Bob Katter, the Australian Shooters Union, and sporting shooters groups alike, are up in arms over a sneaky move pulled by both sides of the Parliament yesterday, after they called on, and passed withoutdebate, a bill which Mr Katter warns will undermine the integrity of democracy in Australia.
Bob Katter Member for Kennedy PostedThe bill will place further impositions on responsible gun owners, adding mandatory imprisonment sentences for trafficking in firearms or parts.
If the Criminal Code Amendment (Firearms Trafficking) Bill passes through the Senate, it will mean that a simple act of purchasing a replacement part, such as a swivel or screw online, could mean jail time as sending items interstate may constitute “trafficking”.
Mr Katter said the bill was introduced and passed within 15 minutes, and Members of Parliament were given no chance to debate as the Leader of the House shut down debate and allowed the Bill to pass unopposed. Many MPs, including Mr Katter, were not even present as they were attending to other Parliamentary business at the time.
“We were given no notice that the bill was coming on. It was super sneaky,” Mr Katter said.
“If I had been allowed to speak, I would have argued that the Bill sets a dangerous precedent of mandatory sentences and that the bill had been introduced with zero consultation.
“This is the time where the government should be building up our armoury but instead they are doing the complete opposite. Here I am screaming out, almost constantly, “Can’t you see the bad guys are coming?! ” he said.
“We have Russia and China already fronting up in the world and not a bo peep from America. We all know Europe is a spent force and when we should be doing everything humanly possible to provide arms, we are doing just the opposite.”
Mr Katter said he had little faith the Senate would be successful in killing the Bill.
“I would see as much chance of reason coming out of the Australian Senate as our kindergartens have got of manufacturing supersonic airliners.”
Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park wholeheartedly backed Mr Katter’s comments on the situation.
“We literally had not heard a peep about this legislation before it was passed. We’re one of the country’s largest shooting organisations and the fact the government thinks it’s OK to introduce and pass legislation that directly affects every gun owner in the country without any industry consultation is completely unacceptable,” he said.
“Once again, Australia’s licensed shooters are being used as a punching bag for easy political points, and no-one outside the law-abiding firearms user community cares because it’s about guns.
“Who knows what subject they’ll pull this stunt on next? Whatever it is, it’ll be too late, because the precedent has been set and people didn’t speak up.”