We caught up with the Liberal Democratic Party Candidate for Herbert, David Harris!
Please tell us briefly about yourself, with particular emphasis on shooting and firearms in general.
I’m an ex member of the Australian Defence Force, who now calls Townsville home. I’m a keen hunter and clay target shooter, and always look for an excuse to head to the farm or range. My partner loves her horses and our son is just starting to learn to use his first air rifle.
What made you enter the political arena, and why did you choose the party you represent?
I entered the political arena because I am sick of living under a nanny state. Prior to joining Liberal Democrats, I looked for what parties stand for and am willing to fight for the liberties of all Australians and the LDP was the answer.
Can you tell us what you see as the biggest barrier to legal firearm ownership in this country currently?
I don’t believe that there is one barrier so to speak, but more a combination of factors. The stigma that the media has caused in relation to firearms, by not basing their stories on facts but rather emotional factors, seems to be a common barrier. This stands true to changing firearm laws. It appears no-one wants to use the facts and figures, but rather they let their emotions be the driving force. In addition to this the fees associated with licensing in addition to PTA’s etc are ridiculous!
If elected, what will be the first thing you will aim to do in regards to shooters, and firearm laws in general?
I would like to see the removal of the NFA and the removal of the registration of long arms. I believe the NZ model is a great model to work with as a minimum. I believe working in conjunction with whom the laws will effect, i.e. shooters from ALL disciplines, to work out the best approach. The fact is working together will ensure that all shooters get the best end of the deal for a change, and will ensure that we are all heard.
We see this election as a pivotal one, regarding small vs major parties in the Senate. How will you be campaigning in order to capitalize on the “dissatisfaction” amongst voters?
The fact that major parties are constantly eroding away the Australian people’s rights and freedoms, has got to stop. In addition to this, the budgets that the major parties continue to put out and NOT adhere to, is another example of how not to run a government. The LDP will ensure that we will fight for the rights and freedoms of the Australian people, and ensure that the government serves the people and not the other way around.
Will this include visiting gun clubs, shops, farmers etc who are clearly disgruntled with the current stigma and red tape?
I am in contact with a number of gun stores in the region, as well as some farmers. I will endeavour to meet and great other members of the community as soon as time permits.
We are big advocates for Castle Doctrine, given the amount of violent home invasions in recent times. Is this one of LDPs current policies?
Absolutely!! Self defence is the right of ALL Australians and is one of our policies. Our policies can be found at http://ldp.org.au/policy/
We also believe in the repealing of the NFA, on the grounds of common sense. Will you be pushing for this if elected into the Senate?
We will continue to do everything we can to represent shooters, and we would prefer firearms regulation to be a state issue. Senator Leyonhjelm has spoken directly to the Prime Minister about this and persuaded him to not allow further restrictions. Unfortunately, the political reality at this time is that virtually no-one in the federal parliament other than the Liberal Democrats are sticking up for shooters, which means it would be nearly impossible to have it repealed.