Reports that the Adler A110 lever-action shotgun of more than five shots will be recategorised to Category D at the imminent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting would be a slap in the face to the nation’s one million-plus law-abiding shooters.
For nearly two years, the SSAA has attended countless meetings, provided detailed submissions and responded to information requests regarding the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) review and Adler issue. Both the government and bureaucracy are well aware that recategorisation in the absence of any evidence to suggest this would somehow aid public safety would be an affront to the country’s shooters. What’s more, recategorising a firearm type that has been used in Australia for more than 100 years without any evidence of criminal use is poor policy based on emotion and hysterical rhetoric.
The NFA review was meant to look at ways to cut red tape and streamline processes for the nation’s law-abiding shooters. Instead, it appears the whole process has been disingenuous. If COAG does indeed recategorise five-plus lever-action shotguns to Category D, we have no option but to conclude that the government has been patronising in their dealings with us and other likeminded groups.
Many shooters volunteer their time and resources to assist farmers, and even state governments who look after National Parks, with much-needed feral and pest animal control. This now appears worthless and unappreciated. Taking away the ability to access a firearm specifically designed for controlling animals such as feral pigs in Queensland will see the burden fall on farmers, who may have to spend money on paid shooters just to get the job done.
The SSAA calls on our 180,000-plus members and fellow shooters to urgently contact your local parliamentarian and state Premier or territory Chief Minister and voice your opposition to the rumoured recategorisation. We do not want to see this set the precedence for other legitimate firearms to be confiscated from the majority of shooters, just to appease hoplophobes who wish to see our freedoms further restricted, without any real benefit.