Snap Shots – 5 June 2012


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Abbott slams border security over guns

Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott says dramatic cuts to border security finances and scanning are making it hard for the states to combat gun crime among warring gangs, who are responsible for dozens of drive-by shootings around the country. He says the Labor Government has cut $60 million the budget for screening, and now only 10% of cargo is scrutinised, compared with 60% being screened under the previous government. “Is it any wonder [illegal] guns are getting into our country?” he asked.

National park hunting on telly

Those following the debate about hunting in NSW national parks might like to watch two programs that aired on TV recently. On the ABC’s 7.30 Report in NSW, Quentin Dempster put together a well balanced piece in which the Shooters and Fishers Party was given a chance to have its say. Channel 10’s the Project last night broadcast a more simplistic interpretation in which they briefly explored both sides of the argument, even if their only guest was Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann, who erroneously claimed national parks would be closed to the public when hunting was taking place.

Riflemen want a car

The Queensland Rifle Association is looking for any shooter who’s also a car dealer. The QRA is looking for a new 4X4 ute or van and, of course, is hoping it can find an empathetic gun enthusiast to help them get a good deal. If that’s you, please get in touch with the QRA markting director, Kim O’Loghlen, via email.

US gun sales still climbing…

Americans are continuing to buy guns at an ever-increasing rate. May 2012 was the 24th month in a row when NICS background checks – the accepted measure of approximate sales – were up. After deducting checks that didn’t relate to sales or transfers of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation tallied the May total at 840,412, more than 20% up on the May 2011 figure. Background checks have roughly doubled in the past 10 years.

…and the benefits flow

The NSSF revealed the gun industry is worth $US13.6 billion in direct economic impact to the US. In terms of “total economic activity”, it’s worth as much as $31.8 billion. It directly employs nearly 100,000 people who earn over $4 billion in wages. The federal government collected $4 billion in business taxes and excise, while states received over $2 billion. All of these figures are up dramatically since 2008.

Book hunts now for long weekend

NSW R-licence holders who want to hunt public land this long weekend are urged to make their bookings as soon as possible, as computer upgrades at the Game Council will see the booking system out of action at two times – today, 5 June, from 5pm to 7pm (approx) and all day Sunday, 10 June, from 8am. At those times, the website and booking functions will not be available, so licence holders should make bookings now to avoid disappointment.

Reward for killing poachers

India has upped the ante in its war against tiger poachers. After previously granting permission for rangers to shoot suspected poachers on sight, Maharashtra state is now offering them a reward of over $9000 for poachers shot while trying to kill tigers. Locals will be rewarded with almost $4000 if they give useful information about poachers. This follows an increasing number of poaching cases.


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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.

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