The NSW branch of the National Party has voted unanimously to adopt the removal of appearance laws and bans on suppressors as a party platform at its recent state conference in Tamworth.
The Nationals did not respond to a request from Sporting Shooter for additional comment or information by time of publishing, meaning there is little information on what the new stance might mean for shooters or how the Nationals plan to implement it.
SIFA CEO James Walsh said it had been great to see the delegates from the NSW Nationals conference hold their party and parliamentary colleagues to account.
“Given that former Nationals Police Minister Paul Toole did not heed the concerns of industry, we now look forward to seeing the party actively pursue these changes from the opposition benches,” he said.
Shooters, Fishers And Farmers Party MP Robert Borsak was not impressed by the Nationals’ move, however, commenting in a Facebook post that the Nationals “were in power for 12 years and like Labor failed to support my suppressor Bill last year”.
“They supported every oppressive thing the Liberals did to LAFOs over 12 years,” he said.
Shooters Union president Graham Park said the policy adoption was “long, long overdue”.
“We’re glad to see a major political party coming to its senses, but it would have been nice if they’d done this years ago,” he said.
“It’s easy to make policy statements when you’re not in power, but in this case it’s definitely better late than never.
“We’re not holding our breath, but we hope the other major parties will follow the Nationals’ lead on this issue and recognise that suppressors are an OH&S tool, not a criminal accessory, and that how a gun looks — even if it is ‘scary’ and ‘tactical’ — has nothing to do with how it functions.
“We will, of course, be making that point to the various Ministers and political representatives as part of our regular meetings.”