The Greens’ plan to ban handguns and retrieve them fromtheir owners in a $350 million buyback scheme has been described as a “graspingattempt at relevance”.
Greens leader Christine Milne said that taking guns off thestreets would solve the issue of gun violence in the wake of several shootingsin western Sydney.
“We need strong action to reduce the number of handgunsfalling into the wrong hands. They have become the firearm of choice forcriminals in Australia, especially in the drug trade and in gangs,” she said.
However, Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Borsak said spending$350 million to take legal firearms away from their owners would not solve theissue of gun crime in Australia.
“This is an irrelevant party with an outdated and wronghandedpolicy seeking to waste more taxpayer money on a failed scheme that the LiberalParty has been behind for many years,” he told Sporting Shooter.
“Even as late as yesterday, the Police Minister in budgetestimates made the statement that their most recent bust seized firearms from acar that were never legal anywhere in Australia, so these guns are comingthrough the borders.
“The problem is with our border protection. It’s undermannedand underfinanced, and I’ve got to take my hat off to the police minister MikeGallacher who has recognised this and is leading the inquiry into it.
“O’Farrell’s argument that by having a register andcontrolling ammunition will solve the problem is rubbish – you will never solveit while you have these issues with border control. And you will never solvegun crime by taking legal firearms away from law abiding firearms owners.”
This view was echoed by the Sporting Shooters Association ofAustralia. SSAA chief executive Tim Bannister said a buyback would not affectthe guns criminals use in gang-related shootings and that it was a drug andgang problem, not a firearm problem.
“This would be a buyback of legal firearms, not illegalfirearms, so it still won’t actually stop the firearms in the hands ofcriminals being utilised,” he said.