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Tag Archives: firearm legislation

Fair Go for Farmers Rally

Below is an email that was sent by Grant Maudsley, the General President of AgForce, urging farmers and non-farmers to take to the streets in August to protest against the Government’s decisions regarding vegetation management as well as excessive and contradictory regulation. Please help us to support our Regional friends by including a large contingent of Shooters amongst their ranks.

As you would be aware, AgForce has been fighting hard on your behalf against proposed changes to vegetation management laws.

AgForce launched the ‘Fair Laws for Farmers’ campaign to give members an opportunity to get vocal in driving home the message that these ill-conceived laws will drive up food prices, shut down regional development and cost jobs.

Protest rallies in the regions have been generating some great media coverage, billboards have now gone up in key centres and the farmers’ videos we have been uploading on the website HERE and on the AgForce Facebook page have also been very well-received.

We are now preparing to take to the streets of Brisbane to protest against these laws and we want as many people as possible to get involved.

The protest rally we are planning for Brisbane will gather from 12 noon on Thursday 4 August at Queens Park (next to the Treasury Casino) to march from 12.30pm to Parliament House on the corner of Alice and George Streets.

We have chosen this day to coincide with the start of the Ekka – the time of the year that the country comes to the city.

As part of the planning process for the rally, AgForce is booking buses from nearby regional centres such as Kingaroy, Warwick (stopping off at Beaudesert on the way) and Gympie.

We are asking members to please register your interest for a free bus seat online HERE as soon as possible if you would be interested in coming on a bus to take part in the Brisbane rally.

Buses are also currently being considered for SIQ and SW members to depart from either Roma or Toowoomba, and for CQ members departing from Rockhampton.

If you are interested in this, please separately contact SIQ Regional Manager Mel Nobbs on nobbsm@agforceqld.org.au or call 0407 101 773, or contact CQ Regional Manager Sharon Howard on howards@agforceqld.org.au or call 0427 021 370.

We would encourage members to get together a group of people and travel down by car as well.

I’d also like to remind everyone that AgForce has a crowdfunding page to support the ‘Fair Laws for Farmers’ campaign. After some initial technical issues, the page is back up and running and accessible HERE. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far either via the crowdfunding page or directly to AgForce.

Farmers very rarely take to the streets to protest against Government decisions, and this is the first time in AgForce’s history that we have organised a march in Brisbane.

We want as many people as possible to come along and take part so the State Government gets the message that we are fed up, we are angry and we are not going to just meekly accept these changes.

Agriculture has always been one of the bedrocks of the state’s economy, and I firmly believe our industry has a bright future, but we need sensible land management laws if we are to reach our full potential.

This protest rally is all about telling the Queensland Government they can’t keep kicking us around and expect us to take it. Eighteen major changes and 38 amendments to vegetation management laws since 1999 is just ridiculous.

We’re not asking for much – we’re just asking for ‘fair laws for farmers’.

Regards,
Grant Maudsley,
AgForce General President

The Federal Election Fallout

The numbers from the July 2 Federal Election are still trickling in, with close contests and possible recounts in many electorates preventing the official declaration of all results in a timely fashion. With the Coalition claiming victory as the count wraps up, the SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA) department will continue to analyse the political outcome for our recreation and bring our members the latest updates.

Amid the murky election results, one fact remains clear: the Australian Greens party has so far failed in its bid to increase representation in the lower house with just one MP elected – Adam Bandt from central Melbourne – and has even lost at least one senate seat – Penny Wright’s replacement, Robert Simms in South Australia. The party’s aim to substantially increase the usual 10 per cent share of the vote has fallen short and it appears that the Greens party is on track to record its worst Senate result since the 2004 election.

With the Greens’ outrageous firearms policy released in the dying days of the election campaign, the party lost at least one million votes from sporting shooters – and counting. Intertwined with its justice policy, the party revealed what the SSAA-LA already knew: Greens politicians would work to ban all self-loading handguns on the unfounded grounds that this would reduce firearm-related deaths and violent crime. In addition to this, the party would recategorise lever-action shotguns to Category C or D based on magazine size and non-existent public safety issues, and continue to perpetuate the myth that legitimate firearm owners somehow contribute to the threat of terrorism. The Greens party once again proved that it remains untrustworthy and undeserving of shooters’ votes. The election results thus far show fair-minded Australians have turned away from the politicking of the extreme Greens in recent times, with an appetite for change seeing votes directed towards other minor parties.

The final election week also saw a cynical campaign from Gun Control Australia with the unashamed use of Port Arthur murders survivor, Walter Mikac, as its political mouthpiece. The GCA’s advertisements questioning the need for the Adler A110 lever-action shotgun in an attempt to make legal importation and firearms ownership an election issue also failed to gain much traction. The SSAA-LA quickly responded with our own clever graphic, which was shared far and wide, thanks to our proactive members and the power of social media.

Also at time of writing, speculation around which senators will serve the full six-year term versus the three-year term was rife, with many analysts indicating that most of the elected Greens senators would only serve a half-term. This is based on how many first-preference votes are recorded for each candidate, with the Greens already making noises about how this will be decided.

No matter the final results from the July 2 polls, the SSAA-LA will be making contact with many of the newly elected and returned politicians to make representation about our recreation on behalf of our 180,000 members and the wider firearms community. We have already turned our focus to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) pencilled for discussion this month. The ongoing review came to a standstill during the election campaign while the government was in caretaker mode, but we have still been active in ensuring this issue does not become left unresolved for our members.

With tumultuous and uncharted times ahead on the changing federal political landscape, the SSAA-LA will continue our endeavour to protect firearm owners’ interests and communicate our increasing political activities to our growing membership.

This article first appeared on the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia’s website on the 12/7/16. View the full article here: https://ssaa.org.au/news-resources/politics/the-federal-election-fallout

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

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.

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

“Secret” Police Review of ALL Queensland firearm regulations under way for the past year!

URGENT ACTION NEEDED!

As many of you know, over the past year the Queensland government has refused to have any engagement whatsoever with the firearms community, despite significant ongoing efforts by our representatives to build a relationship and engage in open communication.

In the past 48 hours a Shooters Union researcher reviewing parliamentary records has found a clear admission of what we believed (but could not prove until now) was happening.

Documents tabled in parliament by the then-Police Minister in October last year, reveal that Queensland Police have in fact been undertaking a “review” of the Weapons Act and Regulations, with an amendment Act/Regs already well underway by the time that document was tabled.

You can get the full details here – see points 16 to 19:

It now seems most likely that the real reason for the government refusing to engage with us has been so that they could undertake a secret review, without any input or advice from the people who are most affected by those laws and who, as we have seen over the past couple of days, are clearly much more familiar with those laws than the government is.

This is deeply alarming.

If you think this review will be minor and not affect you think again, the last time in 2014 that Queensland Police made even minor recommendations (and this time it is NOT minor) they would have:

  • Allowed an authorised Police officer (no reference to the courts needed) to declare you “not a fit and proper person” simply based on who you know. Example: if a friend or colleague suffered from depression, you could suddenly find yourself declared “not fit and proper” and have your firearms seized. Just like that, no magistrate, no court, just 1 police officer’s say so. (QPS Proposal # 8)
  • Allowed an authorised police officer to have the police commissioner to reclassify virtually any type of firearm, then contact you and force you to surrender that type of firearm without compensation! (QPS Proposal # 26)

This time around the “review” has been deliberately kept very secret and will be far more wide reaching and will drastically affect almost ALL firearm owners, including primary producers and those recreational shooters who assist rural producers by destroying feral animals.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

1/ Contact your local MP and inform them of the situation, request that they seek assurance from the the Premier guaranteeing the following within 7 days:

  • That a firearms stakeholder consultative committee will be formed in QLD immediately (inc groups such as Agforce, SSAA, SUQ and others).
  • That all recommendations by Qld Police relating to any review of the regulations will be shared with that committee for discussion and input before being presented at a federal level or to Qld parliament committees.
  • That the Qld Police minister and police representatives do not agree or sign up to ANY new changes to NFA (national Firearms Agreement) before consulting with and taking input from consultative committee.

PLUS:

  • Contact the Qld Premier directly with your concerns (since it appears the Police Minister is unlikely to respond favourably)
  • Forward this email to every firearm owner you know and encourage them to do the same.
  • Use the postcard we developed (link to PDF) – we are also happy to post members a number of cards for club or shop use + every gun shop in Qld has these postcards as well, encourage them to get them out on the counter.

This is truly one of the most anti-democratic moves we have yet seen ever taken against voters in Qld and we truly need you to act NOW and get onto your local MP (and write to the Premier as well) today.

SUQ will be sending out more information over the coming days on what is happening as fast as we can get it to you.

Remember your local member is actually not even aware this is happening, so they will likely be surprised as well.

YOU need to inform them that this is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

And remember – be polite and stick to the facts!

Are your guns at risk of being reclassified?

We have just been advised that Federal Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, has advised the National Firearms Weapons and Policy Working Group (NFWPWG) to recommend to state and territory Police Ministers that all lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds, be re-classified to Cat D.

There has been much talk about the Adler shotgun being “new technology” and as such very dangerous, requiring a classification which severely restricts its availability to Australian licenced shooters, be they sporting or occupational. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Have a look at this video to see exactly how “new” lever action technology is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VfiqJWqF6M

There will be NO COMPENSATION paid to individuals who already lawfully own lever action shotguns with magazine capacities of greater than 5 rounds if the re-classification goes ahead.

You can go here  to see a statement released by Nioa on behalf of licenced firearms dealers.

Whilst it would be fair to say that there will be relatively few licenced shooters in Australia who will be affected by this change to shotguns only, the significant danger in this move is that this process of re-classification, now that it has been done once, will become the model process for re-classifying more firearms in the future, again with no compensation.

This is clearly the thin end of the wedge!

There have already been reports circulating of consideration to restricting all magazines, pistol or rifle, to a maximum of 5 rounds, and also consideration of re-classifying all pump action firearms, for example the very popular Remington 7600 and 7615, to Cat D as well.

If this happens, these firearms will become illegal to possess under a shooter’s existing Cat B licence, and will either be seized by Police, or be forcibly surrendered to a licenced dealer, with no compensation. However they will be next to worthless in the marketplace because there will be an instant flood of these firearms onto the second hand market, with no-one able to obtain a Cat D licence to buy them.

So what can we do?

Queensland does not have to automatically accept the NFWPWG’s recommendation. So we must all write to our local state member of parliament, and voice our opposition to any such re-classifications. But we have to act fast. The state and territory Police Ministers are meeting on 5th November to consider the NFWPWG’s recommendations – that’s just thirteen days away so we have 13 days to get to our state Members of Parliament in sufficient numbers to convince them that accepting these recommendations will be politically very painful at the ballot box for them.

You can see a list with contact details of all Queensland State MP’s here:

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/members/mailinglists/memlist.pdf

So write to your local member of Queensland parliament, and copy the Premier thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.a for good measure.

And remember, stick to the facts, and keep it polite!

Fighting the good fight for fair gun laws

The Shooters Union Committee
www.ShootersUnion.com.au

NIOA Highlights Ridiculous WA Gun Control Legislation

This is Gun Control Legislation gone mad.
How would you feel when approved gun control legislation for firearm owners in Western Australia, can be declared null and void simply by the whim and opinion of one person? Welcome to WAPOL.

NIOA TV has released a special episode highlighting the ridiculous gun control legislation that allows the Police Commissioner or any authorized representative to deny approval for category B firearms based purely on their appearance.

Queensland boasts similar Gun Control Legislation

Interestingly, similar gun control provisions are in place in Qld as published on the QLD Police website:

a) a self-loading centre fire rifle designed or adapted for military purposes or a firearm that substantially duplicates a rifle of that type in design, function or appearance

Instructions for individuals to lobby the WA Govt are included at the end of the video. To watch the video, click on the link below.

https://www.nioa.com.au/nioa-tv/nioa-tv-season-3.html

Gun laws fall short in war on crime

This article was first published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 29/10/2005. It was written by Robert Wainwright.

Gun ownership is rising and there is no definitive evidence that a decade of restrictive firearms laws has done anything to reduce weapon-related crime, according to NSW’s top criminal statistician.

The latest figures show a renaissance in firearm ownership in the state – a 25 per cent increase in three years. And the head of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn, said falls in armed robberies and abductions in NSW in the past few years had more to do with the heroin drought and good policing than firearms legislation.

Even falls in the homicide rate, which have been steady, began long before the gun law debate provoked by the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

Nationwide, the proportion of robberies involving weapons is the same as it was in 1996, while the proportion of abductions involving weapons is higher, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics fiures reveal. They show a mixed result in firearms-related offences since the mid-1990s. There has been a fall in firearms murders (from 32 to 13 per cent) but a rise (19 to 23 per cent) in attempted murders involving guns.

“I would need to see more convincing evidence than there is to be able to say that gun laws have had any effect,” Dr Weatherburn said. “The best that could be said for the tougher laws is there has been no other mass killing using firearms [since Port Arthur].

“There has been a drop in firearm-related crime, particularly in homicide, but it began long before the new laws and has continued on afterwards. I don’t think anyone really understands why. A lot of people assume that the tougher laws did it, but I would need more specific, convincing evidence …

“There has been a more specific … problem with handguns, which rose up quite rapidly and then declined. The decline appears to have more to do with the arrest of those responsible than the new laws. As soon as the heroin shortage hit, the armed robbery rate came down. I don’t think it was anything to do with the tougher firearm laws.”

The Shooters Party MP John Tingle agrees with this analysis but has decided to retire from politics next April because he is frustrated in his attempts to prevent further restrictions, even though the number of registered guns in NSW has jumped from 516,468 to 648,369 since 2002.

“If the laws had worked there would be much less illegal gun crime … we are continuing this perception that if you tighten firearm laws you are going to control firearm crime, even though the opposite is true. Restrictive laws against legitimate ownership and use do nothing to stop gun-related crime because only law-abiding citizens will adhere to laws.”

The Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, supports the laws irrespective of the statistics. “I don’t think the laws have been designed to eliminate every firearm off the face of the Earth … but it has achieved proper registration, storage and more effective licensing. These measures have all been successful and John Tingle’s role should be acknowledged … he is a man of objectivity and fairness. He hasn’t been an advocate for advocacy sake.”