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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.

Anti-gun hysteria is out of control

MELBOURNE, 1977. A man walks down Little Collins carrying what is clearly a rifle . Nothing happens. No-one is shot, the police are not called, no one freaks out. Even when the man stops and asks people if they notice anything unusual about what he is doing, several appear totally
oblivious to the fact he is carrying a rifle, and most of the others who do notice the gun are totally unbothered by it. As it happens, the ‘gun’ is only a stock and barrel, with no action, but there is no way for anyone on the street to know that – and the result is still the same anyway.

Fast forward 42 years, in the same city. A busker walks into a railway station carrying a didgeridoo in a bag. He practices some breathing exercises before starting his set. Someone sees him, freaks out, calls the police, armed officers show up in force, the entire railway station is
locked down, people are terrified and the Melbourne rail network is plunged into chaos. (See article link)

What the hell happened to us? When did we as a society become so scared of our own shadows that musical instruments warrant an armed police response?

Also concerning is the fact it reportedly took 20 minutes for police to find the allegedly armed person – who, if they had been up to no good would have been long gone by then or already opened fire.

Some of the blame must be directed towards Victoria Police and Metro Rail’s handling of the situation, which almost certainly contributed to the fear, panic and anxiety.

Police said the initial report was that ‘someone had a rifle case on the train heading into the city loop’, so they stopped the train at Flagstaff Station and had Critical Response officers search it.

Stop and think about that for a second. Someone sees a gun bag on a train – not an actual gun being brandished or fired, just a bag – and the correct response is to halt the train and send in armed police?

The unpopular but true reality is that people in Australia are not going to be openly carrying guns in a public place with criminal intent. Someone with a rifle in an obvious gun bag (and a didgeridoo bag looks nothing like a gun bag) is almost certainly either a sporting shooter on their way to or from an event, or a licensed gun owner with a licensed gun doing something like going to or from a gunsmith or gun shop.

Would someone freak out seeing a cricket gear bag on the train? What about someone with a knife roll? So why a rifle? Why was it that 42 years ago no-one cared and now a mere bag warrants a critical response call-out?

The fact someone saw a person going about their peaceful business in a railway station with a bag which might, if you squint at it, have a gun in it and their first reaction was ‘better call the cops because that person is clearly a criminal’ just goes to show how badly demonised law-
abiding shooters are in this country.

As shooters, we deal with it on a daily basis. But when thousands of people have their morning commute halted because someone who had no idea what they were looking at freaked out and no-one further up the response chain apparently said “Hang on, is sending in armed and armoured police really the best way to handle this?”

We need to chill out, calm down, and stop looking for things to be scared or outraged about- and that starts with some education about guns, the shooting sports and the realities of the lucky country we all share.

Guns, Crimes & Politics in Australia

Shooters Union Australia President, Graham Park summarizes the past week, the result of the New South Wales Election, the aftermath of the NZ massacre in Australia, and the systematic bullying online of law abiding firearm owners and what we can do to help instigate change.

Congratulations to SFFP

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

The party has won three seats – Barwon, Murry and Orange – in the Lower House, and Upper House member Rob Borsak has retained his seat too.

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 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.

“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.

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

Get Involved with the NSW Elections

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s an election in NSW on Saturday. 

By now, we’re sure you’ve already made your mind up how you will vote – although our How To Vote guides for the Upper House and Lower House are on our website if you would like some suggestions – so this message isn’t about telling you who to vote for.

Instead, we are asking all shooters, hunters, and friends across NSW to volunteer at a polling booth on Saturday. 

Whether it’s handing out election material for a pro-shooting candidate, helping set up a P&C stall or even that most crucial of tasks, cooking the iconic Democracy Sausage for voters, we are asking you to roll up your sleeves get involved.

We all know the political parties who dislike our sport will have no shortage of volunteers, so this is our chance to get out there and have a visible presence, as well as being involved in the democratic process.

Part of being a responsible shooter is showing the community that we are everyday people, and helping out with a great Australian institution like democratic voting is an excellent way to get involved and put our best foot forward as shooters.

It’ll only take a few hours out of your Saturday morning, but could make a huge difference to the shooting sports and hunting in NSW.

A list of Lower House candidates by electorate can be found here: https://candidates.elections.nsw.gov.au/

Shooters Union Voting Guide – Lower House

There are hundreds of candidates contesting the NSW Lower House in the 2019 election on March 23.This is a crucial election for shooters, gun owners and hunters across NSW and accordingly we are encouraging our members, friends and supporters to vote for either the SHOOTERS
FISHERS AND FARMERS PARTY (SFFP)
or the LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP) candidate in their electorate.

We have listed all the electorates we are aware of with an SFFP or LDP candidate in them, and where there are candidates from both parties, suggested how you might best employ your vote.

NSW has optional preferential voting, so you may number as many candidates as you like. If you do this, we advise you to put the GREENS AND THE ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY last.

If you do not see your electorate listed here, we encourage you to vote for the minor party of your choice first, then the majors, and PUT THE GREENS AND ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY LAST.

BARWON:

1. Roy Butler (SFFP)
2.Andrew Fleisher (LDP)

BATHURST:
1. Brendan May (SFFP)

CLARENCE:
1. Stephen Cansdell (SFFP)

COFFS HARBOUR:
1. Greg Renet (LDP)
2.Stuart Davidson (SFFP)

COOTAMUDRA:
1. Matthew Stadtmiller (SFFP)

DUBBO:
1. Lara Quealy (SFFP)

GOULBURN:
1. Andy Wood (SFFP)
2. Dean McCrae (LDP)

GOSFORD:
1. Larry Freeman (SFFP)

HAWKESBURY:
1. Shane Djuric (SFFP)

HOLSWORTHY:
1. Roland Barber (LDP)

KU-RING-GAI:
1. Mitchell Strahan (LDP)

MAITLAND:
1. Ndarra Sarkis (SFFP)

MONARO:
1. Mick Holton (SFFP)

MURRAY:
1. Helen Dalton (SFFP)

NORTH SHORE:
1. Sam Gunning (LDP)

NORTHERN TABLELANDS:
1. Rayne Single (SFFP)

ORANGE:
1. Phil Donato (SFFP)
2. Steven Bisgrove (LDP)

PENRITH:
1. Rodney Franich (SFFP)
2. Marcus Cornish (Independent)

RYDE:
1. Chris De Bruyne (LDP)

TAMWORTH:
1. Jeffrey Bacon (SFFP)

TWEED: 
1. Ronald McDonald (Sustainable Australia) 

WAGGA WAGGA:
1. Sebastian McDonagh (SFFP)

WOLLONDILLY:
1. Jason Bolwell (SFFP)

UPPER HUNTER:
1. Mark Ellis (LDP)
2. Lee Watts (SFFP)

ATTENTION WILLOUGHBY VOTERS: This is Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s (LNP) seat. There are no outwardly pro-gun candidates that we know of in this seat. Unfortunately, it is also a ridiculously safe LNP seat. Having said that, Ms Berejiklian has made no secret of her hatred of guns and shooters, so we are advising you to PUT HER LAST, followed by the Greens and
Animal Justice Party.

Authorised by Peter Whelan, Shooters Union New South Wales Inc, PO Box 246, Glenorie, NSW 2157

Shooters Union Voting Guide – NSW Upper House

WITH the NSW election coming up on March 23, it has become clear there are two staunchly pro-gun parties contesting the election in the Upper House:

  1. THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP) – led by former Senator David Leyonhjelm.
  2. THE SHOOTERS FISHERS AND FARMERS PARTY (SFFP), led by sitting upper house MP Rob Borsak. Both these parties have the Shooters Union ‘headstamp of approval’ and we are advising all shooters, gun owners, friends and supporters in NSW to vote for the LDP and SFFP in the Upper House.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY are in GROUP O on the Ballot paper
SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS PARTY are in GROUP A on the Ballot paper.

NSW has OPTIONAL PREFERENTIAL VOTING. This means you only need to number the parties you wish to vote for.

VOTE ABOVE THE LINE AND MAKE SURE YOU NUMBER THE LDP and SFFP PARTIES WITH YOUR No. 1 and No. 2 VOTES. If you wish to put SFFP in vote 1 and LDP in vote 2 that is absolutely fine; go right ahead.

You may then vote for as many other parties as you like win whichever order you like, but you do not have to – just make sure you vote 1 and 2 for the LDP and SFFP.

You do not need to keep numbering boxes if you run out of parties you like. If you decide to number every box above the line, PUT THE GREENS AND THE ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY IN THE LAST TWO PLACES.

Unless you are particularly well informed, we would suggest NOT voting below the line – there are more than 345 individual candidates on the ballot and most of them are not openly supportive of firearms the way the LDP and SFFP are.

Authorised by Peter Whelan, Shooters Union New South Wales Inc, PO Box 246, Glenorie, NSW 2157

Anti-gun brigade publicly acknowledge they do not know what current firearms laws are

The anti-gun Australian Gun Safety Alliance (AGSA) has been caught out by Shooters Union in a spectacular gaffe, admitting they don’t appear to know what is in the National Firearms Agreement or what the NSW firearms laws are.

The AGSA made a series of tweets on social media platform Twitter on Monday, March 11 cautioning NSW voters to be wary of pro-gun minor parties and vote carefully to ensure said minor parties “don’t hold the balance of power and wield enormous influence over amendments, additions and changes to legislation designed to appease shooters”, further commenting those previously mentioned smaller parties had “clear policies to undermine the NFA.”

Shooters Union asked AGSA, in all genuineness, if they knew what was actually in the NFA and if they knew what NSW’s firearms laws actually were.

AGSA’s Twitter account replied they were “More concerned about future changes promised by some of the parties”. Shooters Union replied their response did not answer the question, and that it was suggested to AGSA that it was not possible to have an informed opposition or understanding of these matters without a knowledge of the NFA and NSW’s gun laws.

AGSA’s Twitter account replied “respectfully disagree” – an apparent acknowledgement they feel they don’t need to actually know what the guidelines and legislation are around the thing they’re protesting against.

Multiple requests from other Twitter users for AGSA to name the specific policies they had an issue with and why, or to explain how the AGSA could even know the parties were calling for changes if they didn’t know what the current legislation was, went unanswered.

The conversation has been preserved for posterity’s sake via screenshots, some of which are shown here. While Shooters Union is avowedly pro-gun, we absolutely respect the right of people to hold differing opinions on the subject. However, we don’t think it’s too much to ask that people objecting to guns and changes to firearms laws and guidelines actually understand the contents of the National Firearms Agreement and their relevant state’s gun laws before they start opposing our lawful sport and pastime.

Neither of these documents are secret or hard to find – a few seconds with Google will bring them up. Suffice it to say this situation is deeply concerning and something we ask our members and supporters to keep holding the anti-gun brigade to account for.

What does it mean for Shooters Union NSW to be registered as a third-party campaigner?

WHAT IS A THIRD PARTY CAMPAIGNER AND WHY DID SU NSW HAVE TO REGISTER AS ONE?

NSW has legislation (The Electoral Funding Act 2018) which requires “an individual or entity that incurs more than $2,000 in electoral expenditure for a State or local government election in New South Wales… but does not stand as a candidate, and is not a political party, associated entity or an elected member,” to register with the NSW Electoral Commission.

Electoral expenditure is defined as “Expenditure that has the dominant purpose of promoting or opposing a party or candidate/s or influencing the vote at an election.”

Given Shooters Union will be making political statements, potentially including via paid political advertising, that promote or oppose parties and candidates, we felt it safest to register as a Third Party Campaigner to avoid falling afoul of the law.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN REGISTERING AS A THIRD PARTY CAMPAIGNER?

It is a surprisingly complicated process; there is a registration form to be completed and an official agent must also be appointed. An official agent cannot just be anyone – they must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Be enrolled to vote in New South Wales.
  • Successfully complete the NSW Electoral Commission’s Agent Training Programme.
  • Not have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more.
  • Not have been convicted of an indictable offence, electoral offence or offence against the Electoral Funding Act 2018.
  • Not have been convicted as an adult in the last 10 years of an offence involving fraud or
  • dishonesty.

WHO IS THE SU OFFICIAL AGENT FOR THE NSW STATE ELECTION?

SU NSW president Peter Whelan, is the official agent; he has completed all the necessary training, meets all the requirements and is listed as the official agent in the State Register of Third-Party Campaigners here.

WHAT DOES THE OFFICIAL AGENT DO?

According the NSW Electoral commission, an official agent’s legal obligations include:

  • Making payments for electoral expenditure for a third-party campaigner or associated entity from the campaign account of the third-party campaigner or associated entity
  • Maintaining complete and accurate records of political donations and electoral expenditure for a third-party campaigner or associated entity
  • Issuing receipts to those who make a reportable political donation to the third-party campaigner or associated entity (NSW Electoral Commission receipt books must be used.
  • Lodging with the NSW Electoral Commission all required disclosures of political donations made and received and electoral expenditure incurred by the associated entity or third-party campaigner
  • Providing with a relevant disclosure of electoral expenditure a copy of all invoices or receipts and a copy of the advertising or printed material for all electoral expenditure (except copies of advertising or printed material for expenditure for online advertising where a transaction was $20 or less).
  • Accepting political donations made to a third-party campaigner or associated entity and pay those political donations into the campaign account of the third-party campaigner or associated entity

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN IN ENGLISH?

Shooters Union can now make public political statements and take out paid political ads telling shooters who to vote for (or not to vote for) in NSW without breaking the law. At present, we are the ONLY pro-shooting organisation to have done this.

ISN’T THIS THIRD PARTY CAMPAIGNER REGISTRATION THING RATHER COMPLICATED AND POTENTIALLY UNDEMOCRATIC?

We think so, but that is the law and we must follow it – as must anyone else wanting to spend money on political messages during an election in NSW, sadly.

Shooters Union is officially a third party campaigner in NSW

SHOOTERS Union has always been about actively standing up for and representing shooters, and once again we have put our money and energy where our mouth is to make sure NSW shooters can make a difference at the ballot on March 23.

We have jumped through the numerous hoops associated with being registered as a third-party campaigner in NSW and can now confirm Shooters Union NSW is on the official State Register of Third Party Campaigners – meaning we can actively contribute to the political discussion in the state and inform shooters exactly how they should vote if they care about their sport.

This is an important requirement, as NSW has laws governing “an individual or entity that campaigns for a State or local government election in New South Wales but does not stand as a candidate or group, and is not a political party, an associated entity or an elected member.”

Registering as a third-party campaigner ensures we can provide the knowledge shooters across the state need to make an informed decision that will help protect our sport.

At time of writing, Shooters Union is the ONLY pro-shooting organisation that has registered as a third party campaigner for the NSW State election.

As the election gets closer you’ll be hearing more from us on this important subject – but for now, make sure your enrolment details are up to date – and know Shooters Union is committed to fighting for you and making sure shooter’s interests are represented in parliament and at the ballot box.