Mark McGowan
WA Premier Mark McGowan: his government is considered to be anti-shooting. (Image: JPez1997/Wikimedia)

McGowan’s gone! Will it mean a fair go for WA’s shooters?

The shock resignation of Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has been almost universally welcomed by shooters, although one of the country’s largest firearm user representative organisations cautions it may be too early to crack open the champagne just yet.

Much to nearly everyone’s surprise, McGowan announced his almost immediate resignation on 29 May, citing exhaustion and the “relentless” pressures of political life.

McGowan has taken a famously anti-gun attitude in recent years, riding roughshod over the concerns of law-abiding firearms users in WA and forcing through changes to the state’s firearms laws, including banning a number of rifles and calibres which WAPOL deemed ‘too powerful’ despite a lack of evidence the items in question had ever been used criminally in WA.

Only a few days ago he was quoted as saying that there were far too many guns in the state, and vowed to reduce that number, citing irrelevant comparisons to US firearms issues as justification.

Unsurprisingly, news of his resignation has been welcomed by shooters in WA, with 

Shooters Union Western Australia state advocate Steve Harrison saying he hoped McGowan’s departure would have a positive impact for shooters in the state.

“It represents a real opportunity for change, and for the creation of more sensible gun law reforms that balance the need for public safety with lawful citizens to own and use firearms,” he said.

“Under McGowan’s leadership, gun laws in Western Australia are becoming increasingly restrictive and intentionally and unfairly make it more difficult for law-abiding members of society to access firearms. 

“The impact of these potential changes is being felt strongly by the firearms community in Western Australia, who are frustrated by the increasing level of bureaucracy and red tape they are facing.”

While glad to see McGowan stepping down, Mr Harrison said it wasn’t necessarily going to be the end of WA shooters’ woes, however.

“It’s good news McGowan is gone, but the advisors, bureaucrats and WAPOL staff with anti-gun agendas are still there and the ALP super-majority is still in place, meaning we may still find ourselves with the same issues under a new Premier.

“Having said that, many in the firearms community are optimistic that any new leadership will take a more sensible approach to gun laws, one that acknowledges that the possession of firearms by lawful firearm ownership is not a community risk and that their substantial investment in the ballistics sports is not wasted.

“We hope Mr McGowan’s replacement proves more willing to actually listen to and genuinely engage with shooters. 

“We’ll certainly be getting in touch with them after they’ve been sworn in, to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues affecting shooters in WA.”




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.