While another shooting unfolded in Melbourne, Malcolm Turnbull has pulled a John Howard and not so subtly warned the Tasmanian Government about it’s proposed changes to the Firearms Act. From DomainFax:
“The Turnbull government has warned the Tasmanian Liberals it would not support any move to weaken Australia’s strict gun laws, which it considers one of former prime minister John Howard’s greatest achievements.
Tasmania’s Liberals have promised farmers and sporting shooters the party will relax some gun restrictions if the party wins an outright majority at Saturday’s state election.
Changes it has promised include making it easier for some licence holders to access pump-action and rapid-fire shotguns and doubling the limit on gun licences from five to 10 years. It would also reduce the penalty for “relatively minor” breaches of gun storage laws from a court summons to an infringement notice, Tasmanian Police Minister Rene Hidding said.
The promise could put Tasmania in breach of the National Firearms Agreement it and all other states and territories signed with the Commonwealth early last year.”
This is a classic Howard move: bully the states into compliance with not so subtle threats. Howard’s infamous blackmailing of Queensland and South Australia through withholding federal funding in 1996 has morphed into the rule, not the exception.
This is also exactly like what the Nationals did to the SFFP at the Cootamundra By-Election. Pull the “Muh Gun Laws” card into scaring the voters into voting for other parties.
As we mentioned earlier, the proposals are very reasonable and do not “threaten public safety”. Some of the simple-minded Helen Lovejoy’s out in the community who don’t know what the laws are to begin with, might think otherwise. Tasmania is where the Port Arthur card obviously has the most sway so this is cynical but not unexpected by Turnbull, however it’s worth noting Labor has almost exactly the same policy.
We also again see this dishonest “weakening and watering down” language being used. How can you water down something that is rubbish and non-legally binding to begin with?
There was some common sense from Sky News:
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) March 2, 2018
Reminder to Will Hodgman and Rene Hidding: the National Firearms Agreement is non-legally binding and the states are free to ignore it. Considering the Federal Government is also forcing mass immigration onto the states without passing on the infrastructure money, I’d say it’s more than enough reason to tell them where to go.
That and the fact the proposals are incredibly sound and fair, even though we’re sceptical you’ll even follow through with it if elected.
If you want to bypass this nonsense altogether, then sensibly vote SFFP and leave the majors last.