The Turnbull Coalition team is committed to preserving the interests of the legal firearms market and owners including sporting and recreational shooters, while also maintaining a range of measures to control firearms and their criminal misuse.
The Coalition is committed to retaining the Firearms Industry Reference Group of which the SSAA is already a member. This group has been and will continue to be a vital reference in the review of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA). Firearm laws in Australia are based mainly on the resolutions agreed upon by Australian Police Ministers and compiled in this agreement. The Turnbull Government has no plans to change this approach.
Mandatory minimum sentences send a strong message that gun-related crime and violence is a serious threat to the safety of all Australians. The Turnbull Government sought to pass legislation to provide for a mandatory minimum sentence and increased maximum penalties for the offences of trafficking firearms within, into and out of Australia. While this measure did not pass before the end of the Parliamentary term, a re-elected Turnbull Government would reintroduce this legislation. Our attempts to crack down on illicit firearms trafficking have been undermined by Labor hypocrisy. Cracking down on illegal trafficking will help legitimate participants in the firearms industry conduct their business legally.
There is no single measure or package of reforms that can prevent firearm crime or improve safety overnight. While the Labor Party has been inconsistent on firearms, the Coalition fully supports the legitimate use of firearms by sporting and recreational shooters and will ensure the needs and interests of legal firearms owners have been well considered in the development of future firearms reforms.
Friend or foe?
The following featured ‘friends or foes’ offer just a snapshot of more than a thousand candidates across 150 electorates, so we implore you to do your own research before you head to the ballot box on July 2.
FRIEND: Ian Goodenough MP
Electorate: Moore, WA
Ian Goodenough is an active sporting shooter, accredited shooting coach and paid-up life member of the SSAA. He commenced competitive shooting at 11 years of age, starting with smallbore rifle before participating in clay target and pistol disciplines. A keen firearms collector, Ian also participates in hunting in northern Western Australia.
Since being elected to Federal Parliament, Ian enthusiastically became a founding member of the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group, which aims to raise public awareness of shooting and project a positive image of our sport among our nation’s leaders and decision makers. Ian has made speeches in Parliament promoting responsible firearms ownership.
He encourages clubs across Australia to invite their local, state and federal elected representatives to family open days, annually, to experience shooting in a responsible environment. As a club coach, Ian actively encourages new shooters to try the sport so that community participation will continue to grow.
FRIEND: Eric Hutchinson MP
Electorate: Lyons, Tasmania
Eric Hutchinson is a born and bred Tasmanian who grew up and went to school in Launceston. A former student of Launceston Church Grammar School, Eric completed a three-year wool and fibre marketing course before working and travelling overseas as an exporter and trader. Upon returning to Tasmania, Eric worked throughout Lyons in his role as marketing manager for wool with Roberts Limited. He was elected to Parliament in 2013 taking the seat from 20-year incumbent and shooting sports supporter Dick Adams.
SSAA Tasmania President Andrew Judd said, like Dick, Eric has been a supporter of the shooting sports in Tasmania and encourages licensed firearm owners living in the Lyons electorate to reinstate Eric at the election.
FOE: Jason Wood MP
Electorate: La Trobe, Victoria
A known anti-hunter who was behind the ignorant trophy hunting ban is Liberal MP, Jason Wood. Mr Wood vocally attacked the lawful pursuit of Australian hunters in his misguided crusade against trophy hunting and is now lending his voice to the animal liberation movement of the RSPCA.
SSAA Victoria President Denis Moroney warned against usual Liberal or swing voters in the outer Melbourne electorate of casting their vote in favour of Mr Wood. “Jason Wood is no friend of ours. He has consistently demonised hunters who participate in legal and legitimate conservation efforts both here and overseas,” he said. “This man has no respect for the men and women who put food on the table for their families, who assist with animal population control, who have a genuine love of the outdoors and spending time with their families, and who pour millions of dollars each year into regional, interstate and overseas economies. It’s time he learnt that the shooting fraternity’s vote counts. Vote Jason Wood last.”