In the 2007 federal election the Australian Shooters Party directed its preferences in NSW straight to the Christian Democrats.
The CDP shares with the Shooters Party a dislike of Greens extremism. The Shooters Party and CDP often work together in the NSW Legislative Council to oppose Green extremism. However, the CDP is fundamentally an anti-shooter, authoritarian party. Both the two CDP MPs, Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes, are on the record as such.
On 19 June 2008, speaking about a bill to introduce some modest amendments to the Firearms Act and Regulations, Gordon Moyes said this:
Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES [3.58 p.m.]: I wish to speak on behalf of many Christian people who do not approve of this bill. I would like to state personally that I do not approve of shooting as a sport, and I wonder why it is an Olympic Games event. I do not like the concept of the spread of firearms. I do not like the concept of children being trained to shoot. I do not advocate banning guns from the community, but I will not support an extension of their availability, or encourage shooting in any form except within the armed forces. I do support, and have always supported, John Howard’s limitations on firearms, and I will not do anything to roll back those limitations. And I will not support the Government’s amendment to the bill because I believe that in any form the bill is repugnant.
On 3 July 2003 Fred Nile spoke to the Firearms Amendment (Prohibited Pistols) Bill, which introduced new impositions on target pistol shooters including calibre and barrel length restrictions and limits on magazine capacity. He said:
Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE [2.33 p.m.]: The Christian Democratic party supports this bill, which, as honourable members know, is based on an agreement reached at the Council of Australian Governments on 2 December 2002. The bill fully implements the national agreement, which places a range of restrictions on handguns used by target shooters. They include restricting handguns that can be used for target shooting to a maximum of.38 calibre, restricting semiautomatic handguns with a barrel length of 120 millimetres or more, and restricting revolvers or single shot handguns with a barrel length of 100 millimetres or more. This is uniform legislation, so the amendments proposed by the Greens and the Australian Shooters Party—probably coming from two opposing points of view—cannot be accepted if we are to have uniform legislation based on the national agreement.
There has been some controversy about a new competition, which I have only just become aware of, called the International Practical Shooting competition, in which the competitors use.45 calibre handguns. It is a bit like what we see on television with the training of squads to combat terrorism. Apparently some people engage in this as a sport, using a handgun to shoot at moving targets while passing through a constructed range in the form of a building. I am not too sure whether that is a desirable sport; I have some reservations about it.
I understand that the police, the army, and particularly the SAS have to be expert in handling guns, but it seems dangerous to allow people, who may be unstable, to learn handgun skills that they could use in an antisocial way. Nevertheless, I understand that requests were made to the Premier and that the Premier wrote to the Prime Minister requesting that he consider including this activity as an accredited sport. There is even some talk that it may become a recognised sport at future Olympic Games. That would seem to be a strange development.
The national agreement includes a provision for a prohibited pistols buyback. This is one of the strangest parts of the legislation because there have been a lot of reports in the media that because the value of some pistols has increased—the Glock was mentioned—and because the Government pays the current price, some people will make a profit out of the buyback.
Pistol holders must ensure that their pistols are not stolen and used for criminal activity. The bill prescribes a 12-month probationary period for first-time handgun sport or target licence holders; that no handguns can be owned in the first six months of the probationary period, and that only two handguns of certain types may be owned in the second six months; and that handgun target shooters meet nationally agreed minimum participation rates in club competitions and events. It is also essential that people who own handguns must be mentally stable. In previous debates I have promoted the notion that all licensed pistol holders should be required to be a member of a recognised club that has strict membership requirements. Any member who displays strange or Rambo-like conduct will be kicked out of the club and lose his or her licence. That would be a sensible form of self-regulation.
The Christian Democratic Party supports the bill, or, rather, we do not oppose it, because some controls are necessary. However, we feel that the bill focuses on the wrong people: it should focus on criminals.
The scheme should be carefully monitored to ensure that no person makes a profit from it. We support the bill.
The people who run the Shooters Party aren’t geniuses, but they should have got it by now – shared opposition to the Greens is not the same as support for their own point of view.
In the 1999 NSW state election, Shooters Party preferences were responsible for the election of the anti-shooter Unity Party. If the anti-shooter CDP had won a Senate seat in the 2007 federal election, it would have been with the help of Shooters Party preferences.
It’s about time the Shooters Party learned something about politics.