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.
• 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: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/Members/mailingLists/MEMLIST.pdf