The Shooters Party brochure for the NSW election campaign includes a dot point list of policies. Although few shooters would quarrel with what is there, what is not there is startling.
Here is the list:
- Remove the ridiculous 28 day “cooling off” period.
- Expand the highly successful Game Council model to include hunting in National Parks.
- Re-introduce science-based duck and quail seasons.
- Allow farmers to use licensed recreational hunters to cull kangaroos and utilise their skins and meat.
- Reduce over-regulation, costs and red tape.
- Encourage the Government to plan and fund new and upgraded ranges.
- Remove the current difficulties faced by new shooters who wish to try the shooting sports.
- Block any unscientific bans on fishing in Marine Parks.
- Fight public-land lockouts for all legitimate users.
- Re-introduce shooting sports and firearms safety into the public schools curriculum.
Most of these relate to certain types of hunting and appears to reflect the interests of Robert Brown. Roy Smith, who is the candidate up for election, is more interested in target shooting than hunting.
Here are a few policies the party could have adopted, but didn’t:
- Remove the ban on pistol calibres over .38.
- Abandon registration of rifles and shotguns.
- Re-legalise semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and pump action shotguns.
- Remove some of the irrelevant limitations on who may be granted a firearms licence.
- Abandon the compulsory attendance requirements.
- Abolish the ‘type of firearm’ attendance requirement for pistol shooters.
- Modify the safe storage requirements to make them practical.
- Liberalise the ‘try shooting’ rules so that non-shooters can have a go.
- Include self-defence as a genuine reason for owning a firearm.
The question for shooters is, can the Shooters Party be expected to pursue these aims in parliament?
It would be nice to have some sort of assurance that it would seek to do better in the future than it has in the past.