms than in Iran, more than in France and Germany combined.

These men and women deployed to the woods of a single American state to hunt with firearms, and no one was killed.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan’s 700,000 hunters, all of whom have now returned home.

Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and don’t forget the 1,169,667 in Texas, so it literally establishes the fact that the hunters of those five states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.

The point?

America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower.

Hunting — it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.

In Australia, individual ‘skill at arms’ was alive and well until the beginning of the eighties and, with the final nail being driven into the coffin lid in 1996, rifle shooting was a sought after and encouraged skill enjoyed on weekends by thousands of patriotic Australians from within and under the Defence Act.

These proud riflemen formed the core of the two all-volunteer lead elements in the WWI and WWII 1st and 2nd AIF, both of which performed magnificently in battle at the beginning of each war.

Where would we find enough skilled marksmen today?

Spotlight on camoflage gear

When Samuel Long wore camouflage gear while hunting on Stewart Island, he made it harder for other hunters to see him.

But the deer he was stalking were unlikely to have noticed his clothing, whether camo or bright orange.

New Zealand Deerstalkers Association president Bill O’Leary said deer are colour blind. He urged hunters to wear high visibility orange or blue so it was easier for other hunters to identify them.

Long, 24, was accidentally shot during a hunting trip on the island on March 23. Both men, who police said were about 20 metres apart, were wearing camouflage gear.

A purpose of camouflage gear was to conceal a hunter’s outline which was a problem for those hunters trying to identify their targets, he said.

The purpose of wearing brightly coloured high visibility clothing was to make individual hunters more recognisable to other hunters.

However, O’Leary stressed the responsibility remained with the hunter to identify his target, no matter what the other person was wearing.

Condensed from an article in The Southland Times daily newspaper. Read the full article here

Government curtailing Liberties by Stealth

Liberal Democratic Party Press Release Tuesday 28th July 2015

Media ReleaseLiberal Democrat Senator for NSW David Leyonhjelm has condemned the temporary ban on Adler lever action shot guns the Prime Minister announced on the weekend.

The Adler A110 lever action shotgun was to be imported into Australia next month, but has now been banned until a review of the National Firearms Agreement is complete.

Critics say access to so-called ‘rapid fire firearms’ should be restricted further or banned altogether. Meanwhile, firearm owners point out lever action firearms are legal under the National Firearm Agreement and have been continuously available in Australia for well over a hundred years.

‘This ban was introduced without any consultation with the importer, shooting organisations or any of Australias 800,000 licenced firearm owners. This is an affront to liberal policies and will inevitably cost the government votes,” said Senator Leyonhjelm.

‘No evidence has been presented that lever action firearms post any more risk than firearms currently available. This is simply an attack on the rights of law abiding firearms owners and is driven by fanatical gun haters. ‘

‘When I met recently with the Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, I was assured there would be no material changes to the National Firearms Agreement and that firearm owners were being regularly consulted. The plan to suspend the importation of the Adler shotgun and the lack of consultation conflicts with the assurances given to me. ‘

‘If these ill-informed changes are introduced, I have no choice but to view this as a breach of faith on the part of the government.”

Lever Action – the New DEMON Gun

Many of you may have read or viewed disturbing media reports over the past week on how Victorian Police are “concerned” about a new “rapid fire” lever action shotgun about to be released for sale in Australia. As expected these reports have been followed by calls in the media and by various “experts” and officials for a rethink (read new gun grab) on Australian gun laws.

At Shooters Union we have been aware of a disturbing trend appearing over the past year. First a rumour here and a dropped word there from someone in a meeting. We were hesitant to bring it to our members because, to be honest, every single official that was approached denied there were any plans afoot to change legislation regarding certain types of firearms.

OOPS, now it appears these same people are coming out from their dark little corners because they think a modern lever action shotgun can be used to make the public fearful enough to push even more non-effective restrictions on you, the legitimate law-abiding firearm user.

In a nutshell, this is what we have been hearing over the past year or so:

Various state police officials in several states, have been working together with a shadowy group that operates under the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Office (Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group) on various firearm related issues and one that has been repeatedly raised has been the concept of heavily restricting “Manually Operated Rapid Fire Weapons” MORFW (surely only a government department could even imagine such a title).

MORFW’s include the following:

•  All lever action firearms (rifle/shotgun)

• ALL pump rifles (pump action shotguns already heavily restricted)

• Straight pull bolt action rifles with detachable magazines

The basic proposal is that MORFW’s should be reclassified as Category C firearms, as is currently done for self loading rimfire rifles and shotguns and pump action shotguns. This means that 95% of shooters could not own or use them!

BUT, here is the good news. To accomplish this the Federal government would have to get ALL Australian state governments to agree to change their legislation.

This will be hard to do as most state governments have ZERO interest in changing these laws and going through all the massive political fight that will come with such proposals (I am hoping you are in the fight right alongside us).

So that is exactly why you are now seeing very carefully dropped articles in media across the country about the new “demon shotgun” that can fire so rapidly and is “deadly” (I guess other 12 gauge shotguns are not deadly??). The people pushing for these outrageous changes need a focus, something to try and gain some support and the lever action shotgun has been picked as the new poster child for “bad gun”.

Leaving aside the inherent idiocy of the whole “good” gun “bad” gun concept we live with in Australia, this new move against what amounts to probably 30-40% of all legally owned firearms is mind numbing.

As firearm owners we need to be united in opposing this concept totally, utterly and completely.

Some facts:

• Lever Action Shotguns have been around since the 1880s, and newmodels have been selling well in Australia for a number of years without problems.

• Lever action rifles are the second most popular action type in Australia and have been selling here since the 1870s.

• All firearms are safe in the right hands.

We will be keeping you informed of any developments in this area, and in fact we are taking it so seriously that in the next week we will announce a major event that Shooters Union will be sponsoring to raise awareness of how we can improve our firearm laws while not making them dumber and less effective.

This will be something you can fully participate in and will, in our opinion be the biggest step by firearm owners since 1996 to get a “fair go” for shooters. So keep watching for some big things VERY soon.

In the meantime, write or talk to your local MPs and let them know your feelings on the issue. The only way these laws will get through is if you and your shooting friends say nothing and do nothing.

Link to Queensland MP’s:


The Folly of Gun Registration – Part 1

The “folly of gun registration” articles are reprinted here with the kind permission of the author, Derek Bernard, firearms researcher, shooter and businessman based on the Island of Jersey. The opening article is actually the sixth in the series and is the most relevant to Australia. This article originally appeared in Gun Trade World Magazine

Derek Bernard wrote what follows after considering the huge costs and inconveniences of gun-registration systems when used as a form of gun control, as well as the total absence of any corresponding evidence of social benefits resulting from the systems – for example, in reducing gun crime, improving crime resolution, or identifying and convicting criminals.

On the contrary, we have seen how gun registration – in every single country studied – consistently generates the same consequences.


The 1989 murder of Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester.

At the time of Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester’s death he was heavily involved in a complex and long-running investigation into the Mafia controlled production and distribution of cannabis.

On the evening of January 10th 1989, as he was parking his car, he was shot twice in the head at very close range with a .22 Ruger 10/22 rifle.

Police attempted to call in every registered .22 Ruger 10/22 rifle – and succeeded with 60,000 of them – for forensic examination. None of them matched the murder bullets.

The process involved:

  • Extracting details of those 10/22 rifles from a manual card system with millions of entries.
  • Contacting the registered owners to try to confirm current ownership and whereabouts.
  • Arranging for collection and delivery to forensic laboratories. Forensically testing the rifles.
  • Returning the rifles to their owners.

Naturally, all those 10/22 rifles that had never entered the registration system, as well as those for which the record cards were missing or did not contain accurate address details were not examined.

The author has never seen a published police estimate of the total cost of this procedure. His crude estimate is that it would likely have cost an average of at least AUD$300 per rifle; if so, the total cost would have been about AUD$18 million.

The 1989 to 1992 ‘Backpacker’ Murders

Once more, a major focus was applied to the type of rifle used, the Ruger 10/22.

Possibly not trusting the registration system, perhaps through the lack of useful results from the similar Winchester investigation, despite the huge investment of resources that had gone into it, this time the police placed multiple advertisements throughout Australia.

Nothing of use came out of these efforts either. The murderer, Ivan Milat, was eventually identified and convicted in 1996 very largely as a result of the evidence following the realisation that a 1993 report by a young British hitchhiker, Paul Onions, of an attack on him in 1990, might provide vital information.


We have considered the history of gun registration in New Zealand, the state of Victoria in Australia, New York City, the whole of the US and, most recently, Canada. In Canada we have seen how the Liberal federal government poured more than C$2.7 billion into its long-gun registry between 1995 and 2010 without producing any identifiable benefits of any sort, before the new Conservative government was able to get agreement to close it earlier this year.

We are painfully familiar with the tendency in all governments to regard the taxpayer’s pocket as an inexhaustible ‘magic money tree’ with which to feed egos, distribute largesse to their favourite groups and pursue irrational fantasies. But familiarity should not breed sad resignation – we should never abandon demanding evidence of real benefits arising from government expenditure.

Previously we looked in some detail at the 1961 murder of housewife Juliet Rowe by Keith Rose in Devon, England, using a Colt ‘Woodsman’ .22 pistol. It was rather a grim illustration of how the very existence of a huge database of gun-registration numbers, collected for more than 60 years – at considerable cost and inconvenience to honest gun owners – led police to consume additional, huge resources in a fruitless, nationwide search for all registered Cold ‘Woodsman’ .22 pistols in every police force in the British Isles.

That process would have consumed hundreds of hours, and all without producing any useful information of any sort – only a further vast quantity of useless data, which probably helped to cloud those lines of investigation that might have been fertile. Rose had passed through the hands of the police in 1981 but, perhaps because police resources were stretched by considering the data from all over the UK on registered pistols, he received little attention.

He was only caught eight years later through the alertness of the victim’s husband and a fingerprint he had left at the scene of the crime. The media often give the impression that the vast quantity of police resource sometimes allocated to the resolution of high-profile crimes is, in and of itself, deserving of congratulation. I suggest that that perception is unsound. I suggest that it is the successful application of skill and judgement in selecting those lines of inquiry that actually lead to the solution of the crime, that warrant society’s thanks and compliments.

Police resources are expensive and finite. Repeatedly consuming large amounts of such resources on lines of inquiry, such as exploring firearm-registration databases, which has a long history of negligible worthwhile results, qualifies for Einstein’s definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

But Britain and Canada are far from alone in their record of sustained waste in this area. It is the norm, while the courage shown by New Zealand and Canada in belatedly ending most of the waste is very rare. Indeed for many years and unholy alliance of dictatorships and ‘big government’ countries at the UN who broadly share a belief that only Big Brother should have guns, not private citizens and have been trying to conclude an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would require every country to waste even larger amounts of resource on registration procedures….

“Three things are necessary for a firearms registration system to be effective.

      • All guns must be registered
      • Criminals must use registered guns
      • Registration must be kept in order and up to date

None of these three criteria appear to be the case in Australia, or elsewhere” Ted Drane, past National President of the SSAA, 1994


Click here to read The Folly of Gun Registration – Part 2

This article originally appeared in the Gun Trade World Magazine


Shooters have Friends in Canberra

Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie and Liberal-Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm are the most outspoken Federal politicians standing up for shooters in our Capital, once referred to as 40 square miles surrounded by reality. Senator Mckenzie, a keen shooter, launched ‘Parliamentary Friends of Shooting’ in March in an effort to raise awareness about sporting and recreational shooting among parliamentarians. Guests of honour were Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallists Michael Diamond and Laetisha Scanlan.

Following the launch, Senator Mckenzie said many members and Senators had expressed interest in joining.

For more information on Parliamentary Friends of Shooting email her at:

Senator David Leyonhjelm is a long time shooter who resigned from the Liberal Party in 1996 in disgust as John Howard’s totalitarian gun laws. Since his election he has taken part in many media interviews, hammering home his strong opposition to the highly ineffective and discriminatory laws.

Senator Leyonhjelm has expressed concern that “some shooters groups have chosen to accept the status quo rather than continue to fight for real reform of the ineffective and destructive firearms laws across the nation”. He encouraged Shooters Union and our members to “keep up the pressure for real reform from your state governments”.

He said “This is something that Shooters Union has been focussed on since inception and needs to keep that focus, rather than trying to ‘go along to get along’ as some groups seem to have done”.

Support your Gun Shops

Like all retailers, our gun shops are now suffering the same erosion of their business by internet buying and the hunt for something cheaper.

To serve our sport, gun shops have to have premises, staff, and they pay taxes, including GST. They also have to maintain registers, pay licensing fees and undergo regular inspections, none of which applies to internet sellers. Their shops hold a continuous supply of sporting needs and all that stock doesn’t come cheap.

A cheap internet buy may give you short term gain but cumulatively may deny you the convenience, service and warranties of your local supplier.

We don’t have many gun shops left and any closure is a tragedy for our sport.

Support the shops that supply your sport. We’d be lost without them.