The recent COAG decision to re-classify lever action shotguns is yet another example of the Government’s poor judgement and unwillingness to base firearms laws and policy on facts and evidence.
This ludicrous decision is ill informed and appears only aimed at appeasing the noisy anti-gun lobby who continue to espouse misinformation and manipulate the community and decision makers to achieve their own anti-gun agendas.
SSAA NSW continues to publicly state its opposition to classification of firearms, and specifically its opposition to the re-classification of the Adler A110 shotgun and any form of re-classification that could result in added restriction of access for licensed firearms owners. Further SSAA NSW, has continually advocated it’s position that firearms laws and policies need to be evidence based and not a result of knee jerk reaction to emotion and misinformation so often peddled by the media and anti-gun groups. SSAA NSW will continue to advocate these positions at all levels through meetings and representation on groups and forums. Representations so far includes meetings with the Police Minister, Office for Police and Justice Department as well as the Firearms Registry.
For a period there was a glimmer of hope with the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant publicly stating the problem is criminals and illegal guns, not licensed firearms owners who abide by the law, and his call for facts based reasoning when considering the re-classification of lever action shotguns. Unfortunately, it appears he has been overridden by the Premier and Police Commissioner, and without opposition from any other State or Territory the Federal Government has been able to push through this decision.
Before the re-classification can be affected it requires a change in legislation, so this is not the time to give up. SSAA NSW will continue it’s representation to those that have an influence on the decision.
Of utmost importance is a united approach from all bodies that support firearms ownership and the shooting sports. Division within the SSAA organisation achieves nothing except to play right into the hands of the greens and the anti-gun agenda of divide and conquer. We have all faced adversity, but diverting the blame on to others that are working to achieve the same goals is simply counterproductive.
It’s also very disappointing to see other pro-firearms bodies taking cheap shots at, and making false unsubstantiated claims about, the SSAA NSW efforts. We all at some time face criticism, but a united voice is the only way to achieve good outcomes. No one body can alone achieve positive results for firearms owners and the shooting sports – we’re better off directing criticism to those that are responsible for negative decisions and instead, working together using our varied resources to achieve end goals that will deliver positive benefits to licensed firearms owners and the shooting sports.
Members can also play an important role and we’ve been calling on SSAA members to take action for a while now. SSAA NSW, again, strongly encourages all members to write to their local state and federal members of parliament to express their disappointment with the recent decision and the need for firearms laws to be evidence based, rather than as a knee jerk reaction to emotion and hype. Firearms laws should not be onerous on law abiding firearms owners and must be effective in reducing illegal firearms and gun crime. Members should visit the Action Centre on the SSAA NSW website for the contact details of their local state MP.