One Nation tables new pro-shooting, pro-hunting gun policy ahead of NSW elections

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in NSW has unveiled a new — and extremely supportive — hunting and firearms policy ahead of the state election on 25 March, making a significant bid for the votes of hunters and shooters.

The new policy, obtained by Sporting Shooter, is explicitly pro-shooting, pro-hunting and pro-outdoor pursuits.

Specifically, it includes support for “responsible firearm ownership for farming, hunting, employment, and sporting purposes” along with “evidence-based firearm legislation that balances licensing, safe use, safe storage and community safety”.

It also explicitly states One Nation does not believe law-abiding firearms owners are terrorists or potential criminals, and that the legislative and law-enforcement focus must be on criminals rather than licensed shooters. 

Further cementing its commitment to hunters and outdoors people, the party states it supports the right of all people to fish, hunt and harvest wild flora and fauna for personal use, as well as recognising the cultural, spiritual and environmental significant of recreational hunting, along with the role recreational hunters play in controlling feral and introduced animals — and it calls for public recognition of the same.

On the subject of hunting, the notes that “hunters would play a cost-effective role in reducing the problem of feral animals. NSW has 203,000 firearm licenses issued for recreational hunting and vermin control. Our policy is to allow these hunters to help the National Parks/State Reserve habitats.”

Given the historically confusing messaging around One Nation’s support for shooters in NSW, this new policy clearly and explicitly puts them squarely into the supporters camp, and sends a message that shooters, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts are not only important politically, but also as members of the community.

NSW One Nation leader and upper house MP Mark Latham said the policy had been developed over the past year in consultation with hunting and outdoor pursuits representatives — including Shooters Union — amid significant concern about the increasing quantity of land being locked up for National Parks and State Reserves in NSW. 

There are now more than 800, most of which are effectively in the middle of nowhere and restricted from most sorts of use by regular citizens, Mr Latham said.

He pointed to NSW Environment and Heritage’s recent acquisition of 437,000 sq km of generally semi-arid scrubland at Thurloo Downs, near Bourke, as a particularly egregious example of tax-money waste with no benefit to NSW residents or visitors.

“It’s a 10-hour drive and there’s nothing out there,” he said.

“They [the State Government] paid millions for land no-one is going to use other than the four National Parks people out there to look after it.

“Let people hunt on it, fish there, go four-wheel driving or horse riding; whatever we can sustainably use that land for.”

More state-owned land throughout NSW could be opened up to hunters and outdoor pursuits enthusiasts, Mr Latham said, and it made perfect sense to encourage hunters to get into these areas.

“There’s been a lot of restrictions on hunting and law-abiding shooters; if there’s large tracts of land in the state not being used, it’s good for the hunters to get in there and clear out the feral pests,” he said.

“They are pests, so shouldn’t the environmentalists be happy to get rid of them?”

Shooters Union national hunting co-ordinator Craig Golding said the new policy had his full support.

“It was refreshing to not only have the opportunity to express our concerns for law-abiding firearms owners in NSW, but to have our policy recommendations accepted, unchanged — and to have a politician do, in this instance, what they said they would by releasing the new, revised policy,” he said.

“Mark was well across the issues surrounding NSW National Park access, not only for hunters but for all legitimate outdoor activities as well.

“We hope these changes and renewed focus on the issues affecting LAFOs has wider-reaching benefits to the wider shooting community.”




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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.