On the cusp of the NSW State Election, Mark Latham and One Nation have released their firearm policy for NSW and it’s underwhelming:
“Australia is fortunate in being different to the United States. When our children go to school or shopping malls, parents can be confident they will come home safely, without the tragedy of gun massacres.
We are also fortunate in Australia to have responsible, law-abiding recreational shooters – good people who have done the right thing for many, many years. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation believes in defending their rights and their sport. This can be done within the context of sensible gun laws that keep high-powered weapons out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.
These two goals are not inconsistent. Indeed, they can work together: ensuring that random acts of gun violence in society do not tarnish they good name and reputation of recreational shooters. It is vital to defend and support people who are acting responsibly.
State Support for Shooting Ranges
As a nation, we cheer for our shooting champions at the Olympics and the same level of public support and enthusiasm should apply in the four years in between. One Nation rejects the Green-Left demonisation of shooters.
In particular, we want to assist shooting ranges and clubs with their land tenure issues. I am particularly keen to establish land use security for the Silverdale and Kentlyn clubs I have visited in recent times, ending any uncertainty about their future.
One Nation will assist other shooting ranges that have similar issues. Shooting sports make an important contribution to the NSW economy and must always be supported. They should be viewed by government as no different to any other sport that has mass grassroots participation, plus the high-level expertise of Olympic competitors.
Increased Participation in Shooting Sports
NSW One Nation has announced a policy of transferring funds from elite arts activities in Sydney to cultural events and facilities in country and regional NSW. We regard recreational shooting as a vital mainstream sport and cultural activity in the State and would enthusiastically support government funding for the expansion of shooting ranges and increased participation in shooting sports.
The NSW Government has over-subsidised elite arts activities in Sydney (many of which have degenerated into wacky Left-wing political propaganda) and under-supported the many thousands of people in NSW who enjoy recreational shooting. They deserve better State-funded facilities.
Pest Animal Management
The NSW Government needs to take decisive action to assist farmers and rural communities with the eradication of pests, feral species and the damage caused by native animal plagues. In south-west NSW, for instance, One Nation will allow crack recreational shooters into native parks to help cull the kangaroo problem. Where similar problems exist in other parts of the State, we will do the same, harnessing the expertise of shooters who are highly experienced, safe and efficient.
One Nation believes in practical, commonsense solutions to problems. The question of ‘conservation and wildlife management’ should not be captive to out-of-touch Green-Left ideology. Very often the best conservation solution comes from ignoring the Greens and bringing in people who know what they are doing.
Firearms Consultative Committee
NSW One Nation supports the establishment of a Firearms Consultative Committee as proposed by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW). This would assist Government in developing legislation that is evidence-based, supports law-abiding firearm owners, is in the public interest and targets the criminal use of firearms.
One Nation strongly supports law-abiding firearm owners who deserve greater public recognition for their role in storing their guns as safely as possible, keeping them out of the wrong hands. Our four priorities are to:
- Recognise that as a matter of principle, licensed firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens for legitimate business purposes (such as farming) and recreational pursuits is a right in a free society.
- Maintain the 1996 national gun laws that have played a role in preventing public massacres in Australia for 23 years, allowing shooters to get on with their sport without constant calls in parliament for gun law tightening and increasingly Draconian restrictions on gun ownership.
- Crack down on the illegal importation of guns into Australia as a vital public safety measure.
- Minimise the chance of radical Islamic terrorists getting hold of weaponry in Australia for their evil purposes.
When you open with the usual false binary comparison about “USA vs Australia” you know it’s only going one way.
Stating that firearm ownership is a right but first prefacing it as licenced is contradictory – it’s either a right or it’s not. Cracking down on extremists and illegal imports are vanilla statements and plain old common sense.
In fairness, supporting development of shooting facilities and pest control in regional NSW is a good thing, but how they go about this (particularly with the current debacle) is another matter. David Leyonhjelm was able to secure a long-term lease for Malabar in Sydney while also advocating for getting rid of the NFA.
There’s nothing in the policy about self-defence, castle doctrine, eliminating appearance laws, reining in NSW Police’s rampant authoritarian stupidity on firearms and a whole slew of important firearm issues.
To be quite honest, this policy just reads as the usual token nod to firearm owners but maintaining business as usual – explicitly stated with the “maintain the 1996 national gun laws” which aren’t national anyway.
To Latham’s credit, he did go to SSAA Sydney and try out shooting to see the other side of the argument. However, the gun-grabbing elements of the current Labor Party are on display here. The Labor Party of old would never have stood for this, but the Labor Party died long ago.
PHON forget their history and their roots of being elected in 1998 on the back of the 1996 laws in Queensland, as part of the wipe-out of the Nationals in response to the NFA. Now they’ve gone full circle and become Liberal-lite.
Note to political parties trying to capture the shooting vote: any reference to status quo or upholding Australia’s gun laws won’t win you votes, unless they’re Nationals fudds.
Liberal Democrats, SFFP, Fraser Anning’s National Conservative Party and Katter’s Australia Party are the only ones with the track record and subsequently, worth voting for in this space. It’s not worth splitting the vote further.
If PHON are serious about firearm owners then they’re going about it the wrong way – the policy needs a serious rewrite. It’s better than the major parties’ but not by much at all.
You can’t claim to advocate for the working class of NSW while disarming them PHON.