Guns in Australia

Shooters Union slams “political posturing” over national gun registry

The Federal Government’s announcement that it has reached a $200 million funding agreement with the states for a federal firearms registry has been dismissed by Shooters Union Australia as an “exercise is political posturing”.

The Union, one of the country’s largest shooter representative organisations, believes the huge sums earmarked for the project could have a greater public safety impact if they were spent elsewhere.

Shooters Union president Graham Park said it was far too much of a coincidence that the announcement came just days before the first anniversary of the Wieambilla shootings in Queensland, and just as news broke of the arrest of a man in the US alleged to have been connected to the incident.

“It strains belief to think that this is about anything more than Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wanting to score some favourable headlines after a series of embarrassments, and about Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk thinking that standing up in public next to grieving families might somehow boost her waning popularity,” he said.

Mr Park said Shooters Union was supportive of instant, real-time communication between firearms registries, something that should have been implemented a long time ago.

However, he said the approximately $200m price tag was not only excessive, but almost certainly nowhere near what the true cost was likely to be.

“There’s no way it’s only going to be $200m, given the near-inevitability with which large government projects go over budget,” he said.

“At a time when the cost of living crisis is hitting family budgets hard, housing is inaccessible for many, and infrastructure is falling apart, it is shameful that politicians are splashing huge amounts of money around just to try to distract people from those issues.

“The more money that gets wasted on feel-good schemes, the less there is to go into actually training and supporting police – who are already trained to approach every situation as potentially dangerous, whether or not a list of legally owned guns says there may be a firearm present.”

To underline his belief that much of the federal firearms registry situation was based on political posturing rather than a serious issues, Mr Park pointed to fact it would take at least four years to implement the registry.

“If a Federal firearms registry is such a pressing matter of national importance, why is the timeframe for implementing it not until almost 2030?” he asked.

“Clearly more information is needed, and we reiterate our concern this is being rushed through as part of an expensive exercise in being seen to do something rather than properly updating what should be a fairly basic element of firearms registry operations.”




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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.