NSW Coalition Firearms Policy

The Liberal/National Firearms Policy for the 2007 NSW election is now available: 2007 NSW Liberal-National Firearms Policy. Key points are in italics as follows:

This will begin with an overhaul of NSW Firearm Registry to make it a customer service orientated organisation responsive to the needs of law-abiding firearms owners.

We will also re-establish a Permanent Standing Committee on Firearm Regulation consisting of licensed firearm owners, Firearms Registry Officials and the NSW Police Force. The Standing Committee will, on an ongoing basis, seek submissions, review and advise on all matters relating to firearms regulation and legislation.

As part of the review of firearms regulations the NSW Liberal/Nationals Coalition will implement practical refinement to firearms laws including:

· Ensuring that once a genuine lawful reason for owning a firearm has been established the licence holder is authorised to use that firearm for other lawful purposes. ie if a Category A licence is issued for the genuine reason of hunting then that firearm can be used for both hunting and target shooting.

· Ensuring the process for the renewal of firearm licences is similar to the process for renewing drivers’ licences.

· Reviewing the processing of permits to acquire a second and/or subsequent firearm by an already licensed firearm owner with a view to making the NSW laws uniform with other states such as WA, Queensland and Victoria.

· In conjunction with other states and territories recognise firearm registrations and firearms licences issued in other states and territories of Australia as being valid in NSW (similar to motor vehicle licences). This will be done with the view of receiving reciprocal recognition.

· Allowing an unlicensed person to participate in target shooting at a registered target-shooting club for a limited period under the direct supervision of an authorised officer of that club.

· Recognising the value of hunting as a tool for pest management and to further develop the role of the NSW Game Council to deal with feral animal control and eradication. This will include considering a fox and feral cat bounty, and re-establishing a commercial market for fox skin.

True, it’s not exactly radical. But perhaps that’s asking too much from the party that spawned the great gun grabber, John Howard. Although some Liberals and most Nationals remain very uncomfortable about Howard’s obsession, he has been remarkably successful in political terms. It might be difficult to hold your nose and applaud at the same time, but they manage it.

These are, nonetheless, distinct improvements over Labor’s position. The Permanent Standing Committee represents a potential opportunity to remove some of the more inane bureaucratic regulations, if nothing else. The opportunity to introduce non-shooters to the sport will at least give it a chance of survival rather than being slowly strangled by regulation.

It would be nice if Labor felt the need to do something similar. Regrettably, the shooting lobby organisations in NSW don’t seem to have made their presence felt in that regard.


67 Responses to NSW Coalition Firearms Policy

  1. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    What??? Now need to thank the same idiots that created this monster just because they throw us a few scraps????

    The whole notion of regulation is a farce and the piss poor execution is an insult and disgrace.

    If these people had one ounce of honesty and credibility they’d suck it up like the Canadians and throw the lot in the bin and put more policeman where they should be catching the bad guys and leaving us alone!!

    No chance of getting a Liberal to admit they screwed up in the first place. Now we have to live with their cover up. I’m sick of them, they can get screwed.

    Make sure you vote Shooters Party, it’s the only chance we have.

  2. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    PS: That was the polite reply, rude ltter to follow if needed. IDIOTS!!!!

  3. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    PPS: I’d edit my spellos if I knew how to…..

  4. You've got Two Votes says:

    Okay, so The Shooters Party in the Upper House is where your vote is going.


    Who are you voting for in the lower house? ALP? Greens?

    Gotten any better offers of positive changes to firearms law recently from those guys?

    – On the 28 day thing the Libs can work with the Shooters Party MLC(s) if elected, so that’s OK.
    – Does MACOSC keep Barney and Capper in check? Is that in it’s mandate? Nope. It’s sole role seems to be that of an ATM for clubs that Barney’s messed around with range changes. Why not have something to handle the other issues that shooters face like ever increasing mountains of paperwork? If the fishing lobby can have one to consider recreational fishing, so can we.
    – On the renewals, ever had to ‘re-apply’ for something you already have? That won’t be missed if it’s even a tiny bit more sensible than now.
    – On temporary exemptions, try asking your Club’s officials how much paperwork that creates. 2 forms just to give someone a go. No other state has this level of chicanery just for a supervised shoot with an authorised club official. That won’t be missed either.

    So, more of the same from uninterested ministerial dunces like Watkins like we’ve seen in the last 12 years, or something at least vaguely fresh, even if it’s not the utopia you seek?

    What’s that line the Shooters Party keep saying? You have two votes – one for who’s going to govern and one for your sport. Anyway, isn’t Debnam an ex Navy bloke, Aubrey?

  5. You've got Two Votes says:

    Oh, sorry – 2 forms and a 10 day wait on the temporary exemptions.

    The public service bureaucrats must love this system – overtime pay to process these things on the weekend, lots of paperwork to shuffle around, and shooters neutralised from signing up new members easily with the best recruiting tool around – simply ‘giving someone a go’.

  6. Redneck says:

    Okay, so The Shooters Party in the Upper House is where your vote is going.

    Er, maybe if there was something to show for what they’ve done already. And maybe if their policies weren’t as weak as the Lib/Nats.

    I don’t reckon they are worth a squirt of duck shit. I can vote for useless prats in lots of other ways.

  7. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    OK so we all agree the system sucks, no debate, no contest. The issue here is do you really trust the Libs to fix it? After all, these are the bastards that stabbed us all in the back in the first place. Why would you trust them now? The fact that Debnam was in the Navy means nothing, especially to a member of a rifle club that bears a similar name. They’ll have to do a heck of a lot more to convince me we can take them seriously. Lest we forget who the original back stabbing, lying bastards are. They have not changed at all. Don’t get a warm feeling just because you think they might be wooing shooters. They are not, it’s a con job, don’t fall for it.

  8. Bill says:

    It was Howard that screwed us. The rest of the Libs were too limp wristed to object and some of them agreed with the little arsehole but it wouldn’t have happened without Howard.
    And don’t forget Labor gave him their full support. No objections, no protests, nothing.
    The only party that’s ever fought back is the NSW Nationals, which voted against the pistol laws.

  9. Adrian Piccoli says:

    The one thing that I can guarantee you if Labor is re-elected and that is that nothing will change. Bob Carr bragged that he had ensured that NSW has the toughest gun laws in Australia. What the Nationals/Liberals are proposing in our policy falls within what CAN be done. We could promise all sorts of unachievable things but we are sticking with reality. None of our policy breaches the APMC agreement so there is no reason it should not have total support in Parliament

  10. Thanks Adrian and welcome to the blog.

    Evidently the key to reversing the situation is the APMC agreement, since nobody seems willing to do anything that breaches it.

    Perhaps if Debnam defeats Iemma and Rudd defeats Howard, that might be a possibility. After all, the agreement is nothing more than the result of Howard’s blackmail of the states. It ought to be treated with contempt.

  11. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    It’s a good list, but everyone but the Greens has a good list. The key is actually getting it implemented and both the major parties are crap at keeping their word on things like this. The significant thing is that the votes from participants in shooting activities are acknowledged by the major political parties as worth working for.

  12. Sensible and positive policy from the major parties concerning firearms. Sounds like a refreshing change.

    Somebody must be doing something right. Whoever you are – keep up the good work.

  13. fishfinger says:

    To Adrian and David,
    The biggest problem we have is a Prime Minister who has an unhealthy obsession with firearms.
    No amount of logic will overcome his emotional prejudices and none in his Party has the “ticker” (to use one of his pejorative expressions) to say to him that all the facts and stats contradict eveything he says about firearms and their use in crime.
    No-one in other Parties is prepared to stand up to him either.
    The public has been flim-flammed by the antigun nuts to the extent that politicians are frightened they’ll lose votes. Or believe that they will.
    If politicians used the expensive flacks on staff that we pay for they could convince Australians we are not the danger that the antiguns nuts say we are. Oh… sorry… they’d have to be honest though, wouldn’t they!
    Do I sound like a cynic… or a realist?

  14. No-one in other Parties is prepared to stand up to him either.

    In fairness to the NSW Nationals they did vote against Howard’s Monash pistol laws in 2002. That was only after they’d been kicked out of government in every other state, but better late than never.

    Also, the Liberal Democratic Party will be contesting the next federal election, including Howard’s seat. It is strongly supportive of shooters rights.

  15. Belle Star says:

    Well, at last the light seems to have come back on, Mr Costa should be happy that one of his fellow countrymen has the ability to think with some form of logic rather than the crap that we have been served up for the last 11 years, much of which was backed by our shining light in the upper house, maybe this can be the start of some progress in the lower house where in fact the real descisions are made, on ya Adrian, go for it and go for it Mr Leyonhjelm, let’s open another front and get where the action is, not just play around in the zoo where nothing happens,only ego polishing and “tummy tickling” as the labour mob said.

  16. pete2whelan says:

    The Libs/Nats still don’t get it. The 1996 “tough gun laws” have been a farce. Reference to “illegal” and “legal” firearms is a red herring, since the definition of what is “legal” or “illegal” can be changed simply with the stroke of a politicians pen. This happened in 1996 when all our semi-autos suddenly and without any reference to the owners, were classed as “illegal”. Likewise in 2002 when, for the sake of a millimetre in calibre or barrel length, certain handguns were deemed “illegal”. There was no sense to it!
    Will Howard and the rest of the Libs/Nats be happy when all the gun crime is carried out with “legal” firearms? If that is the aim, then why not encourage all the drug bosses and gang leaders to register their handguns?
    What about toy guns, which Customs calls “replica firearms” and are totally banned?
    Is it any wonder that “P” plater drivers are killing themselves and their passengers in increasing numbers? (up30% in NSW last year) . If young people are deprived of the opportunity of learning self control and discipline with a toy gun, then an air rifle, then a semi-auto “pea” rifle, how can we expect them to suddenly obtain those skills, when placed behind the wheel of a motor car?

  17. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    I’m glad that Adrian is monitoring this blog. Adrian you need to convey the deepseated antagonism that the coalition has created within a group of its most likely supporters to your out of touch colleagues, who seem hell bent on pandering to a vocal minority of left wing fanatics.

    The betrayal of trust will not be overcome by a few platitudes, and if that’s all the coaliion is willing and able to deliver, then see ya later. Why back the party that committed the crime? Because all the other guys did was go along with it, why wouldn’t they?

    You stuffed it, now fix it properly. This policy is piss weak, you can and should do better, and try harder!

  18. Belle Star says:

    Aubrey, Well “oil beef hooked” all the ranting and raving, and you have said it all in two paragraphs, good to see a YF YF idea.

  19. Gary Bryant says:

    The truth of the matter regarding firearm laws is that every State and Territory agreed to the National Firearms Agreement of 10 May 1996 and then went back to their respective States to enact what were to be uniform laws. NSW never kept to the plan and went overboard and continue to go well beyond what was agreed in the 1996 agreement.
    The Coalition policy will restore the intention of the 1996 agreement and will remove most of the red tape that is currently strangling the sport of shooting.

  20. pete2whelan says:

    The 1996 NFA was forced on the States by Howard, under threat of withholding Federal funding. It was a knee-jerk reaction based on flawed information. With all the Police Ministers who agreed to it now voted out of office, or in the case of Paul Whelan in NSW, “retired”, it is time to shred the 1996 NFA. Such things are not meant to last forever!
    At the opening of our Pistol Club’s new range last Saturday our local M.P. Alan Cadman, (Liberal, Mitchell) in his address to about 50 members and their families, explained how he had used lots of different guns in his early years and had (in May 1996) tried to pursuade Howard to put pump-action shotguns in the same class as pump-action centre fire rifles (Cat B). Cadman explained that Howard was surprised by his knowledge of firearms and said “If I had known you knew so much, I would have asked your advice sooner.” However, by then it was too late and Howard wouldn’t change his mind! It is still a puzzle who advised Howard on such matters.
    Howard had planned to travel the country to explain “his” gun laws, but after the Sale(Vic.) meetings, he withdrew that offer. At that meeting he spoke with Deer Hunters who used s/a c/f rifles, had them all registered (as was Vic Law) and had felt totally betrayed. It seems that Howard thought all semi-auto rifles were”military style”, like M16s and AK 47s…
    Why are spring and compressed air guns (pistols and rifle-styles) defined as “Firearms” when they use no explosive material?
    Canada and New Zealand both disbanded their Longarms registries. So too can Australia.

  21. fishfinger says:

    Gee, Garry… thanks for telling us what we already know. I’m sure you didn’t mean to be insultingly patronising.
    The whole problem was caused by the Coalition in the first place… yes… I know… it was the Federal Coalition but that doesn’t change the current NSW situation. Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t the Canadians realised that registration doesn’t work and cancelled it? If the Coalition admitted the same and did likewise we might begin to have some trust in them. Heaven help us… even the Kiwis have moved away from registration, haven’t they?
    Admittedly the Coalition would have to find jobs for all the parasites in the Firearms Registry who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on “make work” rules trying to justify their jobs.
    To quote Belle Star “oil beef hooked” if you think you can fool those of us who participate in a shooting sport. You can only fool those who don’t.

  22. our local M.P. Alan Cadman, (Liberal, Mitchell) … explained how he .. had (in May 1996) tried to pursuade Howard to put pump-action shotguns in the same class as pump-action centre fire rifles (Cat B).

    Just prior to the 2004 election I met Senator Bill Heffernan (Lib, NSW) to discuss my intention of running shooters in the election. He told me that in 1996 after Port Arthur he had been asked by Howard what he should do. Heffernan said he told Howard, “Ask the CWA and do whatever they say”. Which is pretty much what happened.

    Needless to say, the Liberals didn’t get our preferences in that election.

    Heffernan is now the bloke heading an inquiry into moving Australian farming north due to “global warming”. He also still thinks the gun laws are good. God help us.

    The Nationals have learnt their lesson but I doubt if the Liberals will until they are defeated federally.

    The State situation is different though. The Liberals have been in opposition for 12 years. Gary has a point. Some progress is better than nothing.

  23. Belle Starr says:

    Yeah! What a good discussion, lots of different ideas from all over, at least Adrian has “come out” and joined in , more than we can say for the Ratpak, the all powerful SShooting organisations and the great Deliamma Party. C;mon boys lets hear what you got to say.

  24. Adrian Piccoli says:

    Thanks Aubrey. There has been a Shooters Party MLC in Parliament for 12 years now and I havent seen any real changes to the gun laws. In fact since then the laws have been made tougher by NSW Labor. I dont think having two there will make much difference either. I have no problem with the Shooters Party but get real about what they can achieve with a Labor government. After the 24th March whether there are one or two SP MLCs the premier will either be Iemma or Debnam. No-one can achieve any real firearm reform until one of the major partys initiates it and at this stage the only party who has any sort of plan is the Coalition. You still have such a deep dislike of the Coalition and thats fine but Labor didnt utter a word when all of these refoms went through, in fact Bob Carr bragged about having the toughest gun laws in Australia. If Labor is re-elected then you can be assured that nothing will change

  25. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    Adrian, I agree 100%, and my OTT comments were intended to “stir it up”. Many a true word spoken in jest etc. However, it is just not good enough for the Coalition to say that “it’ll be worse with Labour, so vote for us” when in reality the Coalition is the root cause of the problem. Stop sitting on the fence about this outrageous legislation and victimisation, Australians are savvy enough to see the BS from the reality. If the Coalition wants to be taken seriously then act with conviction and courage, it will be rewarded. The “lets appease them all and hope they like us” approach is like trying to defend a 6 point lead against the All Blacks, they’ll slaughter you! Regards.

  26. Adrian Piccoli says:

    The Nationals voted against the last lot of firearms restrictions put through the NSW Parliament realting to handguns. We copped a bagging from Sydney as expected but we are more than OK with that.
    And as for the suggestion that all we are saying is that it will be worse under Labor, that is not right. We claim it will be better under a Nationals/Liberal government. We have a policy out there, and i know for some it doesnt go far enough, it certainly goes further than the alternative govt are prepared to go. What alarms me the most is that the SSAA, who ought to be lobbying both the Coalition and the Labor to try and get them to improve matters for shooters are instead sitting on the fence. I have not received a single letter from the SSAA asking for anything in the last 12 months. I expected them to use their influence to get some commitments out of the Coalition and Labor but I havent seen anything. Our commitment comes from us wanting to do the right thing by shooters, not from lobbying from the SSAA. I think members of the SSAA ought to be dissapointed that the Association hasnt done more to influence this election and try to improce the lot of shooters.

  27. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    Gary, sorry but that sounds too much like referred responsibility. It’s not a credible position to take on this matter. There are no other Australian examples of how it could have been done properly, and there are plenty of international examples, why is it so hard to learn from others?. We all know the truth, you guys stuffed it up in the first place and now you don’t want to lose face and be accused of a flip flop by the lefties. Well, what about us? Do we have to pretend to like this BS and put up with it while you try and slavage some dignity? I think not! If you came clean, sucked it up and fixed the obvious mess, you’d earn some serious respect. I don’t see a downside for doing the right thing.

  28. Aubrey Sonnenberg says:

    Adrian, I can’t speak for the SSAA. However, one could speculate that their TSP campaign has taken up their entire capacity and focus. Maybe they have just given up trying with the coalition? I know you guys fared well at the SSAA Sydney branch meeting, organised by the previous committee, but since then a changed committee has had other priorities…..who knows? Good to have your input on this forum.

  29. Scott Taylor says:

    If the NSW Liberal party wants to get in power using the shooters vote they are going to have to promise more than a streamlining of the licensing process. Let’s see pump action shotguns re-introduced under Cat B. No-one has ever shown me why a pump action 10-shot .308 rifle with a detachable magazine (perfectly legal) is somehow safer than an 8-shot pump action shotgun with a fixed magazine.

    If the ’96 laws had any success at all it was due to the much stricter licensing system, not the removal of semi-auto’s and pump action shotguns. The ’03 pistol laws made no change at all to public safety. You bought pistols off the pistol shooting fraternity after you made them illegal and basically bought brand new pistols for those who lost their “illegal” ones. Do us all a favor and make it a .45 caliber limit for pistols across the board rather than this .38 cal limit for most and .45 cal limit for Metallic and Cowboy. Keep it simple.
    Can’t see it happening though because then you’d have to admit it was a mistake in the first place. Canada and NZ don’t seem to have a problem admitting it though.

    If you want the power in NSW then you better promise some real changes. NFA be damned.

  30. pete2whelan says:

    An experience today seems to sum up the growing attitude of many people to the Lib/Nat Coalition. While handing out promo material for our local M.P. (who was elected as a Lib., but now standing as an Independent), one of the business owners with whom I spoke explained that he would never vote Liberal again.
    He had voted Liberal in every election, had a shotgun to keep the birds and bats off his and friends fruit trees, but then the 1996 gun laws made it all too difficult. He then explained that although he had to get rid of his shot gun, he wished he hadn’t, as “Now it seems that the only people with guns are the criminals”. He then went on the say that he still had a couple of air-rifles, “put aside for the Grand kids”. (obviously un-registered!)
    Summary: a) Disillusionment and resentment with laws which punished the law abiding.
    b) Forced non-compliance involved in keeping family traditions alive.
    c) Seething resentment and suspicion that if “they have made such a major blunder over gun laws, what other stuff-ups have they made?” (lack of confidence in Libs)
    Note to Adrian Piccoli. We appreciate your comments on this blog. Yes, I know the Nats are different, but if some of you don’t speak out for change, you run the risk of drifting back into irrelevence.

  31. fishfinger says:

    Further to Peter Whelan and with great respect to Adrian… the Nats are only the tail and have no chance of wagging the dog. How can the Libs expect our support when they’ve stuffed up big time and simply refuse to acknowledge it. If they can’t be honest about that how can we trust them to be honest about anything else?
    I trust Labor and the Greens (who are only Labor lap dogs) less than I trust the Libs. But, being in Debnan’s electorate, I have the luxury of voting for all the Independants before Debnam knowing it won’t affect the outcome but hoping it’ll make a point. I put the Greens last and Labor 2nd last to further ram home the point. If enough of us do it their scutineers will have very tight sphincters as a result.

  32. ChrisPer says:

    I support an independent lib, and am bitterly disappointed that I have been redistricted to a safe lib seat. When I met John Howard I was astonished to feel a massive rising tide of anger at him, when intellectually I have supported most of his policies other than guns.

    Tim Fischer is renowned as a good bloke, but his claim that our lost votes were because of ‘NRA Millions’ showed self-serving blindness. Jon Howard’s bulletproof vest summarises the slander and hate dished up by the media and politicians in those years, yet they actually caused the massacre in a fairly direct way (unlike legal shooters), via the contagion effect. No traction, no kissy-kissy adulation from the media for following THAT up.

    I have met two of the Coalition police ministers of 1996 socially and they are good blokes, but every time I have voted with the Coalition I have felt like a two-can roadhouse whore.

    In my opinion, Coalition people especially Howard were completely unbalanced by media approval for the stupidity of 1996; they had learned to ignore media hate but they couldn’t resist unbridled approval. Notice how in the years since, the media as far as possible avoid mentioning it as an achievement of the Coalition, which might let more PC female city votes go their way.

    Only one voting pattern meets my emotional requirements: SITTING MEMBER LAST.

  33. Terry says:

    I swore after 1996 that I would never vote for the coalition again , state or federal, so long as they continued their anti-gun stance. Before that I was a committed Liberal supporter.

    So far as the state Libs and Nats go, they should know that mud sticks.

    I wonder just how much support John Howard actually received for his 1996 gun laws other than from the minions of the media. I wrote to him in 1996 expressing my “extreme anger and dismay” at the course adopted by him in relation to gun laws. His reply thanked me for supporting his actions. Howard has a long way to go before I will even consider voting for the coalition again. In fact, the farther he goes, the better!

    However, the reforms proposed by the NSW oppositon are a start and realistically a start is about all we can expect at this stage. I see some evidence that the Nationals have woken up to the stupidity of Howard’s laws, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

    Moving form state to federal: If the next federal election is close, as it appears it will be, John Howard may well rue the day he turned so many shooters against the Liberal Party.

    In NSW, ask yourself this before you vote: Can you trust the coalition to deliver if they win?

  34. Phil says:

    I posted this here;

    “…I’m open to discussion, but at this stage I propose that ‘your favourite
    Independent’ or minor party, at [1] followed by the coalition at [2] may
    make sense. (This represents a big change for me, as the major parties – and
    lib/nat specifically – have occupied last place on my ballot paper for the
    last 11 years).

    Maybe that should only apply to nationals – not libs?

    Adrian (assuming you are visiting here) – Your policy, and your Partie’s attitude change – is A START. Just a start . I suspect you guys are really starting to know what this issue has done in terms of electoral support (and I’ve heard it cost you a third of your membership). NSW 1988 showed what our support can deliver. The last 11 years shows that without our votes (a million nationwide – 300,000+ in NSW) you don’t have a snowflakes chance in electoral hell of getting the government benches.

    Bluntly, to really get us interested, you will have to propose a process that would commence the process of rolling back these counterproductive laws starting with the more onerous provisions.

    We’d like to give you a chance – but how can we trust you lot again? The concept of hysteresis is a t work here. Once alienated, you have to go much further to get the support you lost back.

  35. fishfinger says:

    I’ve never needed to ask a politician to write a reference for me. Some years ago I asked for one from the Police who then investigated me thoroughly and found me to be of good character and probity.
    As a result they issued me with a Firearms Licence.
    I’ll bet neither our Prime Minister nor our State Premier have such a reference.
    I’d be interested to know how many NSW politicians have one and who they are.

  36. Belle Star says:

    Most of them have not got a licence or have given them up, EH? Adrian, because they are afraid that the gun laws are so complex that they may offend in some way and upset their “good job’

  37. Phil says:

    Been thinking a little. Let’s suppose Adrian’s mob DID get in, assuming we can trust them to carry through (probable, but not certain) on their promise, where would that leave us? With some small changes, and nothing of real substance – no rollback. Plus, once they get in, it would probably be for at least 2-3 4 yr cycles. And that’s the way the laws would stay.

    It seems to me that the shadow of Howard and the NFA needs to be cast asunder before real progress can be made. Howard needs to be de-elected – sacked. Or, a new lib leader, either could do. (Labor may even start winding things back themselves somewhat if that happens – the small changes the nats propose are at least possible in that context.

    I don’t see a coalition government in NSW getting us anywhere much at all.

    However, Howard out, and the message (that they can’t possibly win without finding a couple of hundred thousand votes from ‘somewhere’ – hint – here we are!) reinforced by yet another coalition state level loss, may actually start things looking more optimistic for us.

    Note to Adrian. Too little, too late. Speaking for myself, I don’t want mere crumbs. I’d like to see some proposals on the table for getting the loaf back. at the very least, substantial slices thereof.

  38. I know exactly how you feel Phil. I just wonder how realistic that is.

    The defeat of the Howard government is an obvious precursor to any meaningful rollback of the gun laws. The National Firearms Agreement must be abandoned, through neglect if not directly.

    However, even if Rudd is elected and the pressure comes off the States on gun laws, nothing will immediately change. The States will merely go back to each doing their own thing. At that point we may be glad of a Coalition government in NSW that acknowledges things went way too far.

    I think a change of government in NSW followed by a change in Canberra might be quite a good formula for making progress. I’m contemplating voting that way.

  39. Adrian Piccoli says:

    Phil, with all due respect, you are deluding yourself. Do you really think Labor will change the gun laws, state or federal. What you will probably get from Labor is tougher gun laws. I havent seen anything from Labor about easing gun laws. You might hate Howard but Labor will be much worse.
    Our policy is a much greater step forward than any other major party has put forward. The Shooters Party cannot do a single thing in Parliament without the support of the government. A Labor government will not chnage a thing. The Nats and Libs by contrast have at least put a policy together that will move shooters forward. At this state election you have two choices. The Nats and Libs who have a policy to move forward or Labor who have passed evry single law that you hate. If you want to move gun laws forward, then I urge you to vote Nat/Lib

  40. You might hate Howard but Labor will be much worse.

    Adrian, there is no evidence for that in the federal context. Howard has a personal, emotional hatred of guns. It’s not rational or informed. To be specific, he’s a bigot.

    Rudd is (or was) a sporting shooter. He does not hate guns and acknowledges their legitimacy at least for sport. He is rational and informed on the topic.

    Considering the anti-gun agenda in Canberra has been driven almost entirely by Howard’s obsession and the handful of sycophants who do his bidding, a change of government has the potential to make a big difference. As far as I can see, there is certainly no reason to believe Labor will be much worse.

  41. Phil says:

    Andrew Piccoli says;
    “…What you will probably get from Labor is tougher gun laws… … You might hate Howard but Labor will be much worse…”
    “…Labor who have passed evry single law that you hate. If you want to move gun laws forward, then I urge you to vote Nat/Lib”

    Well, Andrew, thanks for visiting and posting here. That you are is a positive thing.

    “tougher gun laws”. “Labor who have passed evry single law that you hate”.
    How much ‘tougher’ can they get and still pretend private firearms are allowed? Not much. And labor AND the coalition passed the laws we hate. Lets remember that. Lets also note that it is the coalition who has suffered most from that. Lib/Nat has become un-electable at the state level in all states since 1996. Fact.

    I also note that between Shooters Party and Labor we have seen the Game Bill, and Home Invasion Bill passed. I view those as positive developments. So in objective terms, since 1996 labor has had a more positive record in our context than lib/nat – in that we have seen slightly positive legislation in terms of our overall objectives, and only negative (ie support for the ’96 laws – betrayal basically) – from the coalition at state level at the behest of coalition ‘leadership’ at the federal level.
    So in my view, you have worked to a position WORSE than labor in the context of our legislative wishes.

    If the coalition wants government, and to stay there, you clearly need a couple of hundred thousand votes. Bluntly, your firearms policy isn’t enough to attract that change from our direction – nowhere near. If you want shooters votes, forget about what you can do within the NFA – the ’96 framework, and instead start looking at a commitment to tear the damn thing up.

    Sorry, but you are staring down the barrel of yet another defeat – in 1988 Greiner backed us and won by a landslide. In 1998, howard got less than 50% of the vote. You lot NEED our votes. Start listening.

  42. Bruce says:

    The gun laws were a “unanamous bipartisan agreement” not Labour or Nats or Liberals, they all got in a huddle and thought “you beaut” we all stick together and they can’t touch us, Howard promised shooters all sorts before he was elected, the lie telling little ——– you can not trust any major party, as a former NSW member once said” Telling lies is part of a politicians tools” The state coalition will sell us out at the first opportunity, as they have done in the past, especially the Nats, as they are the junior part of the show and go into immediate melt down once the heat comes on, nothing changes, vote independant

  43. Adrian Piccoli says:

    I havent seen any independent utter a word about gun laws. None of them are out there proposing any of the sorts of changes you want.
    And a few scraps from the government to the Shooters Party is not what i call much to crow about. None of those chnages deal in any way with your grievences. All you will get from another 4 more years from a state Labor govt is more of the same – and thats nothing!!
    Furthermore, the Nats voted against the latest lot of laws banning certain handguns back in about 2003. Now you say we are the worst!! we are trying to come up with something that is at least constructive and achievable and all we get is criticism. Some of it may be justified but not all of it.

  44. Phil says:

    Yes Adrian, I do understand you are trying to make a start on something constructive. I regard that, and the fact that you are here talking as very positive indeed.
    However, I do hope you see how truly, deeply, lastingly pissed-off the shooting fraternity is with you lot.

    We may get surprised, but it is looking like labor will at least not lose next week. That’ll make it what, 16 years in opposition. Do you guys ‘get it’ yet? This issue is not going to go away. If people like me (and my views are far from just mine), can with-hold votes, ‘maintain the rage’ for 11 or 16 years (you got us offside starting 1992, not just ’96), we can with-hold for 20 or 30 years. In the case of the Nats, demographics is working against you, with that factored in as well, can you really afford to alienate core supporters? You did. If you lose this time, and again next time, does the coalition really have a future, we are talking a fundamental re-alignment in political leanings here.

    I’ll pose a question. Lets assume you Nats can hold your own at the country electorate level. And the libs hold their heartland seats (ie east and north shore Sydney, etc). Labour has their strongholds. then there are ‘regional’ seats (I used to be Sth Highlands – now Goulburn). Point is, things have settled down to a steady state which the coalition can’t seem to break out of to even start to look like winning government, not just in NSW, but in all states and territories. You guys just can’t win a trick. Some factor is solidly locking votes away from you to the point where the old 45%/45% in each camp and 10% swing voters decide the outcome just doesn’t apply any more (It now seems to have settled down at ~50% labor, ~40% lib, and that swing 10% you’ll never capture all of – so no chance at gov). And that factor really took hold, in all states, from ’96 onwards. What is that factor? Can you identify, honestly and objectively, anything else besides the ’96 NFA as a causative factor? Honestly? Please tell us about it if there is another reason?
    Q. What if the 15% of votes who were shooters used to routinely vote coalition at a rate of 2/3 or more of that 15%? Upset them enough, the 45% you could count on just doesn’t apply any more, your core constituency that you could count on just ‘went away’ in numbers sufficient to lock you permanently out in the cold.
    Got a better theory?

    So, I suggest that to have ANY chance at government, you need to get the majority of that 10-15% back on side. Hard to do, but it seems you need to find a way, I’d suggest.

    To put it bluntly – again. Messing around ineffectively at the margins isn’t going to get large numbers of shooters back into your core constituency. A fundamental re-examination and REAL changes to those laws are absolutely critical to clawing back support.
    Please consider….

  45. Sightalignment says:

    Phil’s comment reflects the depth of feeling against those who betrayed us in 1996 and again in 2002. We have long memories.

    It’s also true that the Coalition policy on firearms for this election is pretty tepid. They’re not promising a roll back, just a tidy up of administrative processes. It’s something, but not much to go on.

    But let’s not forget that the Nationals crossed the floor and voted against the pistol bans in 2002. It was a pretty symbolic thing to do, but they parted company with the Liberals and did it. It genuinely took balls.

    So perhaps the best option for shooters is to vote National, not Liberal. And in the upper house, to vote below the line for National candidates and not above the line for the Coalition.

  46. Phil says:

    Adrian Piccoli says;
    “…we are trying to come up with something that is at least constructive and achievable and all we get is criticism. Some of it may be justified but not all of it…”.

    OK Adrian, your points are taken on board. Time for some clear-headed and objective thinking on my (our) part. I note and truly do appreciate the shift, the symbology, of the changes you have in your policy.

    RealPolitix is about the art of the possible. Quid pro quo. You move a bit, then so should we.

    I have done some hard thinking, and factored in Adrian’s and others inputs here, and from elsewhere as well. Here is what I propose to do myself;

    NSW Upper House (LegCouncil): Voting below the line, Shooters Party at first preference, then Nationals, and like minded minor parties.

    NSW Lower House (LegAssy): Independent at first preference, then preference Lib (Pru Goward in my seat) above Labor (Adrian – that represents a large shift for me – Lib/Lab have been at the bottom of my ballot sheet since ’96 ).

    As has been posted elsewhere on this site, we have our wish list. What I’d like to see is a coalition policy that sets out the starting point – recognising that what we lost by degree, must be won back probably by degrees. I’d like to see the coalition add to their current policy a review of the current laws on a cost/benefits, what these laws were promised would achieve vs actual results basis. Yearly reviews with the following to be considered;

    * 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.

    I’l post a link to here on another favourite shooters site, and comment.

    Adrian, here is a chance to make your case to a wider audience of shooters 🙂


  47. Willy says:

    “get real about what one or two SP members can do???”

    who was it introduced the homeowners bill???? was it a national, or lib member???? I dont bloody think so. and further, that bill is a damn sight more use in a time of need than anything the libs and nats have done for a very long time.I had the leader of the fed nats as my local member, and personally asked him why he didnt at least threaten to split the coalition, his reply was basically that the lying rodent had out-argued him. a spine of gladwrap.
    its good to see you here Mr Piccoli, but if you want shooters to return to the fold of coalition voters, you and your fellows are going to have to institute real and significant change to the muck wich currnetly exists.promises are nice but its action wich counts.
    voting against the 02 pistol laws was a nice gesture, but it proves that you are ineffectual in the house doesnt it??you did vote for the 96 attack, and copped such a flogging since the party has started to wake up.

  48. ChrisPer says:

    While we are putting up the list of needed changes, how about the hate laws on young people, non-licenced people and non-dangerous objects:
    -Minimum age 16 for a CAT A licence with parental consent and responsibility;
    -Air pistols, airsoft pistols and replicas to CAT A and Collectors Licence;
    -No licence required while under supervision of licence holder;
    -If you have a certain category licence you can possess anyone else’s firearms in that category as loan, rental, storing for them in your safe or on-approval for sale.
    -Non-licenced person may transport firearms to secure storage, eg farmer’s wife can take firearms back to the safe if he has to attend a bushfire;

    -Semiauto .22s to CAT A,
    -Pump shotcus to CAT B,
    -Semiauto shotguns to CAT B
    -Category D rifles licenced for sporting use under similar regime to CAT H.

    When these changes are in place, the gun laws will be realistic and effective.
    – Still have registration so that evil-minded politicians can steal again if they want.
    – still have background check
    – still have waiting period for first firearm only
    – still have club and social contraints guiding sound use
    – still have safe storage laws
    – still have training requirements
    – still have legal transfer through dealers and police.

  49. Sightalignment says:

    “get real about what one or two SP members can do???”
    who was it introduced the homeowners bill???? was it a national, or lib member???? I dont bloody think so. and further, that bill is a damn sight more use in a time of need than anything the libs and nats have done for a very long time.

    Phil, although the Home Invasion Bill was a private members bill introduced by John Tingle, it got through parliament because both the government and opposition supported it. If the government had opposed it, or the opposition and cross benches in the upper house had opposed it, it would have failed.

    Also, don’t overestimate its value. It essentially converted the common law on self defence into statutory law. The only real benefit was in confirming the onus of proof lay with the prosecution. It also applies in NSW only.

    For your information, David Oldfield introduced a private members bill to make self defence a genuine reason for a firearms licence. It would have made a huge difference to shooters, but of course it did not get support.

    Adrian Piccoli is correct – two SP members in parliament (if that’s what happens) won’t make much difference. There were two shooters previously – Tingle and Oldfield. Tingle got some private members bills through, but they didn’t do much for shooters.

  50. Redneck says:


    I can see some logic in licensing but I really object to gun registration. It’s irrational. The purpose of licensing is to filter out criminals and nutters. Once that is in place, how does gun registration help?

    Even registering pistols and semi-auto rifles is ridiculous, although I guess most shooters would go along with it on the grounds it was a lot better than the current situation.

  51. Phil says:

    Sightalignment, you are confusing Willy with myself. I realise it isn’t that simple. Read what I posted last. Like I said, “clear headed and objective thinking”.

    They have moved a little. Maybe we should move – a little. I’m advocating preferences 3 onwards in the upper house to the Nat candidates.

  52. Phil says:

    Sightalignment, A few more thoughts. Please read above how I advocate voting, if shooters did that across the board (and it’s a bit late in the day to get the message out now) the coalition might just win. That would be nice. If they carried through with their promises, and a start was made on rolling things back to less onerous and realistic firearms laws. Good luck to Adrian and co. I truly do wish them well.

    However, the chances of the coalition winning Saturday are pretty slim. And we should recognise that one of, if not the largest part to the problem is the current resident of The Lodge/Kirribilli.
    Maybe it’s too late this election 😦 but 4 years is 2 more chances to sack howard – then maybe we can get some movement our way?

  53. Sightalignment says:

    Sorry Phil, I mixed you up with Willy.

    I agree with your voting suggestion although I question whether it will make any difference whether you put the SP first or the Nationals. But whatever, better than most of the others.

  54. ChrisPer says:

    I wasn’t putting up a wishlist for US-style RKBA idealism, but an Australian suggestion to roll the laws back from a level of irrational excess to an area where the principles are defensible on grounds of maybe working to some benefit for the community.

    I am well aware of Greenwood and New Zealand and the US experience and the level of control deemd appropriate in Arizona vs that in California, and you have solid grounds for your ideas in US circumstances.

    My intention is to put something on the table that reflects Australian experience even if it doesn’t get heard. If we work from an Australian basis and developed shooter vision for a realistic alternative to the present regime… that regime may be on the table if political opportunity arises.

  55. never again says:

    Before 1996 I voted Liberal/National at every election, even handed out “pamphlets” on and before voting day and then helped with the vote counting on election night. All was voluntary. After Howard and his gun laws I refuse to have anything to do with any major party till they give me back what they took. Back then I didn’t have kids but now I do and I tell them about what they will miss out on. My point it this: the coalition at any level needs to understand that there are lots of people out there like me.

  56. BOBLEE says:

    Well for what it’s worth I think Adrian deserves full credit for coming on here.
    As a former constituent of his (redistribution) he was always very supportive of our cause but as I have stated many times to him when the crunch came in 96 the Nats showed only token resistence at State level and Tim Fishers absolute betrayel (also local member) which may have gained some reward with the prim monster has cost them dearly.
    Adrian will be very aware of the cost to his party after coming here and especially after the election. The State Labour gov’s may have implemented the laws but no one is fooled as to why.
    If the truth is known we would have probably been far worse off under a Fed labour govt in 96.
    Labour were for years clamouring for the govt to implement the police ministers recommendations and they were almost word for word what we ended up with. Even though they were presented year after year the co alition did not attempt to implement them until that little prick saw that he had a win win situation.
    As for the election this weekend my vote will be for TSP in the upper house and then the nats down to the greens last.
    If I was in Adrians seat he would definitely get my vote but will have to settle for his successor John Williams who is a real asset and definitely 100% for us.
    As to whether they have paid enough for what they did to us in 96 I am still not sure but it’s time to start thinking about giving them a chance.
    It will be better with two TSP’s in the upper house to balance the protest vote going to the greens than with one.

  57. ChrisPer says:

    Paid enough? They are paying nothing, and have paid nothing.

    Betrayal has consequences, but consequences are not ‘payment’.

  58. BOBLEE says:

    I disagree, they have paid big time but then so have we. That betrayal especially by the Nats who we regarded as “friendly” is unforgivable and the lesson should never be forgotten.
    Especially the words of the HON? T.Fisher weeks before they enacted the Police Ministers recommendations “we will never touch your guns”.
    If anybody believes that we would have been treated better under Labour they also believe there are fairies at the bottom of their garden, as they wanted these recommendations implemented years earlier.
    What hurt the most was the betrayal by the friendlies but to cut off our noses to spite our face forever is not the answer.
    We need to move on and absolutely a united party representing Shooters and hopefully all outdoor sports in the upper houses who have a charter to only protect those sports is a must.
    To carry the grudge and penalise sitting members, nats, libs, lab etc is bullshit and will accomplish nothing except make sure we are irrelevant with no backing at all from anyone.
    Locally we now have two very supportive members of the shooting, fishing sports etc and while I could go on about all the things that especially Adrian has supported us with, will just mention that both he and John Williams have promised to fight for a return of a legitimate Duck Season, Adrian has fought for fox bounties in parliament, he has publicly sponsored our Fox Hunts and publicly supported hunting many times.
    The firearms policy above is not what we want and not what he has called for which is the abolition of the registry as in Canada but it is what was realistically acheivable within the current climate.
    What we need to look at is do we want men like Adrian within the party machines Nat, Lab, Lib) or do we want to keep alienating them by not supporting them.
    At the end of the day we should never forget that all the major parties have multiple policies and therefore loyalties and they all are bound by varying degrees to party loyalty.
    Never forget that Tim the party man said we will never touch your guns and then shafted us.

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  64. Le Loup says:

    Two days ago I had a firearms check. The police officer who attended told me that he did not believe my antique muzzleloading guns were antique & he said they were breech loaders. Now I am in the ridiculous position of having to find a gunsmith or someone else to authenticate my guns or I may lose them.
    I tried to register them to save myseld a hassle, but firearms registry don’t want me to register them because they are antiques!!!!
    To get them registered I have to take these guns into town & the dealer has to take my guns into his own stock. Then I have to apply for a “Permit to acquire” to get my own guns back again. This is not only going to cost me money & time, but you do not require a “permit to aquire” for antique guns, so I can see a problem arrising there too. This is total madness. In future I will not be declaring anything, I will not be showing anything. If this ignorant police officer had not seen my antique guns in the gun safe, I would not be having this problem.
    Sincerely, Keith H. Burgess.

  65. Billy says:

    But since becoming a Senator-elect Mr. David LDP seems not to care about this blog or building the NSW member base for the next state election. Result will be a third SFP member, probably Tingle.

    Then again Lyonheart might just re-appear seeking support because the LDP need it and based on his media file to date a lot more now know about the small ‘l’ libertarian slant not being ‘L’iberal.

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