Selfloading .22 rifles were a very popular and efficient pest control firearm up until the 1990’s. I was lucky enough to have used one with my grandfather as he showed me the ropes many years prior. I still remember that effeciency and the fun we used to have hunting with one.
In a media release the state’s peak political body for Victoria’s shooting organisations is calling on the state government to allow shooters to use 22 self-loading rifles after a 20 year ban.
The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria has written to the Premier urging him to reconsider the state’s position in light of shooters’ concerns.
Council President, Bill Paterson, said the move would be entirely reasonable, arguing 22 rifles are in reality, “bunny guns”, and bore no resemblance to military style rifles of the type which led to the ban in 1996.
“For a start the 22 rifle has significantly less firepower than what you find with larger calibres, and it has a very practical use,” he said.
“22s are used for rabbit vermin pest control and allowing the self-loading rifles back, even if limited to 10 shots, would be a great help in controlling vermin numbers without posing any public danger”
He said the ban on self-loading rifles occurred after the shootings in Port Arthur in 1996, in a state which had very few controls over firearms when other states already had effective licensing and limitations.
“The problem is the political response back in 1996 did not take any of these factors into account when it should have. The loss of the 22 self-loading rifle was at the top of shooters’ concerns in a recent survey we conducted and their return would go a long way to providing a better balance in firearm regulation”.
He said the issue of .22 self-loading firearms will remain high on the Council’s list of priorities for the 2018 Victorian State Election.