The SSAA has slammed an appallingly written news story by junior reporter Anthony Galloway and Patrick Carlyon as unbalanced, sensationalist and fear-mongering, which once again demonstrates that the media’s role as responsible reporters of the news is no more. Masquerading as journalism and published across the Murdoch news syndicates on April 7, it is nothing more than anti-gun propaganda quoting solely from firearm-hating zealots.
The story propagates the myth that lever-action shotguns are “semi-automatic-style weapons” and makes the outrageous claim that the Turkish-made Adler A110 “has many similarities to pump-action and semi-automatic firearms, but is classified as a shotgun”, which is irrational and technically impossible. The reporters fail to mention that there are already tens of thousands of legal lever-action shotguns in the hands of licensed firearms owners across the nation, with the fact that the lever-action technology is more than 130-years-old also gleefully overlooked.
Ignoring the basic principles of journalism to seek comment from both sides, the SSAA can confirm that no-one from the SSAA or the firearms industry, including Adler importer Nioa who has issued a scathing statement, were contacted by the reporters. The story quotes only from gun control extremists such as career anti-gunner Philip Alpers and the fake organisation Gun Control Australia (GCA), with GCA’s spokeswoman Samantha Lee falsely stating that “all guns start out legal before they become illegal either via theft or rogue gun dealers.” This flies in the face of the evidence from two key Federal Government agencies that found that theft from licensed firearm owners is not the main source of the supply to the black market, with illegal importation of undeclared firearms identified as a key threat.
This disgraceful article comes in the wake of ex-Prime Minister John Howard’s recent comments that confirmed his limited knowledge of firearms has not increased in the 20 years since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA). The sentiments echoed in this article and by the retired Howard is in stark contrast to the cool-headed approach by the current serving Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who dismissed emotional calls to tighten the NFA and instead rightly pointed to illegal firearms as the problem.
In the lead up to the Federal Election, the SSAA will be working closely with our state counterparts to protect firearm owners’ interests and ensure our politicians work towards further cuts to red tape as promised. We call on our members to contact news organisations directly and utilise social media to voice concerns about such irresponsible and unfair reporting, with our Member Action centre offering tips and guidance.