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Tag Archives: firearm registration

Shooters Union NSW appears at Animal Welfare Reform Hearing

Shooters Union NSW representative Craig Golding attended a hearing at Parliament House in late March to present our views and concerns regarding planned reforms to Animal Welfare legislation in NSW, which could have a detrimental impact on hunting there.

The invitation came off the back of a written submission from Shooters Union NSW on the proposed laws, and in particular our concerns that common recreational hunting activities would be captured under the expanded “Animal Cruelty” definitions.

One of the issues which received productive discussion at the hearing was a concern that the RSPCA shouldn’t have an authority or enforcement role in anything to do with hunting.

Our position is the RSPCA is unable to separate its animal rights/liberation stance from its Authorised Officer/Enforcement duties, and we provided the Committee a copy of RSPCA’s official policy opposing recreational hunting as proof of this to back up our concerns.

Craig strongly supported the Australian Pig Dog Hunting Association representative on their concerns about the impact of the proposed laws on hunting pigs with dogs. The APDHA were strongly supportive of us in the hearing as well, and fortunately there was no talk of any ban on pig hunting with dogs either.

We know that we’ve given the Committee a lot to think about and certainly feel we were given a fair hearing and taken seriously (as were the other pro-hunting representatives) so we’ll keep you posted with any updates.

Malcolm Turnbull won’t take David Leyonhjelm’s shotgun demand off negotiating table

Malcolm Turnbull declared a ban on a rapid-fire shotgun “set in stone” as he rejected Labor claims he was considering legalising it to get union-curbing legislation through the Senate.

The Prime Minister was also rejecting a deal from Liberal Democrat crossbencher David Leyonhjelm, who wanted the ban on the Adler 110 lever-action shotgun, which can fire seven shots, lifted.
In return Senator Leyonhjelm would back legislation to revive the Australian Building and Construction Commission, one of the triggers for the double-dissolution election.
Mr Turnbull declined to take the offer off the negotiating table earlier today.

But after goading by Labor that he was retreating from Liberal prime minister John Howard’s tough gun laws, Mr Turnbull entered Parliament to reject the charge.

“Let me be very clear: We stand by John Howard’s national firearms agreement. We’re proud of it,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the Adler gun was category A, which meant it was relatively easy to obtain, compared to weapons in categories B, C and D. There has to be a specific purpose to own a B firearm, and the C and D categories cover guns that are effectively illegal.

There had been a move to have the lever-action gun reclassified by state and Commonwealth justice ministers meeting under the Council of Australian Governments.

“Because agreement has not been reached, we put in place an import ban which expired in August this year. So we have renewed it and we have renewed it indefinitely,” Mr Turnbull told Parliament.

“But what that means of course is that ban is permanent, it is set in stone, unless it is amended. But it is there.”

The states, which regulate firearms, were still considering whether and how the Adler should be classified.

“So what we have done, what my government has done, is ensure that no Adler lever-action guns with more than five rounds can be imported in any category. They can’t be imported at all,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The fact is we stand by the national firearms agreement. We want it stronger.”

However, Senator Leyonhjelm today made clear Malcolm Turnbull’s horror morning might have been about nothing.

The senator, who has a special enjoyment in self-promotion, said he might still vote for the ABCC bill despite the Adler ban not being lifted.

He said he had been let down by the government, who he said had promised the shotgun would be allowed in after a “sunset clause” ended a temporary ban.

“It’s a matter of trust,” Senator Leyonhjelm told reporters.

He said, “I have been dudded on a deal.”

But he would continue to discuss legislation with the government, he said.

Earlier today, Mr Turnbull indicated the lifting of the gun’s prohibition was still on the negotiating table.

“I’m not going to speculate about negotiations with senators, I’m certainly not going to negotiate in advance,” the Prime Minister told reporters in Canberra.

“As you know, we don’t have a majority in the Senate, so we will be talking to all of the senators and seeking to secure their support for this important legislation.

“We believe we will win their support, and any negotiations will be with them.”

The government wants to end the 2016 political year with passage of the two industrial relations bills whose rejection triggered the double dissolution election — the ABCC legislation and the registered organisations legislation which would put trade unions under the same scrutiny as other bodies.

He would not want to anger any crossbencher in the Senate, where he needs nine of their votes to get the bills through.

Adler A110 shotgun that is currently illegal in Australia. Source: NOIA

Adler A110 shotgun that is currently illegal in Australia. Source: NOIA

And that would include upsetting Mr Leyonhjelm right at the start of their talks.

However, Mr Turnbull did salute the removal of rapid-fire weapons by former prime minister John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre and hailed Australia’s “rigorous laws on the regulation of firearms”.

He told ABC radio: “Following the Port Arthur massacre, as you know, John Howard took the lead and introduced the new firearms legislation.

“Thousands of guns were returned and destroyed and what we now have is very strict firearm laws and I think Australians when they watch, you know, the ABC News and see what happens elsewhere in the world are very thankful for John Howard and the Coalition for providing that leadership.”

Tony Abbott, who banned the shotgun as prime minister, tweeted his concerns today.

Gun control campaigners say tough new legislation that came in following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 hasn’t kept up with more modern guns such as the Adler.

The five-shot version of the weapon — which can pump out five bullets before being reloaded — can be legally purchased in Australia and is categorised as a ‘category A’ gun which has the least restrictions around ownership.

The eight shot version of the lever action shotgun is temporarily banned. But critics say it’s pointless banning one and not the other as the five shot can be easily — and legally — adjusted to fire 11 slugs, more than the version that is banned.

A petition to have all versions of the Adler banned, started by campaigners Gun Control Australia, has garnered 16,000 signatures.

But those calling for the ban to be lifted say the eight shot Adler falls outside the restrictions imposed by the 1998 National Firearms Agreement and any restriction is unwarranted.

Senator Leyonhjelm, who has campaigned loudly on the shotgun’s behalf, has allies in the Coalition, including Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, a keen sporting shooter.

When the firearm was banned Senator Leyonhjelm accused the government of curtailing liberties by stealth.

“No evidence has been presented that lever action firearms pose 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,” he said.

This article was written by Malcolm Farr for news.com.au. A full link to the article can be accessed by clicking here: https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/malcolm-turnbull-wont-take-david-leyonhjelms-shotgun-demand-off-negotiating-table/news-story/112cf1177365d466b9c9f81fd12c79e9

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

UPDATE #1 – Exposed! Secret Police Review of Weapons Act!

A Lot Has Happened in the Last Two Weeks!

The graphic above outlines what the AG’s department said about the Adler, despite what they were told by the ACC and the AFP.

Why did they say that?

And yet they still want to ban the 7 shot Adler at the COAG meeting next month (and probably a lot more we don’t yet know about!)

Write to your local Queensland and Federal Senators and ask them why!

UPDATE #1 – Exposed! Secret Police Review of Weapons Act!

Despite our best efforts, and the efforts of others including the KAP MP’s, the Queensland Government has steadfastly refused to reinstate the Firearms Advisory Committee, or to consult with firearms groups who will be directly affected by this secret review of the Weapons Act and Regulations.

Some of the activity Shooters Union has been involved in behind the scenes:

  • We have been meeting with politicians from the Qld Opposition, and the cross benches, seeking assistance to shine a light on this secret review
  • Graham Park has participated in several regional media interviews about the review
  • Queensland Country Life will be doing an article about the current WLB issues affecting farmers, and using some of our input
  • With Rob Pyne resigning from the Labor Party, the balance of power in the Queensland Parliament has well and truly shifted!
  • We have met with the Qld Opposition to promote our “Steal a gun, go to jail” initiative targeting firearms thieves
  • We have written to the Police Minister and the head of Weapons Licensing Branch asking for information about the Weapons Act review, and have been met with stony silence
  • We have been invited to participate in an SBS Insight show later in March – we’ll let you know when it’s going to air

So – there is an enormous amount of activity going on to present a voice of reason in this review

But we still need your help.

Please – email your local Qld MP, and your Local federal MP’s and Senators, and tell them (politely) that you insist on being consulted prior to any changes being made ot the Qld Weapons Act and Regulations, and also the National Firearms Agreement

You can use our easy-to-navigate Politicians contact page on our website here.

Please write to them now – time is short. The COAG meeting happens early next month!

Let Our Elected Reps Know That We Support Them When They Support Us!

Shooters Union has developed a new way to let your elected representatives know exactly how your feel about the current climate regarding firearms legislation.  Download the pledge card by clicking the link below, print it, fill it out, create a postcard from it and send it to your local members at both state and federal levels. It is sure to send them a clear message that you will not accept any changes to firearms legislation.

Click here to download your National Pledge Card

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

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

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.

TWO EXAMPLES FROM AUSTRALIA

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.

COSTS AND BENEFITS

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