Rabid Roland and the 2.5 clowns at GCA at it again with this drivel in the Mercury:
THE State Government has slammed a new poll showing 68 per cent of respondents oppose plans to change Tasmanian gun laws, believing they breach the National Firearms Agreement.
The ReachTEL poll — commissioned by Gun Control Australia — asked 1188 Tasmanians whether they supported changes by the State Government to the firearms agreement, forged after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. The poll asserted the State Government “wants to change the National Firearms Agreement to increase access to semiautomatic rifles and shotguns for target shooting”.
However, Police, Fire and Emergency Management Minister Michael Ferguson said yesterday the poll was “a tricky, shameful and deceitful push-poll and a complete fabrication of the Government’s policy. We will not do anything that is contrary to the NFA and to suggest otherwise is just dishonest,” he said.
“Our policy is about practical improvements to the law to support the work of legitimate firearms users, including farmers who produce the food we eat.”
The State Government says planned changes to gun laws would give farmers greater access to Category C firearms such as semiautomatic rifles, self-loading rifles and pump-action shotguns, and double some licences from five to 10 years. The NFA placed tight restrictions on the ownership of fully and semiautomatic weapons and imposed tighter rules around justifications for owning and using firearms and how they are stored. It also specifies a maximum licence period of five years.
The State Government’s planned new laws have received widespread criticism from many survivors of Port Arthur. Mr Ferguson said making Category C firearms accessible to farm contractors or agents, rather than just for direct employees, would allow contractors to undertake pest control on farms.
He said a Legislative Council inquiry was to be held on the issue so members of the public could have their say before legislation was introduced into the House of Assembly.
The ReachTEL poll released yesterday revealed 68 per cent of respondents were opposed to changes to gun laws — including 51 per cent of Liberal voters. It also revealed that most demographics polled disagreed with the changes, including 75 per cent of 51-65 year olds and 69 per cent of those over 65. About 58 per cent of 18-34 year olds and 71 per cent of 35-50 year olds also opposed the changes.
Gun Control Australia vice president Roland Browne said support for the NFA in its current form had been very strong across the country since 1996, adding that most people did not agree with the changes.
“The poll results also confirm most Tasmanians want to feel safe and don’t want Premier Hodgman to make semi-automatic rifles available again,” he said.
“It would take Tasmania back to pre-Port Arthur massacre gun laws. It would undermine the National Firearms Agreement and it would make Tasmania a laughing stock,’’ he said.
The headline should read: “Poll paid for by anti-gun group reveals anti-gun result, shocking new poll reveals.”
Apparently, a poll of 1188 people is representative of nearly half a million living in Tasmania, most of whom don’t own firearms. Further, who was polled? Mostly Greens voters or did Roland ring himself 1188 times?
Even if this poll was legitimate it can be easily nullified with a simple sub-question: do you know what the current gun laws in Tasmania are? The answer would obviously be an overwhelming no, therefore opinions on this matter without prior knowledge should be treated with the disregard they deserve.
The Police Minister’s comments are spot on. 10-year licences are already standard in the Northern Territory and the sky hasn’t fallen in. New Zealand already allows suppressors and they are mandatory in the UK for hunting on private land. Allowing farmers access to Category C licences is a no-brainer and the pest situation in Tasmania mirrors that on the mainland, ie crisis levels.
This also isn’t the first time Roland Browne has made inferences that there would be a massacre in Tasmania due to gun laws. “We are going to see a mass shooting in Tasmania unless we get national gun control laws,” he infamously told Ray Martin on A Current Affair in March of 1996. We all know what happened a month later.
The National Firearms Agreement is a non-legally binding agreement and the states are free to ignore it, as they should.
Just as you should ignore Roland Browne and this garbage “poll”.