Western Australia gun law reform

Papalia claims Queensland gun lobby is undermining WA gun law reform

WA Police Minister has drawn more derision from shooters after claiming his push for controversial gun-law reforms was being undermined by “the Queensland gun lobby”.

He told The Australian that Queensland’s gun lobby was “driven by unlimited guns for everyone” and had a “great interest in profits in selling guns to Western Australians”.

His comments appear to ignore the fact that direct opposition to his reforms has been led by the Western Australian Firearms Community Alliance (WAFCA), which is made up of a large number of WA-based and national organisations representing community and commercial interests. 

There is no Queensland gun lobby as such, and the only major players Papalia may be referring to are Shooters Union Australia and firearms distributor NIOA, both of which are based there.

Shooters Union is one of the representative bodies that has been vocal in its opposition to Papalia’s reforms, while NIOA has been silent but is one of many members of the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), which has criticised Papalia’s proposals and lack of consultation. 

Graham Park, president of Shooters Union Australia, laughed off Papalia’s statement.

“Mr Papalia’s silly chest-beating just shows how out of touch he is with what’s happening in his own backyard,” Mr Park said. 

“The simple fact is that more and more people in Western Australia, from farmers to police to suburban mums and dads, are against what the government is putting forward. 

“The local opposition was made incredibly clear in recent days, with one of the largest petitions ever tabled in state parliament against the government’s gun bans and restrictions. 

“Over 12,000 Western Australians signed that petition, which makes a complete joke out of claims that Western Australians support what the government is trying to ram through.” 

He cited the rapid growth of the Shooters Union’s WA branch, saying it “speaks volumes about how many Western Australian people can spot dodgy political games when they see them, and how fed up they are with that style of lazy politics”. 

Papalia has continued to deflect from the real concerns over his reforms and ignores increasingly vocal opposition to them.

“One thing in politics is constant, whether you are in Western Australia or anywhere else – when politicians don’t have a clue what to do about real problems, they always turn to gun laws to take the heat off their failures,” Park said.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.